ARTICULATING ARM, low cost, easy to make, for HOLLOW TURNING

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Project by bushmaster posted 12-19-2018 04:47 AM 4447 views 9 times favorited 17 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I often look at things that I would like to have, then think I could make that myself, a plan starts to develop in my head, to clear my mind I have to get started. As I proceed I see problems or a better way to do things. If one makes a detailed plan then most likely you stick to the first impression. This project proceeded like that. It is mainly a prototype, but it is very successful in my opinion, as I have never seen a real one for used one.

Originally I thought I would make one out of steel, then I got to thinking, why not try to make one that any wood worker could make at a very low cost. Wood construction and off the shelf bearing and bolts. In this project wood will perform just as well as a steel one in my opinion. I have tested it out and found it works very well. I have made a demonstration video.

For this articulating arm project to keep it as simple as possible I chose to attach it to the wood lathe tailstock quill. Most of the information is on the video but I do have a few pictures

Tail stock attachment. The bottom arm is glued on but the top on is heal by the screws and bolt, otherwise you cant assemble it .

The two arms in this photo have two ball bearings counter bored in with a forester bit. Washers top and bottom with a 12mm bolt. The joints move smoothly with no wiggle when boring.

The part that hold the boring bar has a saw cut on one side, two bolts hold the bar from twisting, I drilled a hole through on the top to put a pin that would index to a slot on the end of the boring bar, so far not needed,

Disassemble view showing the bearing in the arm and washers needed. The bearings where 6102, paid 9$ on ebay for 10 of them. so even with the bolts it can be built for under 15$ American. A whale of a deal.

The boring bars where from stock I had in my shop. I had two pieces of 3/4, 4130 aircraft tubing, one with a thick wall and a short piece with a 1/8 wall. That one is adequate, just fabricated the tip from a !/2 bolt sections, welded a 1/4 inch piece of metal on, then a small 1/8 piece to clamp a 1/4 inch HHS metal lathe tool bit on.

The first piece of spalted birch had would have looked great, but was having too much fun and cut right through it

If you have always wanted to try using an articulating arm this DIY may be an option, easy to make and works well. There are ideas still rattling around in my hollow head for two more models, as I ordered 20 bearings. You can make it for the size of your lathe, CUSTOM FIT NO LESS.

Thanks for looking, comments appreciated. Check out the video too, I was quite exited about this project. Enjoy using something I designed and made.

Oh yes, MERRY CHRISTMAS to all of you from the NORTH POLE, I appreciate all of you great craftsmen and and seeing all your fine projects.

-- Brian - Hazelton, British Columbia

17 comments so far

View crowie's profile


4675 posts in 3076 days

#1 posted 12-19-2018 05:01 AM

Good to see you back in the shop continuing your innovative ways.
Must be cold outside by now.

-- Lifes good, Enjoy each new day...... Cheers from "On Top DownUnder" Crowie

View mdzehr's profile


500 posts in 1493 days

#2 posted 12-19-2018 05:42 AM

Ingenious! Absolutely brilliant, Brian! I’ve ordered the ball bearings and need to get to work.

-- Mike, Lancaster PA

View Wildwood's profile


2959 posts in 3259 days

#3 posted 12-19-2018 10:51 AM

Have a Lyle Jamieson with homemade laser set up, but looked at all the articulating arm systems out there yours is most simplest homemade system have ever seen.

Great job and thanks for sharing.

-- Bill

View hunter71's profile


3557 posts in 4311 days

#4 posted 12-19-2018 11:27 AM

Looks tough enough to do a great job.

-- A childs smile is payment enough.

View Redoak49's profile


5277 posts in 3113 days

#5 posted 12-19-2018 11:52 AM

Very well done…great design and build. The video is also great.

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

26306 posts in 4230 days

#6 posted 12-19-2018 01:15 PM

Real nice hollowing tool, Brian!! I like your video . I can’t work behind my lathe like that! The style you made is similar to the Elbo hollower that clamps on the tailstock quill. I had considered that but I have two banjos so I used them both like I did with the Jamieson loop arm system.

You sure did a nice job for little money. It is great to have the metal working capability to go along with it. I like that curved tool bit holder for getting inside the shoulder of the piece.

Cheers, Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View toyguy's profile


1758 posts in 4962 days

#7 posted 12-19-2018 01:55 PM

well done. great idea.

-- Brian, Ontario Canada,

View doubleDD's profile


10442 posts in 3168 days

#8 posted 12-19-2018 02:13 PM

Very innovative. This looks like something that anyone can accomplish. Well done.
Thanks for the great video.

-- Dave, Downers Grove, Il. -------- When you run out of ideas, start building your dreams.

View Ivan's profile


16853 posts in 3992 days

#9 posted 12-19-2018 04:22 PM

WOW! Great looking tool! Very sofisticated! I bet bowls will turn even better from now.

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

View Roman - THE BOOTMAN's profile


1073 posts in 3811 days

#10 posted 12-19-2018 05:03 PM

It’s that clean, fresh Hazelton, BC mountain air that makes you invent those wonderful woodworking tools, Brian. Enjoyed the presentation!
For all the American and also the Canadian LJer wanderers, when planning a visit to Alaska, you will drive right past Brian’s place on your pilgrimmage. I used to work in the neighbouring town of Smithers and had a lot of clients in the Hazeltons, Kispiox, Kitwanga and Terrace areas! It is extremely beautiful country where Brian lives.

Merry Christmas Brian.

Looking forward to your next post.
The Bootman!

-- Author of POWER CARVING BOOTS & SHOES - Schiffer Publishing. Available online or your favourite bookstore.

View ralbuck's profile


6745 posts in 3391 days

#11 posted 12-19-2018 05:17 PM

BRIAN: we have come to expect the UNEXPECTED and very well done projects from you!

Just your usual great job.

Better apply for the patent!

-- Wood rescue is good for the environment and me! just rjR

View ZAGREB's profile


1276 posts in 2774 days

#12 posted 12-19-2018 10:03 PM

very clever and useful tool you made

-- bambi

View Grumpy's profile


26812 posts in 4976 days

#13 posted 12-19-2018 11:26 PM

That is one serious jig. Well done.

-- Grumpy - "Always look on the bright side of life"- Monty Python

View Vince's profile


1291 posts in 4554 days

#14 posted 12-20-2018 02:00 AM

Great job

-- Vince

View Julian's profile


1637 posts in 3815 days

#15 posted 12-20-2018 02:37 AM

That’s a great hollowing tool. I made one out of steel and aluminum that mounts to my lathe bed. Thanks for sharing.

-- Julian

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