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"Go-To" Style Hollowing Tool

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by Dan Bevilacqua, Oct 8, 2018.

  1. Dan Bevilacqua

    Dan Bevilacqua

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    I have recently moved into the world of "hollowing", albeit, small hollow forms ranging in size from around 1.5" diameter up to about 6" diameter. The depths range up to about 5". For hollowing tools, I have been using a Sorby Micro 1/4" swan neck hollower, homemade tool with a metal cutting hss bit attached to square stock, and a round side cutting scraper. I did get a nasty catch the other day with the round side cutting scraper.

    I have no issues to speak of with the Sorby as it cuts great, and I get very few catches. However, it is a little small for some of the hollowing I try to do.

    On the other hand, the homemade tool gives me significant issues with catches, especially on harder woods.

    The round side cutting scraper works okay for larger openings; but again, I sometimes get nasty catches with it, and it tends to cut the opening with the sides.

    I have no desire, at this time to buy a hollowing rig. As indicated above, I like to make smaller hollow forms. Some shapes are like a flying saucer, and others attempt to follow the "golden rule". I would like to keep the opening as small as possible, usually starting out at around less than an inch. However, I usually end up with much bigger openings due to the catches or the side of a tool scraping against the opening.

    So, for the size of hollowing I like to do, what would be your "go-to" style hollowing tool?
     
  2. robo hippy

    robo hippy

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    There are all sorts of them, and well, one can never have too many tools. I recently did a demo on turning lidded boxes (video in 6 months to a year...). I consider smaller lidded boxes to be a good place to start for doing hollow forms. Main reason is that you can see the inside of the box and lid as you turn. This helps you develop the tool techniques you will use for doing the hollow forms. Most difficult parts are the dead center bottom, which is why most drill out the center, and under the shoulder in a more closed form. So start with straight cylinder style box, then slightly closed form style box, and maybe go to ginger jar type box. The hooked tools are great for going around the corners. I have the McNaughton hollowing tools, and have modified them by putting on some tantung for the cutting. A tool 1/4 inch diameter is good for reaching out up to 3 inches or so for gentle hollowing. If you are going out 6 or more inches, I prefer bigger and heavier, 1/2 to 3/4 inch diameter. Maybe over kill, but it really helps for the added stability. The 'articulated' hollowing systems are nice for smaller forms, I think the Monster system is still in production, not sure about the Kobra. Lyle Jamieson makes a nice set up for a captured bar system, and there are many others....

    robo hippy
     
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  3. hockenbery

    hockenbery AAW Advisor Staff Member

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    Regarding catches - be a lot easier to give guidance if you were here.
    Most maybe all catches occur when the bevel of the scraping cutter contacts the wood.
    This usually happens when the tip points upward. Keeping the tool level and working a little above center (1/8-1/4”) will be catch free hollowing. Angling the tool down a bit helps to but does not cut as fast.
    The various hollowing systems all keep the tool level and at center.
    Crossing the center line when hollowing the bottom cause the tool to get lifter up slightly from the upward mistiming if the wood a put down on the correct side with the tip point up a bit cause it a catch.

    Also clear the shavings frequently.

    Like Reed said there is a defiant benefit to hollowing a small bowl 3-5” diameter with the hollowing tools so you can see them work. You can the visualize what is going on when you can’t see the tip in the hollow vessel.

    Tools:
    I would recommend the Bosch tools or similar style.
    1/2 bars are a good size tool for a 1” opening and 6-8” deep.
    I like the ones with the HSS cutters but he has the hunter tips too.

    These tips last a long time and are held in place with thick CA glue.
    I much prefer the CA tips to those hel in place with screws. I have never had a CA mounted tip come loose while turning. I do tend to lose set screws and

    This page shows the tools
    http://trentboschtools.com/product/12-total-access-hollowing-tools-3-piece-super-set/
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2018
  4. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

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    A couple potential reasons for getting catches with the homemade scraper:
    • The round cutter has a large contact area with the wood which means a lot of force and more difficult to control especially for interrupted cuts. A cutter of this type is best suited for final clean up cuts using very light force.
    • If you are using the tool horizontal on center with a large overhang then you are on the ragged edge of being able to maintain control ... in other words, you're not always in control.
    In either of the above scenarios, make sure that the tool is angled down and the cutter is making contact ABOVE center. If the tool has a curved neck then make certain that the cutting tip is in line with the straight portion of the shank and that you always have the straight portion of the the shank on the tool rest.

    I agree with what Reed recommends about being able to see what you are doing on some open practice pieces. You may be understandably anxious to make hollowforms with small openings, but your skills may need to catch up with what you would like to make.

    The type of tool that I would recommend is exactly what Al suggested. I have a collection of different hollowing tools, but the Trent Bosch tools are the ones that I prefer for most handheld hollowing.
     
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  5. Dan Bevilacqua

    Dan Bevilacqua

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    Thanks for the responses so far.

    I will start using the tools for more open forms so I can see inside, and get to know the tools better, particularly my homemade tool with a metal cutting hss bit attached to square stock, and my round side cutting scraper (Bill, this one is not homemade). Funny thing is I have had some practice in that regard when my openings have to be enlarged significantly from when I mess up :oops:.

    I will also try to be more careful about keeping the tool positions as suggested.

    I did check Al's link, and that looks like a nice set of tools. May have to spring for them at some time; but, I will try to practice with what I have considering the tips you have all provided. Here is a photo of my homemade hollowing tool. Is this a good style hollowing tool?
     

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  6. Stan Semeniuk

    Stan Semeniuk

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    Dan I started hollowing with the Kelton hollowing tools and found them a little to aggressive for me. I have since invested in a complete set of tools from Trent and haven't looked back, they are just a great design. The gents have given great advise as usual. I will just add that the farther your cutter is from the tool rest the length of your handle should be increasing to help maintain control of the cut and offset the torque.
     
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  7. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

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    Actually, it would be better if the cutter were sticking straight forward rather than off to the side because you will be constantly be fighting against torque that is trying to roll the tool. This means that you won't be able to use the tool with as much finesse as a tool that isn't trying to twist it out of your grasp. What you have would work better in a captured bar hollowing system. I also prefer a round bar so that I could tilt the cutter a bit.
     
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  8. Dean Center

    Dean Center

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    Dan, Reed really has some good suggestions. I have a few additional thoughts.
    First, green wood. Or maybe burl.
    Second, the homemade tool is very much like David Ellsworth's sidecutting hollowing tool. They (usually a set of two) are not as expensive as some other hollowing tools, but also are not as sophisticated. What you lack would be the straight hollower which does most of the waste removal.
    Third, if you're going to make small hollow forms, like ornament size, Mike Jackofsky's Rocket Tools are nice. They won't go 6" though. With the range of sizes you're doing you may end up needing more than one size of tools.
     
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  9. hockenbery

    hockenbery AAW Advisor Staff Member

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    I use a tool similar to the one you show. Mine has the cutter set into a round bar at about 45 degrees. It is my got to tool for hollowing ornament balls that are 3” diameter.

    As Dean said this is half of the Ellsworth basic hollowing tools. The other one is a straight tool with the set in the center of the bar.

    I would prefer a round bar so that I can angle the tip down by rolling the bar counter clockwise.

    If I had your tool I would round over the left bottom corner on the grinde so I could roll the tool a little. Or make one with a round bar.
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2018
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  10. Dan Bevilacqua

    Dan Bevilacqua

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    Thanks again for the responses. As you guys have suggested, I need a straight tool. I will try to make one. Just need to get some round stock as recommended.

    Dean, I have no problems to speak of with the smaller hollow forms where I can use my Sorby Micro 1/4" swan neck hollower. That tool works great for the smaller hollow forms.

    Al, you state that would round over the left bottom corner of my homemade tool. Are you are referring to the square stock (bar), and not the cutter, right?
     
  11. hockenbery

    hockenbery AAW Advisor Staff Member

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    Yes the square stock bar. That will allow the tool to roll and not score the tool rest.
     
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  12. Dennis Weiner

    Dennis Weiner

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    Couple of thoughts in designing your own hollowing tools:
    You are less likely to catch taking many small cuts with a small cutter than with a larger cutter. It is far easier to control and much more relaxing. That being said, I Like 3/16 hhs bars or 6mm Round carbide cutters both for my manual and captured hollowing system.
    As far as the shaft length, the longer the better within reason. Perhaps someone with an understanding of the physics could recommend a comfortable shaft length vs depth of cut from the toolrest. As a guesstimate, I generally try not to exceed 20 - 25% of the bar length from the toolrest In order to gain mechanical advantage. Obviously, The smaller the percentage, the easier it is to control the tool.
     
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  13. Mark Wollschlager

    Mark Wollschlager

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    I have many. I use a few.
    Most of the hollowing I do is modest in scale 6-10" , maybe 12" at most.
    The one type I come back to more often is a combination of the bar I need ( with a 3/16" cutter ) and an outrigger arm.
    The outrigger is attached to the bar with a collar and set screw.
    I can set the angle of the cutter and hollow away, the twisting torque is handled by the outrigger on the long toolrest.
    There are compromises. Changing the cutter angle or the collar from one bar to another requires a couple of minutes.
    I also use scraper tips with this, same results.
    I find setup to be quick and easy, no extra tool rests and capture rigs.
    On smaller pieces I do handhold 3/8 bars with 3/16 cutters for small pieces, ornament globes and such.
     
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  14. Emiliano Achaval

    Emiliano Achaval Administrator Staff Member

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    In my experience, recommending something in the price range of the Trent Bosch tools to someone starting to venture into hollowing, it's a little too much $, they think we are crazy ... There is no easy, inexpensive solution. I started with the David Elsworth tools, made the giant handles for them... It was the way to go then. Then I moved to Lyle Jamieson's system... Nowadays I think I would start with the Hunter Tools mini Hollowing set, doing Xmas ornaments, that would give you the feel for it. Then move on to a hollowing rig or bigger Hunter tools... I would ask around, see what other club members are using, go see them using it. If you come to Maui, I'll show you the Hunter tools and the Jamieson rig in action, LOL. Aloha
     
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  15. john lucas

    john lucas AAW Forum Expert

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    I started bigger hollowing using some home made John Jordan style tools. I could cold bend the 1/2" bars to make my tools. Yes they were ugly with crimp marks from my vice but they work. In fact I used them yesterday. Then I built a copy of the Lyle Jamieson rig. I didn't have a welder so I assembled it using square tubing in between the longer 3/4" bars and used all thread rod to bolt it together. It worked so well I used it like that for years. Then I finally decided it didn't need to be that wide to work and I had just purchased a cheap HF welder so I removed the threaded rod and cut the square tubing in half and welded it up. I still use that today. I rigged up a way to heat larger metal bars and made myself a large set of John Jordan hollowing tools. I prefer them to the Ellsworth style because of the curved bars. With the cutter in line with the handle they resist the twisting force much better and are easier to use when hand hollowing. One of these days I will probably build an articulated hollowing system just to see if I like it. I prefer using a captured bar system with a laser because it makes it so much faster to check wall thickness. I am switching to a video hollowing system as soon as I can get everything to work. I rigged up a system using a back up camera but I had to jury rig all the wiring and it looks like a drunk spider put it together. I just got an endoscope that works with my phone and hopefully my tablet and if it works will be far better. I don't know what the camera magnification or angle of coverage is at this time since i just got it.
     
  16. Stan Semeniuk

    Stan Semeniuk

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    I know they are a little pricey but in this case I truly feel you get what you pay for. When I started hollowing I found it incredibly frustrating,there was so much going on at once. I have used Trents tools for 4 yrs or so and finally sprung for his articulating arm set-up and felt like a fool after for not buying it sooner. I don't like to sound like a salesman but do like to give credit when I feel it's deserving. I have spent so much money on gouges and various hollowing tools that had I spent a little more time investigating the tools in general it would have saved me a pile of money. There are many great hollowing systems and tools to pick from these just work for me. I think if a person is considering a purchase and can try a few before hand it would really help with narrowing the field. :)
     
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  17. Dan Bevilacqua

    Dan Bevilacqua

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    Thanks for all the comments. I went ahead and made a straight tool with a 1/4" metal cutting lathe bit and used 1/2" round bar this time. I have not tried it yet; but, I intend to do so soon. I also rounded the bottom of my angle tool pictured in a post above (as suggested by Al); but, I have not yet tried it. If my homemade tools do not work well for me, I may just go ahead and get the Bosch tools.
     
  18. Dean Center

    Dean Center

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    Dan, did you ever locate any local turners down there in spudland? Our club has just one truly accomplished hollower at this point, but if you're in the neighborhood...
     
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  19. Dan Bevilacqua

    Dan Bevilacqua

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    Yes, I am fortunate that a new AAW club has recently started up in Pocatello, Portneuf Valley Woodturners. I enjoy very much going to the meetings. Bunch of nice guys. Learned a lot already.

    Thanks for the invite. One of these days.
     
  20. Mark Wollschlager

    Mark Wollschlager

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