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Articulating arm hollowing systems

Discussion in 'Woodturning Discussion Forum' started by John Hicks, Aug 21, 2020.

  1. John Hicks

    John Hicks

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    I run a one on one turning group for disabled veterans. It's kind of slow right now because of everyone being very cautious about this crazy virus. I'm looking for a articulating hollowing system that works well, but doesn't cost a fortune. There are several that I can't find any info on, so I'm guessing they are no longer in business. The captured systems look too cumbersome for some of my fellow disabled vets to use. So I think a articulating arm system would be best.
    What recommendations do you guys have?
    The one by simple wood tools doesn't look heavy duty enough, so I crossed that off my list.
     
  2. hockenbery

    hockenbery AAW Advisor Staff Member

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    I have worked with two individuals Who were in wheel chairs with full use of their hands and arms.
    Both of these guys did really well with the Jamieson system. They were easily able to put the back rest in place and to use the tool for hollowing.

    the Jamieson system is one of the least expensive. A back rest that works really well can be made from plywood.

    The Jamieson system might be the easiest to operate one handed. Difficult to put the backrest in place one handed. Lyle often demonstrates it with one hand ore a few fingers moving the tool to show how easy it is to use.
     
  3. Roger Wiegand

    Roger Wiegand

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    The Trent Bosch stabilizer is very well made, relatively inexpensive, can be used with a wide variety of tools, and easy to adapt to different lathes if that's important. I haven't tried using it one handed, but I don't see why you couldn't. I use it with a relatively long handle I can tuck against my body to help make smooth curves, but it would be easy to adapt it to different shapes or configurations of handles, a pistol grip or an adapted prosthetic, for example. I have used it grabbing the tool close to the front and guiding it similarly to how Jamieson demos, that works as well. It's also quite compact to move and store, which I find convenient. The laser holder he sells is quite nicely engineered and can be used as is to hold a home brew camera system.

    The Elbo system (sold by John Jordan among others) is a similar articulated jig, but it clamps to the tailstock, while the Bosch system fits into the tool rest banjo.
     
    Tim Tucker and charlie knighton like this.
  4. Brandon Sloan

    Brandon Sloan

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    GRJensen likes this.
  5. Mark Jundanian

    Mark Jundanian

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    @John Hicks if you're assisting disabled turners (which I think is outstanding) I believe that you are right about looking for an articulated arm device, particularly if this is an upper extremity disability. Among the articulated arm devices that are still on the market your pretty much looking at the Yoder Elbo and the Harrison Simple Hollower. Although the Bosch Stabilizer also makes use of an articulation it is really more like the captured bar systems as far as how it is used. If I'm forgetting another available articulated arm, someone remind me.

    So looking at these two you shouldn't be too quick to dismiss the Simple Hollower based on it's looks. I have the unit and use it on most every piece I turn, so I can tell you that it is well built and sturdy. Moreover it articulates extremely well and gives excellent tool range of motion, and with one hand operation. It can be used with or without the tailstock and mounted to an outrigger there is enough range of motion to turn the outside of a piece. I use my SHS for most everything I turn, not just hollowing. Here are some pictures of me turning the outside of a piece using the outrigger I made.
    SAM_1149.JPG
    SAM_1157.JPG
    You'll notice that I did not turn off the lathe for the pictures. I should have, but didn't. With a little tension on the tool rest the tools are quite stable, which makes them easy to use one handed.
    SAM_1243.JPG
    I turned the motor off for that shot, but it's literally that easy to control the tool.

    I have seen the Elbo but not had the opportunity to use it. I believe it can be mounted to the lathe bed instead of the tailstock and I think that might lend it to similar flexible mounting. One thing I have noticed about the Elbo is that the arms are short as compared to the limbs of the SHS. This will affect the range of motion that you can get. I'd have to play with one, but I will venture to guess that it would be more difficult to reach around to the outside with the shorter limbs.

    I'd love to try a Kobra or Monster, but those are long gone.

    Brandon, do you have any more info about Harrison's "special version"? Be curious to see what modifications he made.
     
    Russell Karkheck and hockenbery like this.
  6. Brandon Sloan

    Brandon Sloan

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    @Mark Jundanian it looks like it’s only for sale to the department of veteran affairs. A362642A-6411-4B5B-BE4C-80999039BF6F.jpeg
     
  7. Mark Jundanian

    Mark Jundanian

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    I see what he did there.
    (I like my idea better, more versatile).
     
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  8. charlie knighton

    charlie knighton

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    original elbo tool with square arms....its like bikes from 1910.....one day those guys in the van will look thru my basement
     
  9. Richard Coers

    Richard Coers

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    I don't know of any captured or articulated systems that are cumbersome. How many captured systems have you used John? With my experience, I'd say a captured system is more stable than an articulated one. They all control the torque, and if you let go they should all just stop cutting. But an articulated system has so much movement that they really need two hands to control the wiggle. A captured could more easily be used with one hand if you lean the rear section into the end of the side of the support and then apply the control with one hand. I suggest you call Lyle Jamieson and ask him about just this sort of thing. He may have experience teaching those with some loss of strength. He's taught a lot of folks. I went back and did some reading, Looks like Hockenbery already explained this.
     
  10. Mark Jundanian

    Mark Jundanian

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    What wiggle?
     
  11. Gerald Lawrence

    Gerald Lawrence

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    I have the Elbo. Mine was before Tim acquired the company . Tim is making a very nice laser/camera holder now. I really like mine and the thing I have noticed is that most people like what they have purchased.
     
  12. Bill Blasic

    Bill Blasic

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    I also have the Elbo. Easy to setup and use. Adaptable to every lathe and very affordable. Mentioning my name sometimes gets you free shipping:p:p:p
     
  13. Mark Jundanian

    Mark Jundanian

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    Agreed, and most of us want to be emulated, too. Somethings for readers and writers alike to keep in mind with user reviews in general.


    John Hicks will need to weigh in on this, but my understanding is that he's not looking particularly for a hollowing rig to make hollow forms, but rather to press it into service as a device to assist dissabled vetrans in holding tools for turning in general.

    In the past I've given some thought to how the SHS might fill that role. I'm wondering if any of you guys who have the Elbo have ever thought how it might be used in this fashion? Do any of you have the bed mount accessory?
     
  14. Michael Nathal

    Michael Nathal

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    In the interest of completeness, there are two other articulated systems: the Hollow Fast and Simon Hope's.
     
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  15. john lucas

    john lucas AAW Forum Expert

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    I think the articulated systems would be most adaptable to turning things like spindles and tops. The elbow system would not be good for this because it uses the tailstock unless they sell a system to mount on the lathe bed. I think the Bosch system would be the most adaptable to all types of turning since it uses the banjo as it's support.
     
  16. John Hicks

    John Hicks

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    I was asking about the Simon Hope system. But he cannot ship to the USA. I'm watching videos on the simple system right now.
     
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  17. charlie knighton

    charlie knighton

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    when I 1st bought the elbo I turned a bowl inside with it just to better understand it
     
  18. Richard Coers

    Richard Coers

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    Articulated arms have multiple hinge points. If you grab the shaft with the cutter, you can wiggle it around all those points. It's not from fit of the hinge points but rather like a snake body wiggling back and forth.
     
  19. Mark Jundanian

    Mark Jundanian

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    I see what you're saying. With the Simple Hollowing System the play is minimal and eliminated with a little down pressure on the tool rest. So you don't need two hands. I would imagine it is much the same with the other articulated systems.
     
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2020
  20. Russell Karkheck

    Russell Karkheck

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    "So looking at these two you shouldn't be too quick to dismiss the Simple Hollower based on it's looks".
    I second what Mark said. I have the Simple Hollower, and like it. It's very well made and easy to operate. Very smooth. A friend with a metal lathe made a replacement bar for me with a hole drilled into the end so I can use Jamieson/Hunter inserts, etc. The only thing I don't like about the Simple Hollower is the laser. I find it very difficult to adjust, so I've pretty much abandoned using it. It, also, is well made, but just doesn't work for me.
     
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  21. John Hicks

    John Hicks

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    I went with the Trent Bosch stabilizer. He has one that's 3/4". Seems to be very well made. I'm not sure when I'll get it, as he has to set it up to fit my lathe.
     
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