Jimmy Clewes Mate Hollowing Tools


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NEW – IMPROVED DESIGN! Please see the videos in the product description field below for more information

Designed by Jimmy Clewes, the New Mate #1 and Mate #2 is an extremely versatile, user friendly, value for money, hollowing/cutting tool.

These tools do not scrape they CUT! And, with a lot of control due to the design and angle of the cutter on each tool.

Mate #1 has a small 6mm cup cutter (micro crystalline carbide cutters sharpened with diamonds). Set in a machined pocket at approximately 22 degrees, this allows for a more user-friendly, less aggressive cut which is great for confidence building.

The tool is supplied unhandled. You can make your own handle, which I recommend as you can make it to your specifications, or you could purchase one of the many on the market. Make the handle longer rather than shorter and I would recommend at least 18 inches in length.

Both Mate #1 and Mate #2 will cut wet wood, dry wood, long grain or end grain with ease. The cutter is positioned so that the cut is limited to the depth that the cutter is protruding from the main tool shank. This greatly reduces the chance of those huge catches that can be experienced with “self-feeding” scrapers. The learning curve of my tools is really quite small.

In the right situation, a scaper is a really useful tool; however, in a lot of cases, beginners tend to lean towards a scraper as it needs very little training. In fact, any “Tom, Dick or Harry” can scrape!

The disadvantages of scraping on less dense woods can be a heavier, ore resistant removal of the wood, extremely rough end-grain, more sanding, and with excessive pressure, the risk of the scraper catching on a knot or void and “exploding” the piece. When cutting wood, there is less resistance to the cut, more control and a much better finished surface on the wood.

I will not make the statement that these are the only tools you will ever need. That is not the case, but I feel these tools effectively bridge the gap between scaping and the gouge-style tools which have to be learned. In some cases, my tool will execute cuts that even with conventional tools are difficult or impossible to do, and scraping would be a huge disadvantage as mentioned previously. The other huge advantage is that these tools will generally give the beginner much safer results than scraping.

Remember, woodturning has developed so much in the last 30 years. We have access to more woods from around the world, some of which are like cutting concrete! I am sure if the woodturners of yore were turning “desert ironwood” or dry “jarra burl” they would have developed an effective tool to work these. Woodturing is more of a hobby nowadays. One other thing — most of us took up woodturning to enjoy it — and I believe you should do just that whichever way you approach it. This tool will do that for ALL levels of ability.

Features and Benefits

  • No Grinding of the tool
  • No Lapping of the tool
  • Each new cutter is sharpened and ready for use
  • Cutter life far greater than HSS (25 to 30 times)
  • Manufactured in the USA
  • Aluminum oxide coating on bar to prevent rust
  • New cutters, torque screws and wrenches readily available and reasonably priced

Mate #2 has an 8mm cup cutter (micro crystalline carbide sharpened with diamonds) set in a machined pocket at approximately 32 degrees.

The Mate #2 will basically do everything the Mate #1 does with the exception that with the larger diameter on the cutter, with a light touch, it will give an amazing finish on the surface.

Care and maintenance instructions included with the tool.

New! Mega mate

I have been asked by many turners to produce a Tool like the Mate #1 and #2 but one which has the stability and capability to hollow deeper vessels.

The NEW MEGA MATE #2 is the same basic design but a much larger tool than the Mate #1 or #2 with a lot more integrity !

The bar is 5/8 square section , with a turned round 5/8 tang. ( Look at the Diagram and info below )Beautifully machined with a chemical black glossy finish to the bar. The tool will fit directly into a 5/8 Quick release unit or into any of the many available handles with set screws with a 5/8 hole.It features an 8mm cutter allowing rapid removal of wood with great control.

The bar including tang is 11 ½ inches long allowing the turner to hollow deeper.

As with the Mate# 1 and #2 the cutter this tool can be used to hollow end grain , long grain , wet or dry wood and will resist “self- feeding “ unlike traditional scrapers.

Ideal for hollowing deeper Bowls!

A turning tool is just a cantilever beam extending out from the tool rest. What you want is the very least deflection that you can get. The situation looks something like this drawing. And, the deflection, d, is given by the equation above in the drawing. F and L are in the numerator, so deflection increases when either one increases. W and D are in the denominator, so deflection decreases when either one increases. One important aspect of the deflection is that it increases as the cube of the
overhang, L. That, of course, is why one tries to minimize the overhand. Doubling the overhand increases the deflection by 8 times! Another point is that the width, w, effects the deflection only directly, and not as some power of w. So, making a tool, say a scraper, twice as wide only serves to reduce the deflection by a factor of 2.

BUT the depth, D, of the beam is in the equation as the cube. So, if D is doubled, the deflection is reduced by a factor of 8 (2 cubed = 8)! This is the situation with my new “Mega Mate Tool “. This relationship between width, depth and deflection demonstrates why making a scraper thicker is much more effective for reducing deflection than making it wider.

E in the equation is a property of the material called Young’s Modulus. In this case, all the tools are steel so E is constant. But, if you were, say, to make the tool out of aluminum (or aluminium), which has a value of E that is only one third that of steel, then the deflection would triple for the same tool shape! And, aluminium ‘might’ not hold an edge too well!


— NEW! Mega Mate $165
— Mate #1 $145
— Mate #2 $145
— Mate #1 Undercut Tool, allows you to undercut even more than the original mate $145
— Mate #2 Undercut Tool $145

Jimmy Clewes products are available Internationally at the following overseas distributors:

Pat Carroll Woodturning

Donaustr. 51
94526 Metten
Tel.: +49 (0)991 – 91 09 103
Fax: +49 (0)991 – 91 09 8875



  1. John Roemer (verified owner)

    Just used my Mega Mate for the first time. Very impressed with how it cuts – clean and fast. No learning curve. Finished a nice enclosed bowl with great results. Highly recommend this tool.. I planned to expand on this tool line.

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