George Vondriska

Turning a Hollow Vessel

George Vondriska
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Duration:   23:48   mins

I recently checked out a new hollow vessel turning set from Easy Wood Tools . I had the chance to interview the folks from Easy Wood at AWFS, and later had a chance to try out their chisels.

What’s a Hollow Vessel?

Hollow vessels are a bowl turning project, but instead of a large bowl-type opening (picture a cereal bowl) the turner leaves the hole in the top as small as possible and hollows by reaching through the hole. It’s a challenging turning since the turner doing the cuts by feel more than sight.

Why special chisels?

Hollow vessels call for specialized chisels because of the small access allowed through the hole in the top of the vessel. The chisels need to provide the ability to reach around a corner. A set typically consists of a handful of chisels with progressively deeper reach.

The cutting tips

Easy Wood Tools’ lathe chisels are carbide tipped. What’s that all about? No sharpening. When the portion of carbide you’re using becomes dull, simply loosen a bolt and turn the carbide cutter to a new section of carbide. You’re back in business in seconds. When the whole cutter has been dulled, replace it with a new one. Easy.


The other thing Easy Wood introduced that’s fun is their Easy Wire Burning Kit; two wooden handles and variety of diameter and lengths of wires you can string between them, A cool way to add burned accents to your turning projects.

Turning hollow vessels is fun, and a very interesting lathe turning project. The challenge is getting the walls thin by feel and sound.

Outside of hollow vessels WWGOA has lots of lathe turning content that you can take advantage of. Spindles to bowls, there are lots of great projects you can make on the lathe.

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7 Responses to “Turning a Hollow Vessel”

    • Customer Service

      A traditional bowl gouge is limited in what it can do inside a hollow vessel because of the grind angle, as well as the inability to reach to the sides through a small opening. There are specialty tools for this application as George demonstrates in this video.

  1. Les722

    Would like to point out one thing. The standard cutters can be resharpened on a 1000 grit diamond stone and a few drops of water. The negative rake cutters can not be resharpened due to the original edge being a few thousands below the main body surface. They have to be replaced when dull. If you sharpen a negative rake cutter, eventually you will end up with a standard cutter.

    • Customer Service

      Hello. About 700- 800 RPM, but it is important to work within your comfort zone. If it feels too fast, it is.
      Paul-Woodworkers Guild of America

  2. Michael Kratky

    Glad to see that EZ Wood Tools is thriving again after their founder Craig Jackson sold the company to Pony/Jorgensen a couple years back that abruptly went bankrupt and left them with an uncertain future. I had an order in then for their innovative 4 jaw chuck that I love which took me months to finally get and didn’t know if parts or additional jaws would any longer be available.

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