Beginners Guide to Turning Hollow Vessels Video Screenshot

How to turn a hollow vessel using the Rockler Hollowing Ergonomic Carbide Turning Tool. A hollow vessel is a turned piece that features an opening that is smaller than the lower part of the vessel. The swan neck shaft of the Carbide Hollowing Tool is specially contoured for making blind cuts and undercuts inside of turned vessels. Like Rockler's other carbide turning tools, it features a replaceable, rotatable cutter that does away with the hassle and downtime of sharpening.

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Beginners Guide to Turning Hollow Vessels - Video Transcript

Speaker 1: As woodturning gains in popularity, woodturners are always not looking for new shapes and forms to make on their lathes. Bowls and hollow vessels are a great example of those forms and they should be, they're interesting to look at and they're fun to make. Now it's pretty easy to understand how you would hollow out an open bowl like this because your tools can get to the interior of the bowl, but what about a hollow vessel that has a narrow opening but an expanded interior?

Well, the answer is pretty simple, you use a hollowing tool like this one from Rockler Woodworking and Hardware. The swan neck shape allows you to reach around a narrow opening and scrape the waste from the interior of a hollow vessel. It also has a flat back for stability on a tool rest and it features Rockler's replaceable carbide cutting tip.

Now I'm going to give this new tool a try. Yesterday this was a piece of firewood, its chunk of birch that I've roughly shaped into a vase shape. I'm going to show you how to use this tool to hollow it out. I'm going to clean off my lathe and we can get busy.

First I like to remove as much material as I can using a drill bit. You'll need to mount a Jacob Chuck in the tailstock to hold the drill bits. When I'm done with a four centimeter bit, I change to a smaller diameter bit to drill a hole further into the blank. I'm going to stop this hole to depth at the bottom of the hollowed area in the vessel. Here, I use some blue tape to register that depth.

Once that is done, it's time to start using the hollowing tool. I've already removed material up to here. Now I use the hollowing tool to scrape out small sections at a time, working my way to the bottom of the chamber. You'll need to be aware of the wall thickness. Take care not to cut through the sides. Hold the tool firmly on the tool rest to keep it steady. Be patient and if it's your first time, don't be too aggressive with your cuts.

Now that I'm happy with the shape of the interior of the vessel, I'm just going to do a couple final details on the outside to clean it up apply a finish. You know this is a great tool and I really enjoyed using it. If you're considering hollow turning as something you'd like to do, I really recommend it.