The BCT HolloMate has been available through The ToolPost for approximately one year as part of the first stage of the BCT manufacturing transition. This was the last tool to enter the BCT line-up and embodies all of the development experience accrued by BCT up to the time of its release. The tool is intended as a first true hollowing tool for developing woodturners and uses the shielded ring style of cutter, almost universally adopted by the manufacturers of deep hollowing tools, optimised for working in end grain.
Unlike its peers, it has been designed to remove the major obstacles faced by those learning to use deep hollowing tools – primarily the tendency of the tool to rotate under the influence of the tip loads when the cutter tip is set in any other than the straight-ahead position. This is achieved by the incorporation of an adjustable side arm – a stabiliser – that completely eliminates the tendency of the tool to rotate. We have experienced many instances of turners using this tool successfully even after these same turners had given up hopes of ever using a deep hollowing tool after their experiences with other brands. The advantage in the learning environment is that the user can now separate the task of cut trajectory control – learning to move the tool in a suitable path within the vessel to develop an even wall thickness – from the task of hanging on to the tool as it tries to wrest itself out of the user’s hands. Once the user has experienced the ease with which the tool can be controlled, development as a hollow form turner proceeds rapidly.
Not that this is a tool only for practise pots: it is perfectly able to handle hollowing vessels up to approximately 6” (150 mm) in internal depth and can be introduced through an access aperture as small as ¾” (20 mm) diameter. With its very affordable price (well below that of other hollowing systems), simple set up and universal appeal, this tool has shown itself to be a very popular tool.