for turning deep, thin-walled vessels by Steve Blenk
To test the systems, I turned hollow vessels from seasoned, eastern maple and wet, green timber. I assessed vibration and quality of cut as the tools cut 6 to 10 in. beyond the tool rest and up to 6 in. oil the center axis of the lathe. All the work was done on 12-in. and 16-in. Delta lathes.
Although each of the systems outperformed standard lathe tools, there are lots of differences in performance and price. I've summed up my findings in (lie reviews that follow.
Turn with the right tools.
Thin-walled, hollow vessels can be very difficult to make with standard lathe tools. Fortunately, tool manufacturers have responded to the challenge with deep hollowing turning systems designed specifically for the job.(Note: The vessel shown in the photos that follow was cut away to expose each tool's cutting angle.)
After mastering spindles, plates, and bowls, it s natural for a turner to try his or her hand at creating deep, hollowed-out vessels. However, blindly cutting out the interior of a vessel through a small opening can be nerve-wracking. I he tool must often overreach its rest by 6 in. or more, which invites chisel flex and vibration. And because the handle on a standard lathe tool is often too short to provide good leverage, the tool can catch and twist in your hands.
Fortunately, there are specialized tools for turning deep, hollow vessels. I tested eight innovative systems specifically designed for the job. Most have long, beefy shanks and oversized handles to reduce vibration and improve lever age. Many have articulating tips that can he adjusted to cut at an angle to the handle. Some adjust enough to easily cut a reversed surface, such as the underside of a vessel s top.
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