Several months ago, Captain Eddie Castelin was experimenting with a video hollowing rig on one of his podcasts.
I had had some prior experience with video surveillance equipment, so I decided to do some experimentation. My objective was to use inexpensive, readily available technology to provide a safer, more reliable means of hollowing bowls and vessels.
There are several commercial systems on the market that may provide more in the way of functions and features and, depending on your individual needs, may be more appropriate for your shop.
Last year, I acquired Ron Brown’s ‘Turners Laser Guide’ ( http://www.ronbrownsbest.com/index.php?route=product/category&path=10 ), and for Christmas 2014, LOML (aka SWMBO) gave me a ‘Simple Hollowing System’ from Harrison Specialties ( http://harrisonspecialties.com/ ), so with a modest investment in some electronics and an old TV, I was good to go.
The requirements for my setup are pretty straightforward:
—A TV set (or monitor) with a Composite Video (often called A/V or NTSC) input. On most TV sets that have Composite, A/V, or NTSC inputs, the video input on the set is yellow. Check the owner’s manual for your set to make sure you are using the correct input.
—I bought an inexpensive piece of acrylic and a set of fine point dry erase markers so I don’t have to write directly on the TV screen.
—A miniature TV camera. I chose a wireless camera and receiver ( http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B009T9ZUEO/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1 ) that is used in surveillance systems. This particular camera comes with a wireless receiver, antenna, power cables, and video cable to attach to a TV or monitor. I made a simple plywood stand for the receiver so it can sit upright with the antenna pointing up.
—Hollowing tools. I have a set of John Jordan hollowing tools that I use in conjunction with Ron Brown’s laser guide.
—To use Ron Brown’s rig, I made a simple adapter with a scrap of plywood and a dowel that is hot-glued to the back of the camera. The dowel was sized to fit where the laser Ron Brown provides would otherwise be installed.
The only other requirement is a ruler or measuring device to use as a target so you can set the wall thickness you want for your turning. I use a piece of plywood that has lines every 1/8”. Using this, I have been able to get wall thicknesses between 1/8” and 1/4”.
-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"