Pom poms are my bete noir.
I've bought innumerable pompom-making gizmos to no avail. I fully acknowledge that the problem may not be with the gizmo, but my limited patience at winding yarn around and around and around and around. At some point, I think "Surely, this is enough" and wind a few more times just to be safe.
It's never enough. My pompoms tend to be misshapen, scanty.
And since Civil War knitters loved pompoms, and since I do Civil War knitting, this issue comes up again and again. I've been waiting about 14 months to finish a project all because it requires over a dozen tiny pompoms.
One suggestion I got was to use a large knitting needle as a pompom maker. I never followed up.
Then I saw this in an 1868 edition of Godey's:
Ingenious. They further suggest to "hold them over boiling water that the fibres of the wool may be separated, and the little balls become quite full and round."
Given my track record, I'll believe it when I see it.