Turning Archive 2007

Box hollowing.

john lucas
>I was hollowing some boxes today and have always wanted to try the Raffen hollowing method. While I was at it I decided to compare it to hollowing the way I learned with the bowl gouge and also the ring tools and round nose scraper.

I chose a piece of dry ash as my test subject because I had enough to throw away. The Raffen method of hollowing with the gouge moving from center to 12 oclock is interesting and will take me more time to master. You have to start with the flute pointing toward 4 oclock and rotate it almost upside down as you move toward 12. That apparently varies depending on the grind of your gouge and the shape of the bowl. Although I was getting some good shavings I was having trouble controlling the shape of the bowl. The cut however was very clean when I got it right which makes sense since it's a cut rather than scrape.

The ring tool also cuts very clean but on this hard dry wood I couldn't take a very big cut. The Raffen cut was much more aggresive probably because the tool is much thicker.

I learned to use the bowl gouge with an Ellsworth type grind. Rotate the flute to the left and cut with the bottom wing with the top wing very close to the wood. This cut is very controllable but doesn't leave as good a finish as the ring tool or Raffen cut. It is a very safe cut however.

The round nose scraper can be grabby if your not careful but is quite easy to use. It leaves a finish a little rougher than my method. I guess that's because my gouge is sharpened as a sharper angle than the scraper.

All in all a fun project. I'll have to borrow the Raffen video again and look at what he does more closely. I also have an Alan Batty video on threading and he uses a cut similar.

Well time to go and put some more finish on the latest box. It has router cuts that look similar to the rose engine cuts that were in the latest American Woodturner. I'll post a photo when I get it done.

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