1 of 6 Blog Posts
This is 1 of 6 blog posts on the Powermatic 2014 Lathe. The posts are:
1st Hollow Form on New Powermatic 2014 Lathe
The third thing I turned on my new Powermatic 2014 Late was a hollow form vase. I turned it
from a raw maple log and decorated it with acrylic paint.
Hollow forms put a lot of stress on the lathe headstock when you are hollowing them out. Because, you can't use the tailstock to support the piece while hollowing.
The hollow form I turned ended up being 6-1/4" diameter. 6-1/2" tall. Maple wood. Red, yellow, orange, and gold acrylic paint and wood dye. Semi gloss acrylic finish. See "Glamor Shots" at the end of this blog entry for more photos.
I turned this hollow form after I made a stand for my new Powermatic 2014 lathe. See photo. The stand has 200 lbs of stone weight on the bottom. See my "Carl's New Powermatic 2014 Lathe Stand" blog entry.
Step by Step
I did NOT run into any problems with my PM 2014 lathe while making this hollow form vase.
Thus the rest of this blog entry is mostly just a "step by step" how to turn a hollow form blog entry. With some videos showing the PM 2014 lathe in action.
This photo shows the raw log. Roughly 10" in diameter and 10" long. You can see it is a little
gnarly. It has knots that stick out, etc. Thus it is a bit of a test for my new PM 2014 lathe. But,
it is still a reasonable size. A good size for a hollow form vase.
For this review I supplied my own 4 jaw Oneway Stronghold chuck. I am driving the log with a Oneway Big Bite Chuck Spur. For more info see my "Oneway Big Bite Spur Center" blog entry.
I also supplied my own Oneway Live Center. I am NOT using the USELESS 60 degree live center that comes with the PM 2014 lathe. It is a WOOD SPLITTER! For more discussion see my "Carl's New Powermatic 2014 Lathe" blog entry.
We need to be able to spin a blank at 500 RPM to turn a hollow form. Going less than 500 RPM
is just to painful. The wood is not there often enough to cut it. Going more than 500 RPM with a big
gnarly blank like this one is not SAFE!
This 1/2 minute video shows the PM2014 lathe is stable at 500 RPM on my beefed up "Harbor Freight Workbench Stand" .
I trued up the end of the log before attaching a face plate. No problems.
In general I do not like carbide tools. They scrap, rather than cut wood. They leave lots of torn grain, that requires lots of sanding to clean up. However, I have found that a 45 degree carbide tool works good for truing up the end of logs. Any torn grain under my face plate is a don't care.
I like to use a 1/2" square carbide cutter that is mounted on the end of my turning tool at 45 degrees. In the video below I am using a home made 45 degree carbide tool. Most manufactures do not sell a 45 degree tool like mine. Harrison Specialties (www.harrisonspecialties.com) in Minnesota sells one called a "Simple 90 Degree Detailer".
Notice that I did NOT make the entire log round or cut any shape. I do this latter AFTER mounting it on a face plate. This is how I do things!
I personally hate turning things between centers. It is way to dangerous and thus mentally stressful. After I get the log on a face plate it is a lot less dangerous. Yea, logs can break lose of the face plate and fly across the room. But, it is very unlikely.
Long ago, I decided that I could not see the hollow form in the log, until I was almost done. Thus, I NEVER moved the centers around on the log while cutting a shape, to balance the grain, etc. Thus why on earth was I wasting my time, turning a shape between centers, when I REALLY hated doing it?
After 20+ years of turning. I can now see the shape in the log in advance. But, turning a big heavy log between centers, anymore than absolutely necessary, is just not worth the risk. To dangerous.
This 2 minute video shows me truing up the end of the log. Getting it ready for a face plate.
I attached a Oneway 4" Steel Face Plate on the end of the log after truing up the end. See red
arrow in photo.
The 3" cast iron face plate comes with a PM 2014 lathe is ok. But, it is to small for this big log. A 4" face plate may even be to small for some people. They would use a 6" face plate. I like to use a 4" face plate. Why? See "Rough Shape" below.
I strongly prefer to use face plates rather than chucks. With proper screws they are the most secure way to mount something on the lathe.
I like to use #14 stainless steel sheet metal screws. I prefer square drive. McMaster-carr (www.mcmaster.com) item #93945A073 for 1.5 inch long screws. I can easily drive the screws in with a cordless 1/4" impact driver.
The 8" wide tool rest that comes with the PM 2014 is ok. I could live with it. But, it is a
bit to small for ME in this case. I don't want to waste a lot of time stopping the lathe to move the
tool rest. Thus, I switched to my own custom 14" wide tool rest. See my "Carl's Tool Rest
Design" blog entry.
I recommend purchasing a second 12" long tool rest for the PM 2014 lathe in my "Carl's New Powermatic 2014 Lathe" blog entry.
I made the blank round by nibbling off the bark with my 5/8" Bowl Gouge with John Jordan
grind. I love this gouge! See my "Carl’s Modern Woodturning Tool Set" blog entry.
You can see in the photo that the blank is now roughly 9" long.
I ALWAYS use the tailstock when possible for safety. It takes like 20 seconds to put the tailstock in place. Going to the hospital to get patched up takes hours!
This 1/2 minute video shows me making the log round using my 5/8" Bowl Gouge with John Jordan
My friend Joe Larese is the camera man for this video.
Beware! The log in this video is NOT the same as the log in the rest of this blog entry. The log in the video is a little smaller. I did NOT run into any problems with the bigger log in this blog entry. I just, forgot to film a video of me making it round.
I trued up the end of the log that will be the top of the hollow form. I used my 5/8" Bowl Gouge with John Jordan grind. See photo.
This photo shows how I rough out for almost all of my hollow forms. I have found that most
finial hollow form shapes fit within this initial shape.
The shape is, back at 45 degrees on both ends. With an extra 1" of flat area on the left (headstock) side to get me past the face plate screws.
The diameter on the left should be at least a 1/2" more than the diameter of the face plate. This avoids problems with cracks around screws in the outside edge of the face plate. If 4" face plate then 4-1/2" diameter.
This set up makes turning the final shape of the hollow form near the bottom easy. Good access. It is why I like to use a 4" face plate, rather than a 6" face plate.
Note: Some people like to make the bottom of the hollow form as close to the headstock as possible. They try to put the bottom between the screws on the face plate. I DO NOT do this. I have found that it is not necessary on modern lathes. Modern lathes have big stable headstocks that can handle an extra inch or two of waste wood near the headstock.
This photo shows the finial outside shape. I switched to my 5/8” Bowl Gouge with Ellsworth
grind to cut the shape. I have find that cutting the shape using the "wing" on a 5/8" Ellsworth
gouge works best.
I cut the rim detail with my 1/2” Detail Gouge with Michael Hosaluk Double Bevel grind.
I did NOT shear scrape the finial shape to remove any tool marks. I would have done this in the past. After 20+ years of turning, I can now cut the finial shape cleaner using my 1/2” Detail Gouge with Michael Hosaluk Double Bevel grind. You can see in the photo that the surface is pretty good.
At this point the piece is roughly 6-1/4" diameter and 6" tall in the photo. A good size. I made the 9" cylinder shown above a little shorter while turning the shape and the rim. For me, it is really all about the shape!
The size of the log that I started with a huge don't care. The people who cut down the tree were there to remove a tree. They were making fire wood. The size they chose to make things for firewood is a huge don't care. I don't have to use all the wood!
Note: Later I moved the bottom a little to the left. Thus the piece ended up being 6-1/2" tall.
This 10 minute video shows me turning the outside shape of the hollow form. It shows all of the steps and some of the finer points
I cut a down hill recess in the top, to help start my drill. See drill in next photo.
I always drill out the center on my hollow form blanks using a 1" diameter Morse Tapper (MT)
shank drill. The drill mounts directly in the tail stock via the MT2 shank.
Drilling out the center, establishes my inside bottom depth and makes the hollowing process a lot easier and faster.
The funny copper thing attached to the drill is my laser guide. I have given up on selling the lasers. Please don't ask.
Note: MT2 is Morse Taper size #2. Good MT drills made in the US cost big bucks. MT drills need to be high quality if you are drilling in steel. Low quality imports (low cost) work ok in wood. You can get reasonably priced imported MT2 or MT3 drills from Victor Machinery. See my "Cheap Big Drills" blog entry.
Time to Hollow out the inside of the hollow form.
This photo shows my hollowing rig set up on my PM 2014 lathe. It is a Trent Bosh 3/4" Hollowing Stabilizer with a Visualizer (TV camera and TV monitor). Trent's big 3/4" stabilizer fits on my PM 2014 lathe. No problems! You do NOT need to go with the smaller 5/8" system.
I ALWAYS hollow with the lathe running in reverse. Thus the cutter head in this photo is set up to cut on the right side.
I have looked at a lot of hollowing systems and used some of them. The Trent Bosh system is the best in my not so humble opinion. '
I love Trent's hollowing stabilizer! Because, it takes all the stress out of holding the hollowing tool level. It also, does not let the hollowing tool twist or roll over. However, It DOES NOT restrict my movement. I still have a tool handle, like on my bowl gouges and free hand hollowing tools. I can keep that tool handle up against my body, unlock my knees and use my body to hollow out a nice shape. Just like, I do when turning a bowl. Just like, I have practiced over and over again, while learning to turn a bowl. I don't like any of the other hollowing rigs (Jamieson, Elbo, Monster, etc) because they restrict my movement and I have to maneuver the tools using just my arms. I can't use my body.
Today, I am using a Munro Hollower2 cutter head in Trent's stabilizer. I am moving away from the Munro cutter head. I now recommend going with a Bosch “3/4" Carbide Straight Hollowing Tool”. I have two of them and love them. They never jam and they are a LOT cheaper. $370 for the Munro Hollower2. 2 * $95 for a Bosch. Prices on 4/2021.
Note: In the photo, you can see, that I made my own visualizer. I DO NOT recommend going this route. I recommend purchasing a Visualizer from Trent Bosch. Trent's is not cheap. But, it is the way to go!
I would have saved money, if I purchased a visualizer from Trent. Hun? Why? Because I wasted a ton of money finding the right video camera. I then wasted more money making a second dead rock solid camera arm after my first one turned out to shake around to much, etc., etc.
This photo shows the TV system in action. The tan thing in the photo is my hollow form on the
The red line in the photo shows where my Munro cutter head on the end of a 3/4" steel rod is located INSIDE of the hollow form.
The blue line is my target wall thickness. Down on the tool rest. The blue line is 1/4" away from the red line in real life. Up on the TV monitor it is more like a 1/2" due to the magnification of TV camera and monitor.
The green arrow points to an area under the rim where I have cut the inside to my target wall thickness. i.e. the blue line is touching the outside of my hollow form.
I drew the red and blue lines on the TV screen with white board dry erase markers. That's it. Simple as pie. This is why the Trent Bosch Visualizer is a brilliant solution. Easy to understand. Easy to use. No electronic time delay lag when you move the cutter around! No electronics that will sooner or later fail. Just a tiny TV camera and a TV monitor.
My TV camera works best in low light. Thus, I normally shut off most of lights in my studio. I had to leave the lights on for photos. This made the red and blue lines in my photo, hard to see. Thus I enhanced them (redrew them) in Photoshop. I also added the green arrow in Photoshop.
I did NOT run into any problems with the PM 2014 lathe while hollowing.
Note: See my older "1st Hollow Form on New Powermatic 3520C Lathe" blog entry for better photos and discussion of my TV system.
This photo shows the finished hollow form vase. It is sanded and ready for a finish. It is
6-1/4" diameter by 6-1/2" tall.
You can see in the photo that I added some grooves on the top and bottom. They will be used to create zones when I paint the piece. I cut the grooves with my 1/2” Detail Gouge with Al Stirt grind. The tool, that Al uses to cut beads.
The log was wet wood when I started. But, not really that wet. I dried it out enough, to take a finish while sanding. See my "Sanding Wet Wood" blog entry.
I added a wire brush texture to the bottom. I used the technique that I learn from John Jordan.
I painted the piece on the lathe with the lathe running. I used Golden brand acrylic paints and Chroma Craft brand wood dyes.
Time to remove the face plate and finish up the bottom. I like to have a nice, cleanly cut
surface on the bottom where I sign my name.
I jam chucked the hollow form. Parted it off. Then cleaned up the bottom with my 1/2” Detail Gouge with Michael Hosaluk Double Bevel grind.
See my older "1st Hollow Form on New Powermatic 3520C Lathe" blog entry for good photos of the process I used to finish the bottom.
Golden Sunset Maple Vase: 6-1/4" diameter. 6-1/2" tall. Maple wood. Red, yellow, orange, and gold acrylic paint and wood dye. Semi gloss acrylic finish.