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Working Center, #1 Cygnet Hollower, and Adjustable Hollowers
Made by Hunter ToolsReview by Kurt Hertzog
At the AAW Symposium in Portland, I had a chance to pick up several new Hunter Tools. They may not be the absolute latest but they were new to me and I was anxious to try them out. They included the Working Center, #1 Cygnet Hollower, and the 3/8 & 1/2-inch shaft Adjusters.
The Working Center is exactly as it sounds. It is a long, 2 1/4", replacement tip for the Oneway Tailcenter. It matches the taper and replaces the existing tip.
Once installed, it extends the tip 1 3/4" beyond the end of the threaded nose. This allows for clearance all around the tailcenter as you work. The Hunter Working Center isn't sharply pointed, allowing the center to gently contact work to hold it in place. Even though rounded, soft materials and finished goods will do well to have a small piece of padding between the nose and the work. It fit perfectly into my Oneway tailcenter and I imagine any similar design, providing it uses the tapered pin.
My Robust tailcenters are a different design, using a straight pin with a flat for the set screw. This allows for extension adjustment as well as reversing the pin to bring the flat to bear on the work.
I'm sure you can imagine the applications of the Working Center giving you that extra space in and around things whether cutting, sanding, finishing, or artistic decoration. Well made and fully functional, if you are using your tailcenter and need some extra working room, the Working Center might be the answer to your needs.
#1 Cygnet Hollower
The #1 Cygnet Hollower is a bit different than most of the Hunter style tools.
Relatively short at 6" length overall, it is a flat shaft tapered over its length to the slight bend and twist down at the cutter. Daintier than most of the solid bar type tools typical of the Hunter family, this appears to be more for the finer touches. Make no mistake, it is a sturdy tool but it has the appearance of being more for finessing things.
All of Mike Hunter's tools are available with handles but I don't know that many people purchase them with them. Most either have their own favorite or use a quick-change type for the space savings.
The Cygnet tool shaft is only 1/4" thick but at the tang end it is 7/16" wide. As such, I needed to use one of my 1/2" diameter shaft tool handles.
Not a problem but it did take away some of the tool dexterity. That said, It worked flawlessly as I started a hole with it in a piece of cherry and proceeded to hollow the crude hollow form I started for the tool review.
One of the nice features of the flat shaft is the feeling on the tool rest. Little or no incentive to rotate, being quite easy to keep flat on the rest.
The cutter is in line with the shaft so there is little twisting movement in the tool.
It worked well in hollowing but as with most hollowing tools inline with the shaft, the undercut capability is limited.
Photo 8 - Once started, getting a hole to the desired depth was easy and the shaft could be easily marked as an aid.
Photo 9 - The tool still needs to be carefully inserted and removed from the opening in the turning.
You can easily cover the bottom but side walls are difficult if you want to work through a small opening. As it was designed and for the purposes intended, the Cygnet did a very nice job. I certainly will be fitting it with a more appropriate handle to take advantage of the small, precise cutting capabilities it offers.
If you hollow through larger openings, you'll probably have no issues with sidewall reach for smaller work. Undercutting will require a different tool. I can see a lot of use for the Cygnet in more open deeper forms. I think it will work great for contoured and rounded-profile lidded boxes as well as one of my hollowing tools for small hollow forms.
The 3/8" and 1/2" inch shaft Adjusters are adjustable angle hollowing tools.
Photo 11 - The 3/8" Adjuster is nearly 8" long with the tool straight and can have the cutter adjusted from about -80 to +80 degrees.
Photo 12 - The 1/2" Adjuster appears to be exactly the same in length and adjustment except for the stouter shaft.
Take the standard round shafted Hunter hollowing tool and put an adjustable angle swivel on the end. The angle of the cutter and a short length of shaft (about 5/8") are adjustable from straight on to a bit less than 90 degrees.
Most of us would want to pivot left to control the angle of the head for normal cutting. The tool will allow you to pivot and lock the head in any position from slightly less than 90 degrees left to slightly less than 90 degrees right. This right bend orientation will allow those desiring to turn in reverse to hollow using the cutter oriented that way. I don't see myself doing that but I guess you could if the mood struck you. The adjustment angle locking screw is the same Torx head size as the cutter mounting screw, so you only need one driver. The beauty of this adjustable head is you can do nearly everything with one tool.
Start out straight on to create the entrance hole and drill to depth. While straight, do some of the hollowing. As needed, retract the cutter and adjust the angle slightly.
Progressively hollow, adjusting the angle of the head as needed. Depending on the size of the entrance hole, you can do a fair amount of undercutting with the Adjuster tool.
Since both tools use the same cutter and have the same length of adjustment arm and angle, the only real difference between the two is the shaft size. Obviously the larger diameter shaft can reach a bit farther over the rest, provides a bit more strength which results in less vibration.
I used them both and enjoyed them very much. Like any cutter that extends off-axis, care must be taken to avoid catches or in taking too aggressive cuts.
Both tools performed admirably and hollowed well. The adjustment is easy and the tightening, while needing to be firm, doesn't need to be socked down. Snugged up well worked just fine for me.
Overall, I was very pleased with each of the Hunter tools I used. Each performed well at its intended task. The quality of the tools was flawless and functioning was as well. The Working Center certainly provides the needed space for those occasions demanding it. Depending on your needs for hollowing, I can recommend each of these hollowers for their intended purpose. I'm sure you'll enjoy having them available in your repertoire of tools. You can find Hunter Tools at all major retailers and at their website: http://huntertoolsystems.com/.
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