Once the blank is mounted centrally I rough turn it into a cylinder using my trustly 1/2" bowl gouge that is kept for this purpose, which I have sharpened into a long grind profile. I could use a roughing gouge here but I am just very comfortable with a bowl gouge in my hands LOL!
As the blank was a little long for what I wanted I also parted in with a straight cut at the other end, made another dovetail on the produced piece so that it can be mounted in a chuck and the lid made from it(pic 3). The parting tool plunged in does tear the end grain a bit(at least when used as aggressively as I do..) but there was plenty of wood spare and the torn grain will be turned away in forming the shape anyway.
This cut stops leaving an inch or so of timber which is cut through using a saw.
Pic 4 shows the blank reversed and mounted in the chuck jaws with the removed end piece that will have the lid turned from it. I always use the tailstock for support while turning the outside of the form, it just ensures everything stays put!
The outside of the form is shaped using a 3/8" deep flute bowl gouge with a long grind. Its quite important to leave enough 'meat' at what will become the base to give the required strength and stability during the hollowing process, as obviously you don't want it to break off or vibrate when you are trying to hollow. To be honest I have got a bit carried away with this one and should have really left it a bit thicker to avoid the chance of vibration.
Pic 7 shows my home made captured bar style hollowing rig, its basically a few bits of old box section welded together with a cheap ebay laser pointer. It takes my Kelton hollowers and really takes the hassle out of hollowing. Although I can hollow with hand held tools I would much rather use this as I get to stand upright 'driving' it with my fingers and best of all the wall thickness is entirely visual by way of the laser, thus removing the need to constantly check and measure!!
At this point I remove the piece still mounted in the chuck and mount the small piece for the lid in a second chuck and turn the what will become the lid to the correct diameter. This is drilled (the hole can be seen in pic 9 and is where the finial/topper will be attached) and parted off, leaving it a couple of millimetres thicker than needed. I use a second chuck as I find it near impossible to get a piece to line back up perfectly true in a chuck after taking it out.
With the form and its chuck returned to the lathe the piece for the lid fitted (it must be a very snug/tight fit) I shape the lid and make any final adjustments to the top of the form. The hole in the lid can be used to wind a screw into for easy removal. With the lid removed I hollow out the rest of the vessel to the desired thickness ( with this piece its all about 5mm thick with the base about 15mm to give a bit of stability to the finished piece) Thickness isn't really an issue with wood as dry as this and as I intend to decorate it with the pyrography pen I don't want to go too thin
After hollowing I replace the lid and finish sand the top and sides of the form, I tend to go through the grits with 320 being the finishing grade.
At this point I also cut in any markings to be made on the form before removing it from the chuck. You can see in pic 10 I have made a band on the lid for texturing. This is cut in again with the ever useful point tool.
After removing the form from the chuck a cone shaped piece of timber is placed in the chuck and with a small piece of anti-slip matting to give it grip. The open end of the form is then placed over this cone and the tailstock is brought up with the revolving centre locating in the original dimple from the first between centres mounting that lines it all up perfectly. I then turn the the foot and remainder of the sides. I leave a fairly wide piece attached to the bottom at this point while I sand the sides to a finish. The reason for this is if you haven't sanded the sides to the final grade and the form starts to break free, you have a real problem(well more work/hassle) to get the piece finished.
After the sides are done I thin the piece in the tailstock right down as far as I dare making sure to leave the base slightly concave (ensures it doesn't wobble). Its then a case of cutting off the last bit with a sharp wood chisel and finish sanding the tiny bit of base by hand.