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Hollow turning can be one of the more difficult skills for a wood turner to develop. Rolly Munro, a turner from New Zealand, has developed a tool that aims to change this. His new hollower tool, sold by Lee Valley, effectively eliminates the risk of dig-ins and catches—those annoying times when the tool snags and can ruin a workpiece. The tool uses an adjustable stainless-steel hood in combination with a high-speed steel circular cutter, creating a throat or escapement that works much like a spokeshave, limiting the bite the cutter can take. You can adjust the hood to take a light or heavy cut and change the cutterhead angle to get the best cut. An extension arm included with the tool allows it to reach inside larger vessels.
When one spot on the circular cutter gets dull, you can rotate it to expose a fresh edge, with no need to stop and sharpen the cutter in the middle of a project. The cutter holds an edge, and when it does get dull, a jig supplied with the tool makes easy work of sharpening. Two extra cutters are included with the kit.
In use, the hollow aluminum handle seemed a bit lightweight, but the tool shaft is 5/8 in. in diameter and more than 16 in. long, making the tool beefy enough for most hallowing needs. For turners who have shied away from hollow turning, the $235 price tag might be worth the investment toward mastering a new skill.
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