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May 2010 Page 5

Mike Jackofsky’s Hollowing Class Duane Hill

I was fortunate enough to take the Mike Jackofsky Signature Class at Craft Supplies from April 19-23. This class was about learning how to make thin walled, hollow forms the way Mike Jackofsky does. This included using his tools. If you are not familiar with Mike Jackofsky, he specializes in making large, natural edge hollow forms, mostly out of maple burl. His pieces go up to about 20-24” in diameter. See the two pictures at the bottom of this article. He has developed a set of tools for hollowing which is sold only by Craft Supplies.

We had eight people in the class, see the picture above. Mike Jackofsky is in the front row, left side. Behind him is Paul Chilton, our assistant for this class. Both Paul and Mike were always around for questions and to assist if you were having problems. There were two people from Wisconsin, myself and one from Milwaukee. There were two people from California, two from Colorado, one from Utah and one from North Carolina. So we were a well travelled group.

Each member of the class turned between 6 and 10 projects in the five days of class. I ended up turning 8 projects, 4 or which to completion and 4 to near completion.

The first project was a small bowl, about 4-6” in diameter using bowl gouges, both on the outside and on the inside. The second pro- ject was doing another small bowl. This time the outside of the bowl was turned using bowl gouges and the inside was turned using hol- lowing tools. This proved to be a good way to get used to the hol- lowing tools. The third project was to close the hole, somewhat, so you got used to hollowing without looking inside. On each addi- tional project, we were encouraged to make the hole smaller and/or reduce the wall thickness, making each project a little more difficult. On Thursday, Mike had Craft Supplies bring in maple burl, similar to what he uses and we were to turn a natural edge hollow form. On Friday, you could finish up other pro- jects or continue hollow forms with smaller holes and/or thinner walls. The class did pretty good, as no- body went though the sides, though a couple came close, including myself. One person went through the bottom on a couple of pieces, but these were repaired with contrasting woods.

Mike’s process for creating a hollow form is as follows: One the top of the hollow form, drill a 1” diameter hole with a spade bit. With no bark, this should be about 1/8”-1/4” deep. With bark, the hole should penetrate the bark by a little more than 1/8”. Mark the center on the bottom part. Mike uses green wood for his projects. Place the piece between centers, using the 1” two prong drive center in the drilled hole and the tail stock on the marked bottom center. The pieces we were working on were all cross grain orientation. Tighten up the tail stock. Bring the piece to round with a bowl gouge. If the piece needs to be adjusted to highlight the grain, balance the top, etc, this can be done with the tail stock side. This is one reason for drilling the hole on the headstock side, it gives you the freedom to make adjustments. Make the adjustments and bring the piece to round again. Continued page 6.

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