Any experience with Hilton hook tools?

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Any experience with Hilton hook tools?

Postby Spokeshave » Sun Apr 13, 2008 5:10 am

Does anyone have any experience with these hook tools http://www.hiltonhandcraft.com/woodturningtoolsaccessories.asp made by Andrew Hilton? I see there is an old posting from him, but I don't see any other mention of them in any posting.

Thanks,

Dale Lucas
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Postby robin wood » Sun Apr 13, 2008 8:04 am

no experience of this tool but I have used a great many hooks of different profiles over the years so can often judge by looking. The tool the link went to is what I call a hook knife rather than a turning tool, designed for hollowing spoons or cleaning off the last bit of a turning not use on the lathe. It looks a reasonable profile though if you want one of these in the US I would recomend Del Stubbs knives at www.ponewoodforge.com superb tools.
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Postby Andrew Hilton » Sun Apr 13, 2008 1:19 pm

Look further down that page, Robin. There are woodturning hook tools (modern and traditional) listed as well as the "turners knife" at the top. By the way, Del's webpage should be http://www.pinewoodforge.com. And he does make very fine carving tools. Great guy, turner and exceptional carver.

I encourage every turner to learn how to make their own hook tools (taught 8 turners a couple of weeks ago). The equipment to make them can be quite minimal. While it takes a bit of experience to get the profile and compound angles just right, it certainly helps to be able to make or modify a tool when needed.

Please don't let this post scare away any (good or especially bad) replies to Spokeshaves' question. I found a link to this thread this morning in my webservers log and thought I'd check it out.
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Postby robin wood » Sun Apr 13, 2008 3:10 pm

Hi Andrew, sorry I have now scrolled down and found the hook tools for turning. They look interesting and from what I can see in the pictures as good as anything on the market.

One concern I would have is over the diameter of the stock material. I personally prefer 5/8" or 3/4" for use on the pole lathe since the tool is used a long way over the tool rest and thinner shafts flex. !/2" is just about OK if you keep the rest as close as you can but I would think of 3/8" only for goblets.

Very good price though with the current US$ exchange rate I would be interested if anyone over here has got one to see one in the flesh or have a play on the lathe with it.

Robin
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Postby Andrew Hilton » Sun Apr 13, 2008 5:24 pm

Promising to try not make this a commercialized post ...

As any custom tool maker would do, we will make a tool to the customers' desires (as long as it's safe) and larger shafts aren't a problem. However, we've only had 6 requests for 5/8" diameter and none for 3/4". I made a 3/4" diameter hook tool early on and decided that that was just too heavy to work with all day long. Others may not have a problem with that. It just sits in the corner now. I use my 5/8" tools but really only for the larger/deeper turnings, when (as you say) we have to reach way over the tool support or poppet.

For anyone out there looking to buy a hook tool, especially for manual lathe work, I do suggest finding someone locally or at least close-by to make it for you. There is a tremendous amount of "fiddling" or tweaking to get the tool to work the best for you and what turning you are doing. That's why I recommend, if you're very serious about using hook tools a lot, learning to make your own. Very slight changes to several angles in that hook make a world of difference. A blacksmith or general tool-maker can make it, but if they haven't good experience in using a hook tool, then you're likely to just get a rod with a hook on the end suitable for grabbing things. :D

With that said, I'm sure that the any of the traditional hook tool makers, wherever they are, will supply you with a suitable and good tool. It's just that it is very difficult (and expensive) to tweak it long-distance.

Ahh, yes. The US dollar these days. What fun. ha!
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