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post #1 of 9 Old 04-21-2011, 02:50 PM Thread Starter
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Hollowing tool help

So I'm 4 months into woodturning now and am hooked. I just got 3 Thompson gouges because you guys seem to like them and even at my level I can tell they're way better than what I was using. Y'all are a great help to a newbie like me. Thanks.
So I'm playing with some hollow forms and want a hook tool to turn 6" - 10" deep vases. I've shopped around but I'm still wide open to suggestions. I don't mind paying for quality but I don't want to go crazy with it either. Any thoughts will be appreciated.
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post #2 of 9 Old 04-21-2011, 03:02 PM
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i use the robert sorby hollowmaster.
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post #3 of 9 Old 04-21-2011, 04:09 PM
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I like the John Jordan tools. These were designed by a guy who has made his living doing hollow forms. He knows what a tool should do and how it should be shaped. John or Vicki would be glad to help you with the selection for the size tools you need.
www.stubbylathe.com
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post #4 of 9 Old 04-21-2011, 10:54 PM
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i make my own hollowing tools its the way to go it cost about 7 to 10 bucks to make them and it keeps you closer to your work if its good enough for ellsworth then it good enough for me. read his new book or just the chapters on making your own tools he is the godfather of the hollow form and he makes large forms with small openings you cant do that with alot of the holl systems out there why pay up to 500 dollars for a system when you can make it yourself.! this is just my opinion.

knee deep in shavings
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post #5 of 9 Old 04-22-2011, 08:15 PM Thread Starter
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I've made a couple of tool handles but making the tool itself is above my pay grade. I was about to go with the Sorby HM but checked out John Jordan's website and emailed him with a couple of questions. I was so impressed with him that I decided to spend the extra$ on a couple of his tools. I'll make the handles.
Thanks to each of you for your input.
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post #6 of 9 Old 04-22-2011, 09:42 PM
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I've actually made all but one of my hollowing tools. Most are copies of John's and then several specailty tools. They are easy to make although the bent ones are tricky in anything larger than 1/2" . I now have a forge so I will be able to make my own 3/4" gouges now.
The cutters are just 3/16" square HSS metal cutters. You can notch the corners with a file and break them to get the proper length. You can also cut them with a Dremel and an abrasive wheel.
These square cutters will fit nicely in a 1/4" round hole so just drill the shaft to put the cutter at the angle you want. I have some that have set screws to hold the cutter but I find it easier to just glue them in with CA glue. If you ever need to pull them out just heat the tip.
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post #7 of 9 Old 04-26-2011, 01:21 AM Thread Starter
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I had to add this. I just got an email from the Jordans, after placing a $200+ order this weekend, they refunded me $3.50 because the shipping cost was less than expected. I don't see that sort of business ethic often enough.
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post #8 of 9 Old 04-26-2011, 06:35 AM
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Please post some pictures of your new tools when they come in. I'm in the market for some better hollowing tools myself. I may try to make them myself if I can find the supplies.
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post #9 of 9 Old 04-26-2011, 09:31 AM
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You can see photos of John's tools here, www.stubbylathe.com
They are easy to make if you have a way to bend metal. As I mentioned above the 1/2" steel isn't too hard to bend. I made my first one with a big vise and just bent it a few steps at a time. I didn't have a way to heat them back then.
As an experiment I made a metal bending jig out of oak and steel. I took 2 pieces of Oak about 3 1/2 wide and 1 1/2 thick. I drilled 4 holes 3/4" thick most of the way through the bottom piece and all the way through another piece. I put this in my vise with 3/4" steel pins stickiing up. Then I put the other piece over the pins to help hold them in place. I put clamps over the top piece to keep if from splitting. Then I put the 1/2 bar between the two pieces of wood and inbetween two of the metal rods. Then I just bent it. You probably won't need 4 pins. I was just copying a small wire bender that I had only made it giant.
Drill a 1/4" hole in the end and put a 3/16HSS cutter in it. I'll try to remember to post some photos tonight of the tools I've made.
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