Tiny Hollowing in Woodturning

It's just the same as any hollowing ... but different

Tiny Hollowing in Woodturning

Step by step procedure

Small hollowing of woodturned items is very much just like hollowing larger pieces.  You still go through the same basic procedures of shaping the outside first; hollowing the inside starting from the "top" down; spending far too much time getting the shavings out; and trying to figure out just exactly where that cutter IS at any particular moment ... so you don't go too thin in one area and blow it out.

But, there are some differences in how much force you can apply to the hollowing process and the tools that you use. For truly small hollowing, you'll have to make your own hollowing tools. There simply aren't any out there sized to fit the job. But for larger (but still small) turnings, there are some commercial tools that might work for you. In this section, we'll go through some of the tools, shapes, materials, and procedures for making your own tools.        * INCOMPLETE ARTICLE *

Magic Medicine Nut Hollowform Padauk Finial 2.jpg (24684 bytes) Trilobate Lemon Hollowform Mini.jpg (36393 bytes) Padauk Zebrawood Lidded Vessel.jpg (27467 bytes)

The Tools

IMG_0445.JPG (30789 bytes) Here you can see a collection of small hollowing tools that have been made from a few different things  The red handles things are HSS hex key wrenches.  Hex keys are often made from HSS but not all are.  Must test them to see how you should heat treat and bend, etc. [Link to heat treat and bending here]  The large "T" handles are nice to control the hollowing.  but can be dangerous. if you get your fingers caught in them. Bend them appropriately if need be to prevent that. [Link to safety page here]
IMG_0449.JPG (46860 bytes) Closeup view of some mid-size small tools. HSS hex key wrench tools. Mid-thickness. MAPP torch bent.  Take a look at our heat treating handout (Adobe PDF File).  It gives the general procedure and some tips on how we heat treat the tools we make.
IMG_0450.JPG (24967 bytes) Larger small tools. HSS hex key wrench tools. Bent with MAP torch. Ground to profile with grinder. Just scrapers. Thicker.
IMG_0451.JPG (29492 bytes) Old, thick screwdrivers. Don't hang over very far of toolrest so is safe.  DON'T use these for difficult woods or over the toolrest farther than 2". Unsafe, grabby, snap.

Size view shows curved-up profile.  Gives a shear scrape cut. Cuts VERY well and crisply. Cuts fast.  Top view shows notch used to get up under the lips of some hollowforms.

Used a lot in depth drilling and hogging out main portion of hollowform.

IMG_0453.JPG (59076 bytes) Hex key wrench. Very small size.  Carbon steel. Heated with propane torch and bent in vise. Not very long so can't hang over toolrest [show custom toolrest link for these here]
[Picture of small hook tools here]  
[Picture of small ring tools here]  



Making Custom Tools

    Types of steel


    Heating procedures/links


Using Your Custom Tools

    Show a tree ornament being made

    Show an Ellsworth style hollowform being made

    Show an endgrain bell being made

    Show a micro-hollowform being made

Commercial small-scale tools