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October 23, 2017

Segmented Woodturning…a new Fruit Bowl

Segmented woodturning...2 halves of a wooden Fruit bowl
Segmented turning…a fruit bowl being made.

Segmented Woodturning

Segmented woodturning is a woodworking craft that was introduced to me about 3 1/2 years ago. It was at this time that I came upon a woodworking magazine in a bookstore that made a positive impact on me and my woodworking. On the cover of this magazine was a unique segmented woodturning sculpture by a very talented segmented woodturner, Malcom Tibbets. Immediately, I knew that I was seeing something in the woodworking craft that I had not seen before. This was wood art that was quite extraordinary and it was easy to see that Malcolm was pushing the boundaries of woodturning. If you’d like to learn more about segmented woodturning you owe it to yourself the check out Malcolm’s great instructional book, “The Art of Segmented Wood Turning.”

 “The fool who persists in his folly will become wise.”

William Blake…English Romantic Poet (1757-1827)

 Now, I like challenges when it comes to woodworking because it is a good test of one’s skills. It is a challenge that allows the craftsman to broaden their abilities. A wood project that provides a challenge like this also requires inspiration and there’s always the risk of failure when learning something new. This was the time that I decided to sharpen my woodturning gouges and prepare myself to tackle segmented woodturning.

My first bowl of segmented  woodturning was a fruit bowl made of beautiful black walnut, cherry, and white oak. It measures 12 1/2″ in diameter and 4-1/2″ high. As I started making this wooden bowl I realized the critical importance of getting the angles of the saw blade right for accurate compound miters. There are 12 staves for this wood bowl and the angles have to meet dead-on for the bowl to be made successfully. I created more of a challenge for myself by adding vertical spacers of white oak in between the mitered staves for this wooden bowl. Before long there would be other segmented bowls to follow.

Segmented Woodturning - Fruit Bowl
Miter joints being cut on a compound miter saw.

Before I cut the staves for segmented woodturning, I always practiced making the angled cuts on the 10″ compound miter saw.  Scrap MDF was used to see if the miter angles were now in fact accurate. This took a little time and patience to get it just right. Eventually, I got six staves to form the walls of half of a bowl. All miters matched up fine, but the two outsides angles were not quite flat when laid on the surface of the table saw. They were close, but just slightly off. However, I figured that I could sand the outside angles to have the remaining joints meet properly. (After this experience, I started using Wixey digital angle gauge and Wixey digital protractor to set the angle of saw blades when cutting compound miters.)

Segmented Woodturnings - a Fruit Bowl
Segmanted woodturning…sanding the miter of a fruit Bowl.

As a wood turner I look back on this segmented woodturning project and remember this moment of learning this woodcraft. Handmade bowls are fun and creative. Moreover, the making of these segmented bowls requires total attention to detail along with a commitment to accuracy from start to finish. As I look back I know that I have gained experience from taking on this challenge of wood lathe work. Between that time and now other woodworking challenges have been created as well to add to my level of skills. However, when you look back at a breakthrough wood project you come to understand who you are as a woodworker just a little bit better. For me, growth can only happen if there is a challenge and the challenge is always easier to take on when there is inspiration.

 

Watch Segmented Woodturning Videos:

Segmented Woodturning a 9″ x 12″  Vase

Segmented Woodturning a Fruit Bowl – Part 1

Segmented Woodturning a Fruit Bowl – Part 2

 



 

Wood Lathe Accessories

Oneway Talon Chuck System

Oneway Live Center

Wolverine Vari-Grind Attachment

Oneway Wolverine Grinding Jig

Mini Jumbo Jaws for ONEWAY Talon Chuck

Sorby Standard Turning Tool Set, 6 Pieces

The Apprentice and The Journeyman University

Let’s Build a Jewelry Box…Part 5…Woodturning

Woodturning a Handle for a Jewelry Box

This woodworking online episode is part of the Let’s Build Series

Woodworking Tips and Techniques:

1.) Using cyanoacrylate glue for a quick glue-up…along with a spray accelerator.
2.) Turning wood using a spindle gouge with a fingernail grind.

Koa Jewelry Box - Woodturning the KnobIn this episode we continue with our woodturning project, a Koa wood veneer jewelry box. If you recall we started out this woodworking project with a small amount of Koa and our goal from the beginning was to test our woodworking skills to see how far we can maximize the amount of wood we have available to us. Our focus throughout has been on accuracy.

“Continuous effort- not strength or intelligence- is the key to unlocking our potential.
Sir Winston Churchill
1874-1965, Former British Prime Minister

The wooden veneered box is already made. The lid is beveled and trimmed to size to fit on the box so now we need a handle for the lid. At this point we have a decision to make about the design of the handle. Should it be long and arched? Should it be of Japanese influence? We are going to do something different. Why? One of the goals with this project is to exercise various learned woodworking skills. So far we have covered slicing wood veneer on the band saw and using the vacuum press as a clamp for laminating the veneer packets. We have also demonstrated the use of a number of table saw sleds which include the dedicated miter sled, the flat board miter sled, and the cross cut sled. Also we have made use of the sacrificial fence for the table saw when we used the dado blades to cut the rabbets. On top of that we have also beveled the lid with the aid of a shopmade tenoning jig. So, we are going to move forward and head over to the woodworking lathe to woodturn a handle out of Koa wood for the jewelry box lid.

Versatility is key when building fine woodworking projects and many times it helps to know how to get results using different methods. We have a small amount of Koa remaining so we are going to use glue to laminate pieces of wood into a turning blank. Typically, we will use yellow glue and let the glue-up cure overnight. However, in this case we are moving full speed ahead. Since it is about 103 degrees in the desert today we are going to use cyanoacrylate glue to laminate the Koa for the woodturning blank. Along with the glue we are using a spray accelerator for a faster cure. (Obviously, be very care when using a super glue like this. Do not let it get on your skin or in your eyes!)

Laminating three wood blocks for a Koa Jewelry Box Knob - WoodturningAfter we cut three pieces of 5/8″ thick Koa we head to the woodworking bench where we bond the woodturning blank together. When cured we then put fresh cuts on the end of the blank. We then find the centers of the blank and set the drive spur. From here it is just a matter of setting up the blank on the wood lathe between the drive spur and the live center. Now it is time for wood turning.

The woodturning tools used for this wood project are the roughing gouge, the diamond parting tool, and a spindle gouge that has a fingernail grind. Note: (You will notice in the woodworking video that the fingernail grind has a unique angle. The reason for this angle is to allow for a wider range of cutting action.On the other hand a typical spindle gouge has a conventional grind. If a woodturner is going to use a spindle gouge with a fingernail grind then it is commonsense that the wood turner will need to know how to recreate this angle at the grinding wheel at the bench grinder when the tool dulls. Some manufacturers of lathe gouges market expensive signature gouges that come with a fingernail grind. Chances are you will need to sharpen the tool before you start turning on the lathe so keep this in mind when purchasing. One way or the other you will need to know how to grind the tool. You can get the same cutting results by just learning how to produce a fingernail grind on a spindle gouge that came with a conventional grind. Chances are you will save some money as well.)

Koa Jewelry Box with Knob - Woodturning  on wood latheThe woodturning video pretty well speaks for itself. You will see how a tenon is made and you will notice how the tenon held in the lathe chuck for the turning of the handle. Once the handle is shaped we begin sanding as the lathe is turning. We move up in sandpaper grits as we go and then finally we burnish the Koa handle with the wood shavings. So, now that we have learned how to woodturn a handle for the koa wood jewelry box, we will focus on joinery in the next posting.

 

More Woodturning Videos:

Segmented Woodturning a 9″ x 12″  Vase

Segmented Woodturning a Fruit Bowl – Part 1

Segmented Woodturning a Fruit Bowl – Part 2

 


The Apprentice and The Journeyman University

Segmented Woodturning…Fruit Bowl…part 2

Segmented Woodturning…Fruit Bowl

This is segmented woodturning episode – part 2.
Be sure to watch the how to woodturning video: Wood Turning…a Segmented Fruit Bowl…part 1.

Segmented woodturning - Fruit bowl This sequel continues our study to learn of one of the great woodworking crafts, segmented woodturning. In this woodworking video our focus shifts to learn how to woodturn the segmented fruit bowl. We will also be sanding and finishing the fruit bowl that contains 24 segments of which there are 12 staves of light walnut and 12 vertical spacers of dark walnut. Beautiful ribboned mahogany wood is used for the base.

 

Segmented woodturning - Fruit bowl - Taping and gluing the jointsAfter the yellow glue has set-up it is time to remove the masking tape and packing tape from the segmented bowl. (In a fine woodworking project like this it is imperative that all of the wood joints are tight and free of gaps.) It is now time to start turning wood. We begin by mounting the bowl and leveling the bottom of the wall section . Taking the diamond parting tool we will create an interior mortise that will accept the tenon of the mahogany base.

 

Segmented woodturning - Fruit bowl - Mortising the baseNext we will determine the base size.To do this we will measure the outside diameter and the mortise diameter of the bowls sidewalls. From here we will rough cut the base at the band saw allowing for a slightly larger diameter.

After the base is cut on the bandsaw we will mount the base on the wood lathe so that we can turn the tenon to fit the mortise. Again, the diamond parting tool is used to cut the tenon and a dial caliper will gauge the tenon length needed.

Segmented Woodturning - Clamping the Fruit bowlWith the base mounted on the woodturning lathe we will take the segmented assembly and fit the mortise and tenon together. When we have a good fit we will then proceed with the glue-up of the two parts of our segmented woodturning.

After the glue-up dries and the bowl structure is complete it is time for turning wood and shaping the bowl. The segmented woodturning video reveals a spindle gouge with a fingernail grind for much of the interior and exterior wood turning. Other lathe gouges used for this sequence of wood turning include the following: A roughing gouge is used to remove the waste from the base exterior. Also, you will notice round and straight scraper gouges used on occasions as well.

Segmented Woodturning - Fruit bowl on the wood latheAfter the wood turner is finished turning the fruit bowl he will then switch to sandpaper to remove any marks left by the gouge. The wood turner changes to a finer sandpaper grit as he proceeds. Typically, he will take sandpaper sheets and tear then into quarters. He will then tri-fold a quarter sheet and sand with that as the wooden bowl spins on the lathe. This fruit bowl was sanded to 220 grit sandpaper and then burnished with the wood shavings. To prepare the wood project for finishing the bowl was then wiped with a micro-fiber towel to remove any remaining dust. Our segmented woodturning is now ready for applying the protective finish.

The wood finish for the segmented fruit bowl started with an application of SealCoat and finished with three coats of satin Arm-R-Seal. This produced a nice and natural wood finish for the segmented woodturning.

Recommendations for beginning woodworkers: View the segmented woodturning video a multiple times to get a better feel for the procedures. Pay close attention to the different lathe chucks being used at various times to hold the wood. Notice the gouges being used and how they are being used. Be patient and take your time. Always practice safety around the wood lathe. Consider taking a wood turning class to become familiar with this woodcraft.

Enjoy more woodturning videos and woodturning projects!


Wood Lathe Accessories

Oneway Talon Chuck System

Oneway Live Center

Wolverine Vari-Grind Attachment

Oneway Wolverine Grinding Jig

Mini Jumbo Jaws for ONEWAY Talon Chuck

Sorby Standard Turning Tool Set, 6 Pieces

The Apprentice and The Journeyman University

 

Segmented Wood Turning – Fruit Bowl…part 1

Segmented Wood Turning



Setting the blade angle on the 10 inch compound miter saw blade - Segmented Wood Turning on a wood lathe

Segmented wood turning is an interesting and unique facet of the woodworking craft as you will see in part 1 of this woodworking video tutorial. We are back in the woodworking shop creating a custom wood project. Here, we learn how to woodturn a segmented fruit bowl. The wood we are using in this segmented wood turning is light walnut for the staves, dark walnut for the vertical spacers, and ribboned mahogany for the base. The segmented wood turning technique we are using for this wood project involves the use of 12 wood staves that we will cut on the 10 inch compound miter saw and also the 12 vertical spacers we will cut with a small fine toothed dovetail saw. In this woodworking tutorial we will focus on the accurate set-up of the of the compound miter saw using a Wixey digital angle gauge and a digital protractor. Once the saw is correctly set we will cut the wood staves. From there we will concentrate on fitting and gluing all segments together by using yellow glue and masking tape.

“A rule of thumb for a warrior is that he makes his decisions so carefully that nothing that may happen as a result of them can surprise him, much less drain his power.”
Carlos Castaneda…Peruvian born American anthropologist and author. (1925-1998)

Note: To ensure precision cutting of the stave segments a 10 inch Forrest Chopmaster saw blade was used on the compound miter saw.

A Staved segment for segmented wood turning on a wood lathe

Precision cutting of the wood staves is made possible by accurately adjusting the miter saw blade with a digital angle gauge. Accuracy is a must for segmented wood turning and shop accessories such as the angle gauge and a digital protractor are essential.

This episode is part of the Let’s Build Series

Click to learn more about Segmented Woodturning

Learn more about the Wood Lathe and Segmented Wood Turning!
Wood Turning articles, Tutorials, and Segmented Wood Turning videos!



 

The Apprentice and The Journeyman University

9 1/2″ x 12″ Vase…Segmented Woodturning

Segmented Woodturning a Tall Vase

Segmented woodturning on a wood lathe evokes a curiosity in woodworkers. Generally speaking, when a woodworker first views a segmented bowl or a tall decorative vase he or she will ask the question, “How did they do that?” Often times segmented pieces have various patterns that are simply beautiful to look at and yet puzzling to figure out as to how they were constructed. While it is apparent that woodturning tools and a wood lathe were used to shape the woodturnings, what is not entirely clear is how the segments and rings are glued and fitted together to form this wood art. How can all these pieces be accurately organized and well joined? That is the beauty of this wood craft!
Vase of Segmented Woodturning
The woodworking techniques used for segmented woodturning are essentially basic and yet evolved. To begin with a segmented woodturner will need a design to follow. Thankfully, today there is very good woodturning software available that makes the design factor a relatively simple procedure. Keep in mind tho that complex designs can also be performed with the software. Once you have created a design you can print it out along with a cutting list. The list will show you the angles and dimensions for the segments as well as the number of segments needed to complete each ring. In essence, the math part is taken care of for you.

From this point it is a matter of dimension the woods, cutting, gluing and assembling, and then turning your piece. The actual woodturning may actually be about 10% of the process.

So, if you are looking for some good woodworking ideas why not give segmented woodturning a try. Consider starting with a basic platter or perhaps a bowl. Get a feel for it and before long you will be advancing your skill level and in time people just may ask you, “How did you do that?”


The Apprentice and The Journeyman University

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