Saturday, January 26, 2013

Hollowing Tool and Walnut Vase

Hi Everyone,

Well, when last we met I was working on a small piece of black walnut that I've had in the shop for a while. Here is the last photo of just the turned blank:

I decided since it's such a small piece I'd use it to make an another experimental type turning so I began making it into a small vase. The wood turned beautifully and I smoothed the exterior surface just to see what it looked like and here is a preliminary photo:

I rounded the bottom to make it "tippy" and this is what it looked like:

I looked at it for several days and I didn't fancy the way it looked so I put it back on the lathe and re-turned the bottom:

Here it is at this point:

The piece is ok at the moment but there's something about it that just doesn't work for me so I'm going to keep it around for a while and let it simmer. Not every piece of work works out initially and sometime the best thing you can do is to put it away for a while. So this goes on the shelf for a bit.

New Tool for the Work Shop

I've been thinking of making hollow forms for a while now and while you can hollow out a bowl or a platter easily with a bowl gouge, which have a straight shank, there is only so much hollowing you can do with a straight tool on a more narrow, closed-off form.  So I decided to purchase the medium-sized Robert Sorby hollowing tool:

As you can see the shank is a swan-neck shape with a small cutter on the end and this particular tool comes with a scraper head as well (that's the small round thing in the photo).

I brought it home and decided to hollow out the small walnut vase above and so I put the vase on the lathe and began turning it:

It worked quite well. I managed to hollow out this vase both depth wise and width wise. I'll admit it's going to take some time to get used to using this and not be able to see the tool on the surface of the wood. But with practice I suspect I'll get used to that.

The tool left the inside very smooth and it didn't catch or cut a groove. It is rather slow going how ever so hollowing out this vase all the way to the bottom would take a couple of hours to accomplish. I stopped about half way and applied the finish.

As it's really cold here I'm not going to do any more turning for the rest of the day. My hands and feet hurt from the cold. So time to go in and get warm.

I'm going to be turning some tree branches over the next couple of weeks and I'll show you the photos from all this.

Stay warm,


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