I had a visit Tuesday from Jim Burr, who drove all the way from Fresno to my part of Los Angeles to come play with lathes. He recently purchased a Mini Monster Articulating Arm hollowing system from Monster Lathe Tools, and was hoping for a few tips and tricks for using it. As a bonus, he showed up bearing gifts of English walnut, olive, pistachio, almond, and I don't remember what else. All nice woods, and I'm looking forward to opening them up. I don't know if he got what he was looking for, but by the end of the afternoon he'd turned a nice hollow form. (OK, I did the easy part and had the outside already rough shaped, but he did all the heavy lifting by hollowing and sanding it.)
Although I've been using the full-sized Monster Articulating Arm system for a couple years, this was my first hands-on session with the mini version. Randy (the guy who makes the tools -- he's also a member here) is continually improving his products, and I saw a few subtle improvements he's made since I bought my rig from him. It's a very nice rig.
Here are a few shots for the Picture Police...
Jim busy hollowing:
The laser-guided cutter in action:
Final shaping of the neck:
Jim sanding the bottom as I was showing him how a friction chuck works, and one way to finish a bottom without having a vacuum chuck:
And proof I was there, too:
Jim's going to have to post pics of the finished piece, since I failed to get any shots of it after it was done. It came out looking very nice, in my opinion. He did a great job hollowing it out, especially for his first real "blind hollowing" experience. He pays attention to what he's doing, and recognized things that can be improved on the next one, but I'm sure he'll be a quick to learn the feel for the hollowing rig.
He's great guy and I know I had a fun day playing in the shop...I hope he did too.