Turning Archive 2004

Hollow Forms - a different world of turning! *PIC*

David Hammond, in Powder Springs GA
>A buddy of mine from Ellijay lent me his Al Bashan hollowing tool, and I've been putting it to a little bit of use. I've only turned two peices with the new tool, but several things have happened: I now can appreciate Mike's Gaggle of Pots, a heck of a lot more than I could before this past week (nice stuff Mike!), but I also realize now, that hollow forms have very little in common with bowls - my stance, my tools, my techniques, the shapes and curves I'm used too - nothing is the same! I'm also very intruiged by the endless possibilities that seem to be here with hollow forms; I thought the results were never-ending in the realm of bowls, but this is too cool.

The tool I'm using is made by Al Bashan, a retired machinest, who I believe resides in South Carolina. It's nothing fancy, but I've been surprised at it's performance. It's half inch round stock - the tool is about 18" inches long, with a 1 1/2" peice of the same round stock on the end of the tool, that adjusts to cut under a rim with a normal Allen screw - and the cutter is simply a HSS steel scraper type (three different shapes) that is fixed onto the 1 1/2" peice of round stock, with another Allen screw that also swivels.

The "secret" is the tool's outrigger - another peice of half inche round stock that intersects the main bar, welded together. This leaves you with about a ten inches of usable tool depth. The outrigger forms an L shape to the left of the tool - both peices of steel are placed on the tool rest, and thus the torsional forces are eliminated, you simply have a nice solid, long handle that you tuck under your arm (not your chin!) to control the vertical forces - this seems to be a nice compromise between the captured rigs, and the total hand helds. But, I speak from limited observation only, not actual experience.

So, here are my first two attempts, both in Bradford Pear, turned and finished green. The taller form is about 5" by 4", and the smaller, about 4" by 4". The taller peices is darker becuase I submerged it in a bath of oil, a few hours after turning, for several days. The smaller peice soaked for about a day in the oil, a day after I finished it. I sanded through 2500 dry, and after the soaking, I waxed them both. Interesting results, and I think I can say I'm hooked: on Bradfor Pear for one thing, but hollow turning as well.

Thanks for looking,
David Hammond
My Dad & Me, Inc.

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