Bare Minimum to get Started with Small Hollow Forms

Brent Dowell

Administrator
Staff member
Messages
15,805
Location
Reno NV
So, just wondering if there was some sort of a simple tool you might recommend for getting started with small hollow forms.

Not looking for some sort of expensive articulated arm thing, but was wondering if there was some kind of goose neck tool or something I could get to get started. I'm talking nothing more than probably 8 inches diameter, and max 12 inches tall.

All I've got is a jet Mini, so I can't go that big.

Thanks!
 

Vaughn McMillan

Administrator
Staff member
Messages
34,775
Location
ABQ NM
8 inches by 12 inches ain't small, Bud. ;)

I have no experience with hand-held hollowing tools, but know a lot of folks have made a lot of hollow forms without the rigs. I'll let some of the guys who've done it that way chime in with recommendations. (Bing-bing! Neal Addy, please pick up the white Courtesy Phone.)

When I first decided to try hollow forms, I looked at several hand-help tools, with the idea that I'd move up to a hollowing rig in the future. Once I started pricing the tools though, I saw that the hand-held route could end up being pretty expensive, too, so I skipped that step and went ahead and bought a rig from the get-go.
 

Brent Dowell

Administrator
Staff member
Messages
15,805
Location
Reno NV
Well, I guess I threw out the 8"X12" as a maximum I could ever see doing. :D

Sure would like to get something like the mini-monster, but at ~$350, well, that seems a little beyond my budget right now.. Could swing something around ~$100, what with trying to get my sanding disks, and vac chuck made :thumb:

I've got ideas on doing the vac chuck that may not be all that costly though.

Dang, that mini monster looks cool...
 
Messages
4,834
Location
Goodland, Kansas
I agree with Vaughn. 8" wide and 12" long is mighty big for a hand held hollowing tools and for a mini lathe in my opinion especially just starting out. I have the mid-sized keltons and mini-keltons that I started with. The biggest I did was about 4 to 5 inches wide and about 6 1/2" tall. For me they just beat me to death especially when I tried to do larger HF's. Others may disagree but I think the hand held tools like the Sorby, John Jordons, etc. are a little small for a reach longer than about 6" to maybe 8" deep. Lot of tool hanging over the rest. If you are doing smaller ones the Sorby multi-tip is not a bad tool, John Jordon's hollowing tools are about the cheapest and Don Pencil has some blemished tools for a reasonable price. When I say blemished sometimes you can't tell them from the one's he sells for twice the price.

I have both the captured rig and the articulating arm unit. I wouldn't trade either for a hand held unit. I had $340 in the Kelton Hollowing tools that I used 3 times.

I found the same thing Vaughn did. I wish now I had never bought the Keltons. I sold the mini's to my brother who makes Christmas ornaments. I spent almost as much on them as I paid for my articulating arm unit that comes complete with all accessories. Hollowing tools aren't cheap.
 
Last edited:

Brent Dowell

Administrator
Staff member
Messages
15,805
Location
Reno NV
I'm guessing my inexperience with hollow forms was showing :huh:

I really would probably be going much, much smaller.

I may pick up one of the sorby multi tools tomorrow. I could probably use a decent shear scraper, and it seems like it's kind of versatile. I like multi taskers...

And if it works 'ok' for smaller HF, then that'd be good. Afterall, if I need to go bigger, I'd need to get a bigger lathe anyway..
 
Messages
4,834
Location
Goodland, Kansas
Brent not trying to discourage you just wanted you to be aware of like a mini with a 1/2 hp is not going to do a big HF. If money is a issue this is what I would get for HF with a mini lathe. It has the shear scraper and cutting tool. It is (A).

http://www.woodturnerscatalog.com/s...ti_Tip_Hollowing_Tool___sorby_multi_tip?Args=

I think this would do what you need to do and learn HF's. I made a lot of 4" to 6" tall HF vases from 3" to 4 1/2" wide. I learned a lot doing these which later tranformed into some bigger HF's.
 

Shane Starnes

Member
Messages
81
Location
Krum Texas
Hey Brent, I started with this one
http://www.woodcraft.com/family.aspx?familyid=4248

I have turned lots and lots of HF's with it. It forces you to use a pretty big opening in my opinion and you can't reach very deep. 6 inches would be about max even though they claim 8. But I assure you the size you will be able to turn on the mini is a good combo with this tool.

With that said I wish I had started out with this one. It has all the same features but I think you can reach the shoulder of a HF through a smaller opening a little easier with the curved tool.

http://www.woodcraft.com/family.aspx?familyid=5023

You asked for the bare minimum to get started with HF's and this in my opinion is a good starter. Keep in mind that like all things related to the lathe you will be wanting better hollowing tools before long. I don’t have a captured unit yet but it is on the short list.

Also the Sorby is a killer when it comes to knocking out boxes. This reason alone makes it worth the $80 to me.

You can turn some really nice HF's with these.
 

Brent Dowell

Administrator
Staff member
Messages
15,805
Location
Reno NV
Thanks Bernie!

Money's not so much of an issue. It's more of a 'Wife' Issue :rofl:

I know the limitations of the Jet Mini, I just kind of want to try all the different 'flavors' of woodturning. At somepoint I'll upgrade my lathe, but I figure until that point, Eh, why not do what I can with it. Hollow out little Christmas ornaments, small weed pots, small hollow bowls.

I really appreciate your advice as far as the sizes go etc...

I'm enjoying making small bowls for now, and am looking to make a donut chuck, or vac chuck this weekend so I can start turning the bottoms off them.

Figured the next step after that would be to give some HF a try.

I was actually looking at those goose neck things. Multitaskers are good!

Thanks Guys!
 

Brent Dowell

Administrator
Staff member
Messages
15,805
Location
Reno NV
With all my various hobbies, and the tools and paraphernalia required, well, let's just say that our house is well acquainted with UPS FedEx, and of course, the US Postal system... :eek:

The arrival of a delivery van and a box tends to lead to conversations that I'd just as soon avoid :doh:

And with my little lathe, I don't figure I need to go all that large on the tools to do some things. Just experiments really.

I would like to get the the point someday where I could pair some nice little segmented bowls with my end grain cutting boards. I think that'd look pretty cool. So, That's kind of what I'm working towards.
 
Messages
4,834
Location
Goodland, Kansas
I understand Brent. My wife just rolls her eyes and says you got another box.:rofl: Of course after putting up with me for 40 yrs. she just laughs and say yea he got more toys.
 

Brent Dowell

Administrator
Staff member
Messages
15,805
Location
Reno NV
40 years! Well, You must be doing something right! :thumb:

Let's see, I've only got about 10 official years, 14 all together.

But we're a good pair. She saves, I spend :rofl:
 

Vaughn McMillan

Administrator
Staff member
Messages
34,775
Location
ABQ NM
I'm guessing my inexperience with hollow forms was showing :huh:...
No worries. It was about two years ago I was asking the same exact question. ;)

And on the SWMBO issue, I'm betting there's a neighbor who could be bribed into accepting packages for you. Nothing a nice cutting board or bowl couldn't handle. :rofl:
 

Brent Dowell

Administrator
Staff member
Messages
15,805
Location
Reno NV
Actually, I don't think that would work. We live out on a 68 acre parcel about 20 miles north of Sparks.

The mail box is 2 miles away. The neighbor across the street is at least a quarter mile...

And it gets worse...

We both work from home. (For the same company no less).

So thats Why I'm on the computer almost all day every day...

I go to town once a week (Sometimes more, but we try and keep it down).

And I've got an alarm on the driveway, so she would know when I leave!

There's just no good way to sneak a package in, so I HAVE to take the honest approach... Dang...

Ah, but like they say, "Honesty is the best policy", and "It's easier to get forgiveness than permission". Two mottos I live by.

(And yes, I know if she ever googles my name, she'll find this)....
 

Brent Dowell

Administrator
Staff member
Messages
15,805
Location
Reno NV
Car Talk?

I feel like this is an episode of "Car Talk".

A topic on Woodturning turns into a 'relationship' topic. LOL :D:D:D:D
 

Jim Burr

Member
Messages
3,633
Location
Reno, Nv
I've found...in my old age, that I'm very forgetful "What sweetie?...I could have sworn I told you about that order" But being the man of the house, I always get the last word and it's always "yes dear" > Luckly, LOML does beading and candle making so a few unplanned :rolleyes: bead store trips are good for a trip to ebay or Craft Supply. ;)
 

Brent Dowell

Administrator
Staff member
Messages
15,805
Location
Reno NV
Let's see,

I've used the 'We talked about this one, don't you remember line' a few times. :huh:

There may have been 1 or 2 times where a box from the truck made it into the garage before she noticed... :rolleyes:

Fortunately, I've got most of the 'big' tools I need (For now). :thumb:

I can see a new planer and maybe a lathe in the future, but I'm fine for now. :rolleyes:

I think as long as I manage to kick out some items for the house every now and them I'm ok....:thumb:
 

mike peace

Member
Messages
14
Location
Atlanta, GA
Just as I was getting into woodworking I built my wife a sauna from a kit from Canada. She has arthritis but still plays tennis several times a week. She just loves the sauna and says it is the best thing I have ever done for her. As a result I pretty much have a blank check for tools. She didn't blink an eye after I got hooked on turning on a used Jet mini and got a PM 3520 six months later. She gets to give away a lot of bowls and ornaments.
 
Top