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Hollowing Tools

In addition to the specialist hollowing tools such as the Munro Hollowing System, the Hamlet Big Brother series (not to mention his Little Sister) and the Crown Revolution system which we show elsewhere on the site, we offer the following tools from Sorby and Taylor.

In the course of the past few years, perhaps driven by the example of such masters as David Ellsworth, there has been a great surge of interest in the production of hollow forms and closed vessels of all kinds.  Usually with thin walls and always seemingly striving to amaze us with the smallness of the opening through which the hollowing is carried out.  The tool manufacturers have responded with their usual ingenuity to this interest and now Robert Sorby, in particular, offer a wide range of hollowing systems and tools as shown on this page.

Swan-necked Hollowing Tools:  First up for our consideration is a series of tools designed for hollowing smaller projects with small entrance openings.  With the exception of the 850H shallow hollowing tool (see right hand tool in illustration, below), these all feature replaceable HSS tips.  To overcome the difficulty of gauging wall thickness (thin-ness?) a range of wall thickness gauges are also available to fit these tools, providing an easy and accurate method of keeping track on your progress.  Sorby Hollowing Tools: L to R: 851H with 854H; 852H; 850H

For the dedicated hollow form enthusiast-to-be, there is a set available, 34HS - see illustration, which combines both the 14" hollowing tools with a boring tool and depth stop.  This avoids the embarrassment of making your first cut straight through the bottom of the blank.  Also included is a wall thickness gauge suitable for use with either of the hollowing tools.

Also available is a larger swan-necked tool from Robert Sorby with a 24" (610mm) overall length and a reach of 7" (175mm).  This takes either a bullet or ball-end (semi-circular) scraping tip, both of which are supplied with the tool.  And, for the miniaturists, there is the Micro Hollowing  set from Henry Taylor, designed by Chris Stott which comprises one straight, one bent and one swan-neck tool in 1/4" diameter HSS.  (Also see the RS230KT, below for an alternative approach to swan-neck tools)


*NB: Prices quoted in pounds sterling.
Value Added Tax will be added to invoices to EU residents unless
a valid VAT registration number is quoted when ordering.

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RS2000 Deep Hollowing System:  This is a long-term favourite of hollow-form aficionados, based on the developmental work of US turner Dennis Stewart, Sorby 2000 (Stewart) Hollowing System, complete.hence its alternative name The Stewart System. 

This tool is immensely rigid and versatile,  The full system includes not only the hollowing system but also the chattertool accessory.  The system also includes the 'slicer', a substantial tool similar to a parting tool, which is used to 'cone out' the centres from turning blanks.  A side handle can be attached to assist when working inside deep vessels.  The basic swan-necked hollowing tools can be augmented by an extension shank and for even greater resistance to turning forces an accessory arm brace is also available.  The tool carries either an HSS scraper blade which is excellent for finishing cuts or a choice of hollowing picks.  Truly magnificent tools of amazing versatility and strength, delivered in a fitted wooden case which also takes a pair of 7", 977 callipers in the lid.

Please note that the The Basic System, RS2001 listed below, excludes the chattertool. (Items RS215, RS220, RS221, RS215C, RS222) but is delivered in the fitted wooden case in common with the RS2000 full system.

The component parts of the system are available separately as spares etc., please e-mail your requirements.

To increase the versatility of this system yet further, Sorby produce an articulated head 'probe' hollowing tool,. RS213, to fit the RS2000 system.  This has a straight shank but the cutter head may be set and locked at any angle making, for instance, cutting back under vessel rims much simpler.  As standard this is supplied with the RS211C curved cutter, the RS212C side cutting cutter for rapid stock removal and the RS213C large teardrop cutter.  (For cutters see following sections of this page)


Straight Hollowing Tools:  Click for photo  Reflecting the ever-increasing interest in deep hollowing, these probes have been devised as off-the-shelf answers to the creation of suitable tools.  The range includes a 20 (500mm) straight probe (RS8801H); a 24" (610mm) straight probe (RS8802H); a 28" (700mm) articulated probe (RS8803H) and a 14" (350mm) articulated probe (RS213 for use with RS2000 system).  All may be used with the same range of cutters but, as standard the RS8801H is supplied with the 851C small general-purpose cutter; the RS8802H with a larger bullet cutter and a ball-end (semi-circular) cutter whilst the RS8803H utilises the RS211C* round-end cutter, the RS212C* side cutting cutter for rapid stock removal and the RS213C large teardrop cutter.

Click for photoThe more conventional may prefer the simplicity of the straight 3/8" (10mm) diameter hollowing tool HS161 designed by Chris Stott for Henry Taylor.  This has a 24" handle and a maximum reach of 12" and a slightly swan-necked end (see photo).


*See under RS200KT, below, for cutters RS211C and RS212C.  You may also find that the circular shear scraping cutter 826C on the special tools page works well as a hollowing tool for a finer finish (but don't say who told you!)

*NB: Prices quoted in pounds sterling.
Value Added Tax will be added to invoices to EU residents unless
a valid VAT registration number is quoted when ordering.

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 RS100/130/200/230KT Hollowing Tools & Shear Scrapers:  The RS130KT & RS230KT are ideal first hollowing tools for turners wishing to develop their hollowing skills.  The key to the tool's excetional ease of use is the stability created by having a flat underside to the generous shank, creating a superb feeling of stability in the toolrest.  The neck of the tool is curved into a swan-neck shape making those hard-to-reach areas under the shoulders of vessels a whole lot easier to reach.  The tools are supplied with both a round-end swivel tip and a scraper tip.

The RS200KT has already been mentioned on the special tools page under shear scrapers but since it also includes the hollowing pick, it should not be forgotten in its hollowing role, likewise the smaller RS100KT.  The swivel tips can be rotated to any angle and, with the tool held with the flat face on the rest, it provides a very stable platform for robust hollowing work.  The shear scraper tip can also be used as an internal finishing scraper by presenting it in the horizontal plane, as for a standard scraper, rather than obliquely as in shear scraping.


Sorby Ring ToolRing Tools Click for photo are the modern turner's derivative of the traditional hook tools which were much used in green turning on the pole lathe and which still find wide favour today among Scandinavian turners.   These modern closed ring tools are strictly for use in end grain hollowing and can grab heavily if used on cross-grain, as in faceplate turning.  They work well in wet wood and can give a very good finish on dry hardwoods.

A small conical aluminium oxide stone should be used to sharpen these tools on the inside only.  Do not attempt to grind the outside diameter.  A suitable stone (a "grinding point") is listed below.


*NB: Prices quoted in pounds sterling.
Value Added Tax will be added to invoices to EU residents unless
a valid VAT registration number is quoted when ordering.

Review Current Basket Contents 

Remember, if you need any further advice to find the best tool for your needs from this vast range, send an e-mail or call and we'll happily answer your queries and give our tool choice recommendations.  We're here to serve your needs.

1997-2009 P. Hemsley.  The information on this website is the copyright property of Peter Hemsley.  Coeur du Bois and The ToolPost are trading styles of Peter Hemsley.  Whilst reasonable efforts are made to ensure the accuracy of information presented, no liability can be accepted for errors in this information nor for contingencies arising therefrom.  If you are inexperienced in any aspect of woodworking, we would strongly counsel that you take a course of formal instruction before commencing to practice