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Making a Swan Necked Hollowing Tool

Another one of those tools you wish you had but could not afford for the few times you would use it. Making it is another story, this one.

 sketch of shaft of homemade hollowing tool

I recently tried a few methods of making a swan neck hollowing tool. A while ago I had made one of 3/8" diameter, but I wanted one of 1/2" diameter to reduce chatter in vessels over 5" in depth. I began with a piece of 1/2" cold rolled steel and prepared a sketch of the desired tool. The first couple of inches I wanted straight to facilitate the drilling of a hole for the cutting tip. I also planned to have the tip in line with the center line of the handle.

make a mold for the steel rod

The sketch was transferred to a block of maple and cut out on the bandsaw to make a mold for the steel rod..

 trying to bend the tool shaft in a vise

I dropped it into my bench vise and squeezed it into the form. The vise was easily repaired. There is a lot of pressure required for a cold bend like this.

 making a hydraulic press for the shaft

As I had a six ton hydraulic jack on hand I decided to try it with a home made press. So far the budget was really nothing except the length of rod. I splurged on a length of 3/4" all thread and some nuts and washers. I had some square steel tubing on hand but I could have used galvanized pipe and later used it for pipe clamps or for tool handles. The make up of the press is pretty self explanatory from the pictures.

the jack is slowly raised for the first bend

In goes the steel and the jack is slowly raised for the first bend.

second bend is accomplished

Some careful positioning and the second bend is accomplished.

a bit of tweaking was needed for the hollowing tool

Then I checked it with my sketch and realized a bit of tweaking was needed. I decided to bend it a bit at the point where the arrow directs.

 ready for the pressing

I fiddled a bit with the blocks first to make them easier to handle and was ready to go.

 hollowing tool shaft with the needed bends

Now that looks much better.