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Bodger7

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I want to buy a hollowing tool(s) but am bewildered by the choices available. Whatever I decide on it seems likely that the cost will be high so I will appreciate any advice given, especially as there are no shows at the moment where tools can be seen being demonstrated. I have considered the various offerings from Axminster including the Crown Revolution, the Woodcut Pro Forme and Axminster's own brand hollowing tool. I have also looked at adverts and comments about the Hamlet Big Brother and various other brands. There seems to be a large choice but which to choose? At the moment I am using a Simon Hope Carbide Pro Hollowing tool and another square section tool that might also be an older Simon Hope tool but these vibrate quite badly when I get beyond about 12/15 cms into the wood.
At the moment I favour the Pro Forme but the price at about £400 for the starter kit and bent shaft seems excessive to me but others may think that it is money well spent. Is the price justifiable or are there equally good tools at lower prices? Any suggestions/comments will be welcomed. Thanks.
 

Dave Brookes

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I use the Rolly Munro articulated hollowing tool and it works well, even more so when I had the tool post support made which stops the tool from wandering and cuts down on vibration at depth.
Have had mine for a few years now and the only price I can find is €309 from Steinert in Germany.
Dave
 

Bodger7

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Hi Dave. I had looked at reviews of the Rolly Munro tool and they were all very good. I think that they were sold by Axminster and Toolpost and, no doubt, others. Unfortunately, they seem to have fallen out of fashion in the UK and I didn't find a UK supplier but still seem to be available in Europe and Australasia. It looks very similar to the Pro Forme offering that also comes from the Southern hemisphere I think. Thank you very much for your input as that is exactly the sort of information that is helpful.
 

Lazurus

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I have been using the LYLE JAMIESON set up for a good few years now having tried most others on the market. It really is easy to use requiring only fingertip control and is so very accurate. Watch him on YouTube, I can recommend his product and technique from personal use.
 

gregmcateer

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I've got the Crown Revolution, and it seems fine, although I have only had limited use so far and certainly nothing particularly deep.
I think one really needs to try before you buy with these sorts of tools - people seem to favour one over another for no obvious reason, assuming they do all actually work correctly. I'd recommend talking to folk at your local club - turners are usually very happy to share experiences, good and bad.
 

Paul Hannaby

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Before buying a hollowing tool, I think you need to figure out what sort of hollow forms you plan to make. Deeper ones would need a longer, thicker shaft; ones with very small openings couldn't be done with the tools with a large knuckle; wide undercuts would need a wider swan neck shaft and so on.

Not all hollowing tools are expensive and don't assume you need to take out a second mortgage to get a decent one. Although I have an assortment, the two tools I use most are the cheapest ones!
 

Dalboy

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Before buying a hollowing tool, I think you need to figure out what sort of hollow forms you plan to make. Deeper ones would need a longer, thicker shaft; ones with very small openings couldn't be done with the tools with a large knuckle; wide undercuts would need a wider swan neck shaft and so on.

Not all hollowing tools are expensive and don't assume you need to take out a second mortgage to get a decent one. Although I have an assortment, the two tools I use most are the cheapest ones!

Just follow Pauls advice like him I have a number of hollowing tools some at the cheaper end I do tend to use all of them but it depends on which one is suitable for the type of hollowing that I am doing.
My most used are the crown sovereign hollowing set that is the small one and the larger one with both the 1/2" and 5/8" shafts and my simon hope one nest down from that is the quite basic Robert sorby tool
 

Bodger7

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Thank you Greg, Paul and Derek for your helpful advice. Having noted the information provided and making further enquiries I am now considering extending my Simon Hope range of tools so that I can cope with larger hollow forms if necessary without changing to a completely new (and expensive) system. Paul, I would be interested to know which two tools you use the most. Thanks again.
 

Bodger7

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I have been using the LYLE JAMIESON set up for a good few years now having tried most others on the market. It really is easy to use requiring only fingertip control and is so very accurate. Watch him on YouTube, I can recommend his product and technique from personal use.
Thank you for this suggestion and looking at the Lyle Jamieson system lead me to a Stewart Furini video showing the Simon Hope Easy Arm system they both seem to make relatively light work of hollowing. They are tempting but I think that I am likely to stay with a more "manual" system at the moment. We shall see.
 

Bodger7

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Following a trip to Derek (Dalboy"s) shiny new workshop and a very helpful chat with Mark Sanger I decided on the Crown Revolution hollower but using a Simon Hope quick release handle that can also be used on my existing Simon Hope Pro hollowing tool. That seemed to be a good compromise and ensure that both tools will be fully used. I have already bought the handle and now await delivery of my new toy from Crown. Mark was extremely helpful and spent about 30 minutes discussing various options and giving me valuable advice as to tool presentation and techniques for using hollowing tools.
 

gog64

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Hi Bodger, I might be able to save you some head scratching here. I bought the Crown Revolution system with the scrapers and super rings back at the tail end of last year. Obviously I couldn't wait to try it out, but found it wasn't cutting at all, just creating a bit of dust! The super rings looked OK, but my close up vision isn't that great. Luckily I do have access to a digital microscope and to cut a long story short, this is how the super rings are supplied from the factory:

crown-super-ring.png


You are looking down onto the cutting edge of the tool. The black that you can see is PAINT on the unground edge of the tool. So, from what I can tell, the tool is cast, hardened, painted and then ground. However the grinding is not done to SHARP. For some reason, they leave a completely blunt edge as supplied to the customer and you need to shape it before first use.

I spoke to Crown and they didn't know whether the tools are meant to be supplied sharp or blunt. I did ask them several times as I felt that this was the kind of thing they really should know! I presume that it is supplied blunt deliberately as otherwise I'm sure that they would have offered to replace them as I spoke to their customer support several times.

Anyway, several hours later I did manage to grind away all of the excess material on the outermost part of the ring. It does cut now and quite well, but is quite "snatchy" no matter what angle you present it. My current theory is that I may need to grind the inner face of the ring in order to reduce that problem and am currently waiting on delivery of a diamond cone tool to be able to do this.

So, if your Crown Revolution seems completely rubbish "out of the box", then don't despair. It's probably not you and it's not the tool, it just needs to be ground to the right shape before use.

BTW, this is my "spare" super ring that I've just photographed, but my original was exactly the same.
 
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