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#184801 - 02/01/14 07:45 PM Ball oven- build your own (here's how)
56bird Offline
Pro of the Year Contender

Registered: 01/06/13
Posts: 706
A/S/L: 47 Male, Malta NY
I've been thinking about doing this forever, finally got around to it.

Bill of Materials
Nesco FD-60 Snackmaster Dehydrator ($49.37 on Amazon.com, free shipping with Amazon.com Prime).
Nesco LT-2W "Add-a-Tray" need two @11.99 each on Amazon.com, 23.98 total.
Insulation (optional), 0-$10
Pocket Thermometer (optional)@$6-10
Duct Tape (I used some white duct tape I had on-hand)

I personally spent about $90 on this project, YMMV.

Tools:
Scissors, tape measure, sharpie (for optional insulation)
Power drill and bits (for optional thermometer)
Some sort of snips (I used aviation/sheet metal snips, could probably use diagonal wire cutters or lots of other tools)

Ok. If you read the above and you're doing this, you've purchased the Nesco dehydrator. Anybody who is aware of a certain ball oven product can probably spot the resemblance:


Now, how to make this ball-compatible? Being a sheet metal worker by trade, I had every intention of using the top of this thing and building a metal "oven body", but getting the thing in my hands I changed my mind. I will try to explain as I go.

Ok, for "reasons" I decided to use the included dehydrating trays in my build. The first thing you need to do is remove the rack or grid, I used tin snips. Don't buy a tool to do this unless you just have nothing that will do it.



Now your trays are just loops. I didn't worry about the remaining grid bits on the edges, you can work them off if you want...



Assemble the trays on the bottom section and put a ball in there, crap it doesn't fit!!!



That's ok though, you read the bill of materials and bought the extra tray kits (you need two sets of two).



Snip the rack grids out of those and assemble. Now the ball fits easily. What you can also kind of see here, is that the inside "loops" are a little "shorter" than the outside loops, so the outside fits together tight but the inside loops have gaps in between. The dehydrator actually pushes heated air down in between the two layers of the trays, and the gaps act as diffusers to distribute the heat evenly. Pretty clever. Once I realized how the thing worked, I decided to use the trays rather than trying to fabricate something.



At this point you could install the top, plug it it, and you'd have a working ball oven. You'll want some sort of ball cup to hold the ball in the center of the oven, I used one of the centers from the trays that I had cut apart, works fine.



I decided to do a little more work though. I had some white duct tape on hand (true story!) so I started taping the bottom to the trays and the other trays to each other. I also taped shut the vent holes in the bottom, reasoning that I'm not really trying to "dehydrate" anything:



All taped up.



Seems like I skipped a picture, but I found some thin foam shelf liner at the local hardware store, figured it would work as insulation. I just measured and cut it to size, wrapped it around with the top off and taped it on there.

Wouldn't a thermometer be nice? Let's drill a hole...



to be continued...

_________________________
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#184802 - 02/01/14 07:48 PM Re: Ball oven- build your own (here's how) [Re: 56bird]
56bird Offline
Pro of the Year Contender

Registered: 01/06/13
Posts: 706
A/S/L: 47 Male, Malta NY
... and stick a pocket thermometer in there.



Done.



You should really use a label-maker to put some clever name on the thing, sorry I didn't include that in the bill of materials:



The Rickjuvenator in action. Holds a steady 140F set just under 145 on the dial.



About the only thing I might add at some point is an appliance timer (should cost around $10), right now I'm using a free stopwatch/timer app on my smartphone.

The only "problem" seems to be, I'm so @nal about cleaning immediately after every set, none of my gear seems to be especially oil-soaked. Not a bad problem to have, I guess.

Happy to answer any questions...










_________________________
Code Red, Code Black, Roto Grip Hustle POW, White Dot in the bag.

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#184817 - 02/02/14 09:04 AM Re: Ball oven- build your own (here's how) [Re: 56bird]
spr3wr Offline
USBC Bronze Level Coach

Registered: 08/19/06
Posts: 557
A/S/L: 54/m/MICHIGAN
Excellent job of explaining this! Looks easy and cheap.
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#184818 - 02/02/14 09:15 AM Re: Ball oven- build your own (here's how) [Re: spr3wr]
56bird Offline
Pro of the Year Contender

Registered: 01/06/13
Posts: 706
A/S/L: 47 Male, Malta NY
Thanks! Looks like I have a couple broken links above... here's the label:



And the whole works in action:

_________________________
Code Red, Code Black, Roto Grip Hustle POW, White Dot in the bag.

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#184822 - 02/02/14 09:39 AM Re: Ball oven- build your own (here's how) [Re: 56bird]
Joe Bowler Offline
2x Virtual League Champion

Registered: 04/09/09
Posts: 3825
A/S/L: 50s/M/MD
Nice, Rick. If I didn't already have a Revivor oven, it would be fun to build one following your instructions.
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#184824 - 02/02/14 09:52 AM Re: Ball oven- build your own (here's how) [Re: Joe Bowler]
56bird Offline
Pro of the Year Contender

Registered: 01/06/13
Posts: 706
A/S/L: 47 Male, Malta NY
Thanks Joe!

By no means would I suggest this build (or the commercial analogs) for a Pro Shop... use the right tool for the job and for a Pro Shop or private owner who wants the BEST I think that is the Revivor oven (just IMO)

On the other hand, if (like me) you find getting a ball sweated-out at the Pro Shop inconvenient, bowl enough to justify owning your own machine, and don't mind tinkering, I defintely would suggest giving this a try. I think "my" version is unique vs. the commercial ones due to the "diffuser" action of the trays vs. a single layer bucket... whether that has ANY real-world benefit, I can't say.

I know some people will complain about the commercial versions of this being over-priced, honestly I don't think $200 is all that bad for a turnkey product. $279, well....
_________________________
Code Red, Code Black, Roto Grip Hustle POW, White Dot in the bag.

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#184987 - 02/08/14 04:13 PM Re: Ball oven- build your own (here's how) [Re: 56bird]
BOSStull Offline
2x Virtual League Champion

Registered: 10/15/11
Posts: 1216
A/S/L: 63/M /Georgia
Nice job Rick. May be a future project. Looks basically the same as the NUBALL and Innovative versions.
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#184989 - 02/08/14 04:19 PM Re: Ball oven- build your own (here's how) [Re: 56bird]
SteveH Offline
Pro of the Year Contender

Registered: 12/09/12
Posts: 770
A/S/L: 62/M/Burlington VT
That's awesome, and the resemblance is like twins;)

My NuBall sits in the garage now, a testament to one of my few impulse buys. Like yourself, my balls get cleaned a lot, so not much oil. The Innovative is basically the exact same unit, maybe a hair better than NuBall, for a third less the money.
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#189969 - 01/17/15 09:03 PM Re: Ball oven- build your own (here's how) [Re: 56bird]
eagleeye Offline
Bumper Bowler

Registered: 01/17/15
Posts: 1
A/S/L: 68/m/NJ
just finished doing this project, exactly as 56bird suggested. It worked out great -- cost me more like $85, since I had to pay for shipping. At $30 per "sweating" at local pro shops, I cleaned 5 balls, and then passed it around to friends, so its already paid for itself. At 350 degrees, it usually took several hours to completely sweat each ball, but on the lanes, the balls behaved like new. Thanks
eagleeye243

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#191143 - 04/05/15 08:37 PM Re: Ball oven- build your own (here's how) [Re: eagleeye]
56bird Offline
Pro of the Year Contender

Registered: 01/06/13
Posts: 706
A/S/L: 47 Male, Malta NY
Just an update on this, had occasion to buy a used bowling ball today. It's a Roto Grip Bandit, a ball that has been discontinued for a while now. Coverstock is probably roughly equal to Storm's R2S Pearl. Tossed it in the oven and I can't believe how much oil is gushing out of this thing. Guess I'm glad I built the oven even if it's just for times like this.
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Code Red, Code Black, Roto Grip Hustle POW, White Dot in the bag.

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