From Log to Vase
I am often asked. How do you hollow a vase and what tools do you use ? I hope the following helps to answer some of those questions.

Previously I have used both the Hamlet Big Brother and the Rolly Munro hollowing  tools for such projects and although  they both work well, it is hard work. Particularly on anything deeper than about 8". The big advantage of the new tool is that the cutting tip can be better controlled and thus produce a cleaner and faster cut with a lot less fatigue on the user, the down side is that any time saved tends to then be lost due to the need to frequently move and reset the tool in order to clear the shavings, particularly on those pieces with the narrower opening.  




The Hamlet Big Brother used to hollow vases prior to obtaining the new tool.The tools used to shape the outside.May 2009. Selected log trimmed with a chainsaw. 
Log measures approximately 19" x 9"Four pronged drive centre knocked into the centre of the log.Log now held between centres on the lathe.The log now just about round and measuring 18 x 8The outside beginning to take shapeStarting to drill out the centre with a 20mm beam drill, as the vase is a deep one this will be done in several stages.Deep hollowing tool set up and ready to start hollowing.View of the hollowing Tool.Note the use of the laser beam to gage the wall thickness.Now about half way.now using a sawtooth bit on a long extention bar to drill out the last 1/2" of the bottom, which gives a cleaner finish.The first turning has now been completed, The vase will be dated and left to dry for about 6 months before being re-turned and finished.December 2009. The vase is returned to the lathe and turned both inside and out for a second time to correct any distortion due to the drying process.The second turning is followed by sanding through the grits 120, 180, 240, 320, 400 followed by three coats of Danish oil each being allowed to dry overnight.Vase now allmost parted from the waste wood, the last bit which you can just see is then cut with a fine tooth saw.Vase has now been reversed and held on a friction drive at the top so that the bottom of the vase can be shaped.Bottom of the vase now held by a revolving centre.Turning of the bottom now completed.Name now branded onto the base.The buffing process uses three wheels each with a seperate compound. 1st Tripoli 2nd White Diamond, 3rd micro-crystalline wax.The finished vase measures 15" x 7" Completed December 2009.
Steve Dell Woodturning
                                                       Best viewed as a slide show-
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then next at the top of each picture which will take you through the sequence