Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Video of "Revolution" Hollowing system in use

Below is a video clip that I have personally produced to show the versatility of the tool.

Future videos will be coming showing specifics and how to get the most from the tool . These will be available on my web site.

Monday, 21 February 2011

Ash hollow form

This form was made from unseasoned ash and turned once to a thin wall using the Revolution system. The super ring cutter was used as was a finishing scraper.

8 Inch diameter x 4 inch deep.

Fully Modular

Well I was not expecting the response to the new hollowing system as I have had. In fact I am happy to say that it has taken over my work load at this present time with everything else being put on hold.

The system being versatile can be used for more than just hollowing and has various optional extras which are as reasonably priced as the main system.

The handle will also accept the crown bowl and spindle gouges as well as an extra foam handle and various other hollowing tools and brass clamped probe which come with two blades.

With the foam extension handle the system with probe is 107 cm/3 ft 6inches in length.

There will also soon be a 5/8th bar to add to the 1/2inch which is supplied at this time as standard.

The picture above shows the most of the optional extras however there is also a shear scraper and extender which is used for finishing and has been design so that the cutting area around its radius is in the trailing mode. This means that when blind turning/hollowing the chance of an unsupported edge/dig in occurring is almost totally removed.

Picture to come shorty.

The system will also accept the new crown texturing tool pictured below.

More tools and updates will be available from my web site soon for UK distribution and I will keep the updates going here as well.

Saturday, 19 February 2011

New Opportunities

Recently I was approached by "Crown tools of Sheffield" to try out their new "Revolution" hollowing system. I have used it for some time now putting it through its paces in many variations from deep closed forms to hollow forms with small entrance holes with combined steep under cuts.

Since my initial use of the tool I am now proud to say that Crown Tools are Sponsoring me and have asked for me to demonstrate the hollowing system and other tools at shows through-out the country.

So I hear you say " well you would say what you are about to now that you are being sponsored by them".

Well I can only say I would naturally understand peoples scepticism and this is good. People should hold marketing by manufacturers for what it is and should have the statements made by companies quantified.

For this reason I was pleased to put my name to this tool and proud to be associated with "Crown tools" as I have used their HSS tools since starting out in turning eleven years ago.

Further more I am happy to quantify the quality of this tool and stand by my statements based on my knowledge having used a wide variety of hollowing systems and tools over the years.

There are many good systems out there and I have no desire to put my name to or to use this tool now as my preferred hollowing system if it could not perform to the high expectation that I have as a professional turner specialising in hollowing.

Crown Tools have always been my preferred manufacturer with me owning few other makes within my standard range of turning tools. This is down to the quality and affordable price and any of you that have been to one of my demo's will have seen that my main tools are crown. I have never seen the need for me to spend more money on tools when I personally see no benefit over what I am using. So I have always stayed with Crown as the quality is not compromised in any way.

The "Revolution" tool is exceptionally well made/engineered. I am so impressed with it that I will now be selling the tool from my website and will in the future be stocking other Crown Turning and woodworking tools.

The cutting tips include the new "Super Ring" pictured below. This is a ring type cutter with a brass limiter which reduces the amount of cutting edge exposed. The benefit of this is being that the issues of a standard (unshielded) ring type tool and the catches that can occur are greatly if not totally removed as the limiter prevents this from happening. The cutter will also never clog due to having an open face/cutter, however it still produces the fine surface finish and shavings as with a ring tool.

The system is supplied with a high density foam encased handle which is very comfortable during use especially over long periods. The handle itself is well weighted to reduce vibration but not too heavy so to remove sensitivity during fine cuts. So you can really feel what you are doing inside of a form without the need to see the cutting tip.

Into the handle fits a brass collet. This is simply tightened via two allen screws on the side.

The length of tool shaft protruding from the handle can be indipendantly altered via allen screws in the collet itself.

The handle is multi use and will fit various collets of differing sizes. In turn these take various diameter tools from bowl/spindle gouges to texturing tools and larger diameter hollowing shafts. Again this can be seen in a picture below.

The cutting tip and scraping tips supplied of which there are five different types including two super ring cutters. All fit easily into the articulation links at the end of the shaft and again are moved/articulated and tightened with ease with allen screws.

The small cross section of the cutters and articulation of the tool gives the system is great versatility without limitations other than the small 16mm diameter hole that it can be placed through. Other than this it has in my opinion no limitations within the sphere of hollowing and hollow form turning.

This when people are spending their hard earned is very important. It is no good investing in a system that will not work exceptionally well across a wide variety of work. Even when you first invest in a system you may only want to make deep closed forms through a large opening, but later may progress into hollow forms with undercuts etc. This system allows you the versatility to achieve this.

With the tool I can easily produce deep hollowed closed form to hollow forms with a steep under cut through a hole as small as 16mm.

The articulation is such that I am able to cut backwards towards myself with minimum torque on the cutting tip due to being able to alter the amount of cutting edge protruding thus lowering the forces on the tool tip if so required. Or when producing fine cuts to a thin wall thickness easily and quickly with a single allen screw at the centre of the cutter.

The key type scrapping cutters also supplied and shown below have a very small surface area at the cutting tip and with the versatile articulation can be used to cut into sharp corners again with control.

The scraping tips being heart shaped and pear shaped can be altered to follow various profiles and by tilting the tool anticlockwise all of the cutting and scraping tips can be using in the shear mode, thus producing a finer cut.

Currently I am producing a short video showing the tool in use. As I say the proof is in the pudding and I am excited to get the message out about this system as it is very good indeed and should be seriously investigated by any one wanting an excellent system that will not break the bank.

All the pictures in this blog entry with regards to any Crown tools and the "Revolution" name and symbols are shown with kind permission by Crown Tools of Sheffield. All copyright remains that of Crown tools for these pictures and symbols.

The first picture below shows the system as it is purchased and the items included. Other items shown are optional extras for the system. For any further info you can visit my web site.

Monday, 7 February 2011


This piece is the latest following on with my current interests.

Deciding to re-visit my previous work and forms in this case my "Chilli Piece", I wanted to look at ways of refreshing this idea by amalgamating various techniques and materials I have been using to date and a looking at progressing/changing these.

Wanting to have a change from the verdigris/metal effect I decided to look at Chinese lacquer ware with its ornate carvings and deep red colours. While I did not want to take the theme too literal by emulating the carving of a theme, I wanted to embody the feeling of a rich sumptuous piece, while keeping the Japanese theme of wabi-sabi and impermanence.

The insert which is gold leaf on polymer clay needs some progression for the next one. Although I am fairly happy with it, there is always room for improvement. In this case I would rather of used solid gold but the current prices limit this. So will look at some alternatives in both materials and techniques.

Sunday, 6 February 2011

Day out

Went to Poole on the coast today, ate some fish and chips and had a walk around the harbour. The local museum has several floors covering the local history and contain many interesting artefacts, pottery and many other items, dating from 2000bc to current day.

Here are some pictures that I took for reference for shapes and textures. Some of the pictures They may be a little shaky in places a the use of a flash was prohibited.

The top picture is of a long boat that was made from a single tree trunk.

The last two pictures are sculptures by Henry Moore and Jacob Epstein

Thursday, 3 February 2011

Play Day

Well today was a play day, a time I set aside every now and then just to put the work for galleries and other sources aside in order to try out new ideas without the worry of having to sell them. Although in fairness I never see myself as having to work as such. I believe I am most fortunate to have been given the gift of making money from the craft I love. So I guess every day is a play day although I do have to make numerous items along the same theme, such as bowls and hollow forms etc. But every now and then I just do what ever I want without constraint in the making.

One of my favourite past times is foraging in the woods or combing at the beech. It enables me to walk the dogs and entertain the children and still keep an eye out for anything interesting that could be used in my work.

Numerous containers are filled over the time with bits and pieces , picked for reference of textures, colours and shapes.

Today I decided to make some micro sculptures, well that is what I call them anyhow. ! :-)

My interest in Wabi-Sabi is still at the for front of my work at the moment and as such I wanted to mount some of the pieces I had found on my travels. Nature can produce some wonderful textures, colours and shapes as mentioned, so I wanted to embrace this and use what I had with minimal alteration from myself. Just a wooden base that I scorched until alight which added an interesting organic texture to tie in with the item fix on top.

These three pieces are simply oyster shells found on the beach which had been damaged in and around the rocks, and one stone that I found had an interesting texture. The first piece at the top of the page reminded me of an all hearing ear, so this tied in nicely with the sound of the sea when putting an ear up to a shell.

Anyway I wanted to show what I have been up to.