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Thread: My Version of the Late Christmas Gloat

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    ABQ NM

    My Version of the Late Christmas Gloat

    As I mentioned in Dario's thread, my Monster Tools hollowing rig arrived Friday. My MIL and I split the cost of it, and it was a Christmas present to me from the two of us. I got a chance to test drive it a bit after I got home from work. The CoC prohibits me from saying what I really want to say, but I'll settle for WOWSERS! This is gonna be a LOT of fun. As Dario noted, the tools that came in the kit are very beefy, and made with attention to detail.

    Dario posted good pics of all the pieces that come in the kit, so I'll show a few different views. Here's the rig with the gooseneck bar and one of the scrapers:

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    Here are some of the tips and such, with the lighter tossed in for scale. Lots of 3/4" steel.

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    And another shot of most of the tips, along with the bowl sander that I added to the order:

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    Here's the obligatory action shot. I was rough turning a pot and keeping the walls about 1/2" thick. This was my first time using a rig like this, or even seeing one in operation, but it was very easy to control, and find what works and what doesn't. Although it's probably not among the best practices, but I was able to take a light cut one-handed while taking this shot:

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    The only issue I have is with my lathe, not the hollowing rig. My factory toolrest is just a tweak too high, at least with thick tools, so I'm unable to get the cutting edge of the big bit down to the centerline. Raising the rear (captive) toolrest lowers the tip a little bit, but there's a limit to how much you can raise it before the D handle wants to bind up in the rear rest.

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    The solution will be easy...I can either grind about 1/8" off the top of the toolrest socket on the banjo, or buy a better toolrest (probably from Monster Tools...they have some nice-looking ones). Or both...who knows? All I know is at this point I'm very happy with the rig and will likely be buying more stuff from Monster.

    Oh, and this arrived Thursday...another late Christmas present. An air-powered 80-grit gouge. It's already a bit dusty from being used to finish a bowl Thursday night. I can tell already my poor Auto Zone compressor's gonna get a workout, but it'll be a welcome addition to the arsenal.

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    Ho ho ho!
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

  2. #2
    Congrats Vaughn! I hope to put my captured rig to use today.

    BTW...I have the grex too! Great little tool!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    somewhere east of Queen Creek, AZ - South East of Phoenix
    Cool Vaughn, Glad you like it.
    "There’s a lot of work being done today that doesn’t have any soul in it. The technique may be the utmost perfection, yet it is lifeless. It doesn’t have a soul. I hope my furniture has a soul to it." - Sam Maloof
    The Pessimist complains about the wind; The Optimist expects it to change;The Realist adjusts the sails.~ William Arthur Ward

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Mountain Home, Arkansas
    Wowser is for real.
    The laser thingy is interesting. I see that it can show where you are cutting. Does it tell you thickness also?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    vaughn, if you don`t mind me askin` what do the grex tools run price wise? i notice quite a few folks are buying `em so i`m curious.....
    nice hollowin` rig! tod
    [SIZE="1"] associated with several importers and manufacturers.[/SIZE]

  6. #6
    Frank.....You turn the outside shape using regular turning tools....Then you set up the captured rig....setting the laser to be say....3/8" (if that what you want for a thickness) from the end of the cutting tip...perpendicular to the plane you are cutting...when the laser falls off the outside edge of what you are'd be 3/8" wall thickness. It's important that the laser be adjusted in the same plane that you are other words...if you are cutting'd want the laser to be 90* to the left of the cutter bit so you were getting an accurate measurement.....But yes....they will set thickness!

  7. #7
    tod.........I bought mine for $90 at Packard....

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    ABQ NM
    Ken nailed the answers to both questions above. The laser is set a known distance from the tip, and when it disappears off the side of the vessel, you're at that thickness. It's also very handy for knowing how deep the bottom of the piece is.

    The Grex looks like it has gone up a bit in price since Ken got his last spring. I started out ordering one from Amazon for $109 with free shipping, but they were out of stock and didn't look like they'd have any for a month or so. There was one of the Amazon Partners selling it for $119, and their shipping would add $15 to the total. Then I checked Packard Woodworks and their $99 price ended up being the same as Amazon's by the time I added shipping.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    San Antonio, TX

    Congrats! Nice to see you found time to test drive the system.

    I am so pleased with the tool (even w/o trying it yet) that I vowed to spread the word about it.

    I've seen a lot of other turning "toys" this belongs in the MANLY MAN TOY category

    BTW, have you seen the Sorby Multi-Tip videos? If not, some of it can be applied to this tool too.

    Merry Christmas! Ho-Ho-Ho


  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Smithville, TX
    Nice stuff. I've used that Grex unit for about six months now. I look forward to your gloat later in the year when you show us your new air compressor. HeHeHe.
    Mini Max Tool Acquisition Mediator.
    "An old man to most kids and a young man to those who are dead."

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