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Thread: First Impression: Monster Articulated Arm Hollowing System

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    ABQ NM
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    First Impression: Monster Articulated Arm Hollowing System

    When I ordered my lathe recently, I knew I needed to get a new base for the captive rear rest on my Monster hollowing rig, to accommodate the extra swing capacity. I decided while I was getting a new base, I should get something cool to put in it, so I splurged and got one of Randy Privett's Monster articulated hollowing arms, Since I already had the compatible boring bars and cutters, I was able to save a few bucks off the price of the full rig. (Still, the full rig is a bargain, IMHO.) The end result is that I now have a choice of two hollowing systems: The captive D-handle and the articulated arm.

    I finally got a chance to test drive the articulated arm rig tonight, and I suspect the captive D-handle won't be getting a lot of use anymore. If I had to use one word to describe this thing, it'd be smoooooooooth. I realize it helps to have a very smooth lathe, but this seemed to have much less vibration and chatter than the D-handle rig. If you push it too hard, or the wrong way, you can get this one to chatter pretty badly too, but it's much easier (for me, at least) to control the tool and get smooth cuts. Also, compared to the D-handle setup, the articulated arm can enter the opening at a more acute angle without the need for re-adjustment. This makes it easier to get the hard to reach areas such as inside the rim.

    Here are a few pics, but before anyone gets on my case about the screw holes in the rim of the hollow form, I should explain that I started out planning to make a bowl out of this piece of ambrosia maple, but once I got into it a bit I decided to go with a hollow form instead. I can show off more of the pretty figure that way. I'll cover up the screw holes with a collar later.

    Here's the rig, with the straight boring bar and a swivel cutter:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    This shot shows the swan neck bar and a scraper head:

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    And here's one with the straight bar again, but with a bent cutter I got from Randy a while back:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    And here's a little something I added to the rig at the recommendation of some guitar player guy I know. It's the Hunter carbide cutter, mounted in the Monster swivel head. It has a different feel to it, and I had to adjust my technique a bit, but man this thing can cut clean.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    The cutter head is angled, and you don't sharpen it. When the edge gets dull, you loosen the cutter and rotate it a little bit. Then after a LOT of turning, you replace it for about $22.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    And since I've not really posted any action shots of the new Mustard, here are a few obligatory pics. I have some others from the first piece I turned on it (a few days ago), but unfortunately those pics are in limbo on a hard drive that I'm unable to access right now.

    I should start by saying I love this lathe. Very quiet, and very smooth. I had never even seen a PM 3520B in person until I assembled this one. It is everything all the other folks say it is. I've not yet turned anything that was very out of balance, but it's nickel test smooth when spinning and cutting round blanks. Tons of torque in the low end, too.

    Also, to anyone who has doubts about the wheels I put on it, put those doubts to rest. When the feet are down, I can't budge it. At all. The rubber pads are a lot stickier than the nylon feet that come from the factory, or the bare cast iron of the legs. But when it's on the wheels, I can move it one-handed.

    Here's proof that I'm getting it a bit dirty. By the way, the magnetic remote switch is very handy. I really like being able to mount it in a lot of different places (including the metal cabinet at the end of the lathe). While I was hollowing tonight, I set it right on the bed, so I could easily shut off the lathe while still holding the hollowing tool in place.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    More dirtiness...

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    And I guess this is a rite of passage, but tonight I also got the first rust on the bed. (Musta not had it waxed enough.)

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    Nothing a little steel wool and Johnson Paste Wax couldn't solve:

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    So...in a nutshell, the articulated arm hollowing system kicks tail, and so does the Mustard. I'd buy either again in a heartbeat. I'm a happy camper.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

    workingwoods.com

  2. #2
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    Oct 2006
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    Hey Vaughn, did you not notice the screw holes in that rim? Maybe you can cover it up with some sort of collar..........

    Nice rig, sure does look smooth!

    BTW, I ordered a set of those wheels, the VERY helpful people at Zambus.com arranged it so the maker, in Korea, will drop ship the wheels to me, and I pay the guys in the US, saves me a LOT in shipping and time.

    Cheers!
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stuart Ablett View Post
    Hey Vaughn, did you not notice the screw holes in that rim? Maybe you can cover it up with some sort of collar.......... ...
    Nah, those are just very symmetrical worm holes. I think I'll fill them with drywall mud and call it good.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

    workingwoods.com

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vaughn McMillan View Post
    Nah, those are just very symmetrical worm holes. I think I'll fill them with drywall mud and call it good.
    Ahhhh, I don't believe that for a second, after all, you HIRED someone to do that little bit of plastering around your new electric works......so you will have to hire out the drywall mud work as well
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Harvey, Michigan
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    Congrats on your new hollowing system Vaughn! My wife and I had the pleasure of visiting with Randy back in October and got to see the mini-articulating arm system. Very smooth! I have the D-handle captured system and love it but have to admit there are times you have to get a little creative when undercutting the rim and deep shoulder areas. Will have to give getting the articulating arm some thought - like you I would only have to get the arm - already have the bars and cutters.

    Nice looking lathe! Glad it is turning out to be everything you hoped it would be! Smooth is the key! Have fun with!
    Steve

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
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    Mountain Home, Arkansas
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    I'm impressed even though I still do double-takes at that dropped section of lathe bed. The extra switch looks like a good idea. Does it just plug into the existing plugs?
    "Folks is funny critters."

    Think for yourselves and let others enjoy the privilege to do so, too. ~Voltaire

  7. #7
    Thanks for the review Vaughn! Looks like a nice setup.

    Being cheap...I didn't get the remote shutoff. Sometime in the future I'll bet I wished I had.
    Ken
    ------



  8. #8
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    Dec 2006
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    Goodland, Kansas
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    Hey Vaughn did you know you have screw holes in the rim????

    Great gloat and thanks for the tutorial. I am also thinking of getting one of those. I think it would be a nice addition to the Nova. I have two of the Hunter tools and man once you get used to the cut it is so smooth. I did a bowl the other day and used it for the finial cuts. I started sanding at 180 instead of 80 grit.

    Does all of your accessories from the captured unit fit this one??? Thanks.
    Bernie W.

    Retirement: Thats when you return from work one day
    and say, Hi, Honey, Im home forever.

    To succeed in life, you need three things: a wishbone, a backbone and a funnybone.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
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    Los Angeles, CA
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    Congrats Vaughn!

    That is some heavy duty rig you got there. Sure beats my Scorpion Hollowing system from Don Pencil.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
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    Indiana
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    Looks good,,
    The torque on the tool doesn't effect the tools performance? With the captive ring style setup I can see where the torque is countered, but with this outfit I don't see where it is countered at all. The swivils aren't put into a bind or anything of the sort?

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