|Review by Tom Coster||posted 01-23-2013 06:30 PM||2678 views||1 time favorited||5 comments|
Up front I want to be clear: I have no prior experience with any hollowing system except with handheld style tools. After using an articulating arm my other hollowing tools have become wall art. The hollow fast system with laser cost $399.00 from Amazon. I chose the system that mounts to the tailstock via a normal morse taper on my Jet 1236 lathe. A small chain wraps around the tailstock. When you crank out the tail stock the chain pulls the taper back tightly into the tailstock. A bracket extends down from the morse taper down between the bed ways. The bracket keeps the entire assembly from rotating on the morse taper. This design of attachment to the lathe is very quick and simple. A definite plus in my mind because I would not be inclined to use the system on quick jobs if it where time consuming to set up.
The articulating arm is stout and moves smoothly. The tool holder slides into the arm and is held in place with a simple pin and clevis but the arm also has been drilled and tapped with two holes so that other tools can be attached to the arm which adds future adaptability. (Maybe with the use of a hacksaw I might find a use for those old hand held hollowing tools.) The system comes with a HSS cutter for roughing and round carbide for smoothing.
As fist glance one might think the laser attachment to be a little light duty but I think it needs to be light weight to keep it from being cumbersome as it is hanging over the arm. I have done some pretty aggressive cutting and it does not vibrate or slip out of adjustment.
I hate sounding like advertisement for any product but I cannot find anything negative to say about this system other than I feel it is a little pricy but when compared to a decent quality large gouge that costs around a hundred buck I feel it is worth the expense. There is no doubt in my mind that an articulating arm system is the way to go. It really does make hollowing an enjoyable task. The laser does take a little practice to achieve a smooth wall. But it sure does beat worrying about cutting through a wall. A small mouthed hollow form is where this system really shines. No more worrying a catch will rip apart the top half of the turning.
-- Tom, MI, SC