hollowing rig - my version

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Project by jeffthewoodwacker posted 05-21-2009 01:16 AM 8322 views 26 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch

There are several professionally made and marketed hollowing rigs on the market. One thing that they all have in common is that they are all expensive. That being said, I decided to look at what was available and see if anyone had attempted to build a home made rig. Thanks to Capt. Eddy, Wayne Bower, Bill Bolen and Chuck Beland and several others for their willingness to share how they made their various home made hollowing systems. With all their instructions I was able to build this entire rig for under $40.00!!! It may not be a thing of beauty, or powder coated with fancy paint but it will hog out a hollow form in no time at all. Bonus is that what used to beat my shoulders to death is now a much easier and quicker turning process. The rig is built of 1” square solid cold rolled steel. The joints are oil impregnated bronze flange bushings with a teflon washer between the bars. The rig is attached to the tail stock with a Beall #2 morse taper adapter that accepts a 1/4” x 20 draw bolt through the tail stock. The head stock end is drilled to fit my 3/4” hollowing tools and I made up some sleeves that will allow me to use 5/8” tools and 1/2” tools. I was able to cut all the steel with a sawzall, and drilled it with metal cutting drill bits. The horizontal holes for the morse taper and the hollowing tools were drilled at slow speed on the lathe using a four jaw chuck to secure the steel. All the joints articulate smoothly which allows you a lot of flexibility with turning hollow forms. This tool can also be used to hollow out bowls. If you are interested in building one of these and would like more details send me a pm and I will get back to you.

-- Those that say it can't be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.

10 comments so far

View lew's profile


13547 posts in 5253 days

#1 posted 05-21-2009 01:26 AM

That is one sweet rig!

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View cabinetmaster's profile


10872 posts in 5056 days

#2 posted 05-21-2009 01:49 AM

Absolutely great looking rig. I need one. I have most of the main cutter. I’ll send you a pm. Thanks

-- Jerry--A man can never have enough tools or clamps

View Chris Wright's profile

Chris Wright

541 posts in 4979 days

#3 posted 05-21-2009 02:50 AM

That’s pretty awesome. I’ve thought about making some sort of rig so I can get into hollow forms.

-- "At its best, life is completely unpredictable." - Christopher Walken

View Karson's profile


35301 posts in 5898 days

#4 posted 05-21-2009 02:52 AM

Jeff that looks like a beautiful thing. If I ever get arround to trying to do bowls and then migrating to hollow forms I know where to go look. TThanks for your offer of help..

Pay forward time.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia [email protected]

View Woodhacker's profile


1139 posts in 5221 days

#5 posted 05-21-2009 03:04 AM

Jeff, it looks like a great idea. I’ll keep this in mind.


-- Martin, Kansas

View StevenAntonucci's profile


355 posts in 5436 days

#6 posted 05-21-2009 03:19 AM

I hollow by hand, but I am also in the process of building a “system” for the same reason as you- because I think it’s nuts for most folks to spend $400 on something that can be made for about $40. I’m guessing I’ll make mine for even less because it isn’t articulated.

Assume the square stock is solid?

Thanks for posting

-- Steven

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


24957 posts in 5173 days

#7 posted 05-21-2009 05:47 AM

Looks like a good deal to me. I just got a lathe and haven’t set it up yet. Being totally naive here, what is the advantage of this device, no fatigue for the wood turner when hogging out bunches of wood??

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View Rj's profile


1047 posts in 5129 days

#8 posted 05-21-2009 04:50 PM

I Like It !!! I going to put this in my favorites Thanks for posting it!!

-- Rj's Woodworks,San Jose & Weed Ca,

View jeffthewoodwacker's profile


603 posts in 5302 days

#9 posted 05-22-2009 01:53 AM

The stock is 1” square solid cold rolled steel. The advantage of this rig is that I now can turn out 3 vessels in the time that I was turning one without the rig. It is also much easier on my shoulders and arms. You use the tool rest to steady the hollowing tool. There is some small amount of adjustment that you can make but the rig works best when the hollowing tool is at dead center. It also helps to drill out the center down to close your your final depth.

-- Those that say it can't be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.

View Paul Lajoie's profile

Paul Lajoie

141 posts in 4602 days

#10 posted 04-30-2016 10:53 PM

Nice looking tool Jeff! Im in the planning stages of my own rig,can you tell me where did you get the bushings?
Also how did you decide what length to make each arm? I have a 10” jet mini with bed extension.


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