George Vondriska

Turning a Hollow Vessel

George Vondriska
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Duration:   23  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.

Share tips, start a discussion or ask one of our experts or other students a question.

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5 Responses to “Turning a Hollow Vessel”

  1. Alec

    To reach deeper areas can you use a bowl gouge on a hollow vessel?

  2. 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.

  3. Steve Von Bokern

    What speed were you running when doing the internal turning?

  4. 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.

  5. Jay

    Very nicely done, and that's a super-quiet lathe.

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