Hollowing with a camera system

Discussion in 'Jigs and Tools Forum' started by Brent Dalrymple, Feb 3, 2020.

  1. Brent Dalrymple

    Brent Dalrymple PRO Member

    A friend and fellow turner tipped me off that he had abandoned his laser hollowing system for one that uses a camera and a monitor. I did a bit of polking around on the web and found a nice video by Michael Gibson ("Hollowing with a Monitor") on Youtube. So, I took the plunge and bought an automobile backup camera with monitor ($60) and a 12V power supply ($20). I replaced the laser from my Monster Articulated Hollowing arm with the little backup camera and mounted the monitor directly on my Carter stabilizer. The idea is to trace the shape of the cutter directly on the screen with Dry Erase marking pens so that when the cutter disappears into the bowl interior the exact location of the cutter is still shown by the tracing. In the pictures I've included, the red arc indicates the desired wall thickness so when the arc gets to the edge of the bowl, you're there. I used this in hollowing my current bowl and it works very well--much better and more precise than the laser.

    Attached Files:

  2. mfisher

    mfisher Super Moderator Staff Member

    Thanks for sharing. I know a turner in our club who uses a hollowing tool w/ laser. Next time I see him I will share what you have set up.
  3. Frank Smith

    Frank Smith Member

    I've trying to figure out a good way to do this and I'm very intrigued by this solution. Can you give me some details on the camera and monitor you bought?

    Also, I'm not very happy with the hollowing system I bought. What are you using?
  4. Brent Dalrymple

    Brent Dalrymple PRO Member

    Screen Shot 2020-01-26 at 10.54.32 AM.png Screen Shot 2020-02-18 at 10.26.32 AM.png Screen Shot 2020-02-18 at 10.27.15 AM.png

    Hi Frank:

    The bottom image show the automobile backup system I am using. It includes both camera and monitor. The monitor is only 7" but where I have it mounted it is quite adequate and it has the virtue of being able to eliminate the backup lines that cannot be eliminated on some backup systems. You will also need a 120V ac to 12V DC converter (transformer) and the one I bought is shown in the middle photo. It has more capacity than needed, but better safe than sorry. The hookup is fairly straightforward. If you are going to mount the screen at a greater distance, say like on a wall behind your lathe, then a little security camera like shown in the top photo would work well and you could get a monitor of whatever size you need. All of these camera focus from about 4-6" to infinity, which is adequate for the purpose.

    I have an articulated hollowing system made by Monster Tools but they are out of business. There are, however, several other articulated hollowing systems on the market and probably any of them would work well. I didn't like the first (non-articulated) system I bought either so switched to the Monster. If you need more photos or info, let me know.
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2020 at 10:48 AM
  5. Frank Smith

    Frank Smith Member

    Thanks for the information Brent! I bought the Carter Roller system and maybe it's just me, but I struggle with it. I think an articulated system might work better for me. Both are pretty big investments when you don't know if you'll like them or not but whoever said wood turning was gonna be cheap!
  6. Brent Dalrymple

    Brent Dalrymple PRO Member

    I had one similar to the Carter (but a different brand) and found it heavy and difficult to maneuver. The articulated systems are virtually friction free and I find them easy to use (not that hollowing is ever "easy").
  7. Ken Sherwin

    Ken Sherwin New Member

    Making your own steadyrest is both easy and cheap. I have $7 in skate wheels and another $7 in knobs. Everything else came from the scrap bin.

    Attached Files:

  8. Brent Dalrymple

    Brent Dalrymple PRO Member

    I made one similar to yours years ago and it works well much of the time. It was inexpensive to make but it doesn't have the versatility of the Carter version, which is pretty expensive.

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