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Segmented Wood Turning…a Cherry and Walnut Bowl

Segmented Wood Turning


Segmented wood turning is a unique craft and for some reason this 2-1/2″ x 9″ fruit bowl of cherry and walnut is one of my favorite segmented bowls turned on the wood lathe. It’s as if this segmented woodturning has claimed me and I’ve become rather fond of it. There are other bowls that I’ve turned on the wood lathe that are more complex and more challenging. However, this wood bowl has won me over. Perhaps, it’s the simplicity of the wood design and the contrast between the cherry and walnut. Maybe it is just the simple shape of the bowl that pleases. Anyway, there is just a warm feeling about this wood project with 11 staves and vertical spacers. It was a satisfying and enjoyable time designing, cutting, assembling, and turning this arts and crafts project.

“Learning never exhausts the mind.”
Leanardo da Vinci…Painter, sculptor, engineer, inventor, etc. (1452-1519)

Segmented wood turning project on a wood lathe chuck

The wood art of segmented wood turning is captivating as 90% of the work is spent in designing, dimensioning material, cutting, fitting, and gluing. Once the wood turner mounts the wood project to the lathe chuck it’s just a matter of selecting the wood turning gouges for shaping, carefully sanding, and then applying the wood finish. The entire woodturning process is fascinating yet it is critically important to get all of the joints aligning properly for a good tight fit. This requires patience and concentration. It either make it or break it time as there is no in between or margin for error at this point.
Segmented wood turning - Chuck for wood Lathe

A wooden bowl ready for turning on a lathe - segmented wood turning

Part of the fun of this wood craft is the strategy used in mounting and turning the wood projects. There’s also the craftman’s choice of wood turning tools to use for cutting and shaping. The process of segmented wood turning is almost like playing chess where it helps to think a couple moves ahead.

Lathe tools shape the wood fruit bowl - segmented wood turning

Part of the beauty of handmade bowls such as this one is the joinery that you don’t see. There is a mortise and tenon joint where the base is let into the staved walls.

An arts and crafts fruit bowl of segmented wood turning

Segmented wood turning - fruit bowl awaits the varnish

The cherry will deepen in color as time goes by and the fruit bowl will develop a nice, warm patina. Yet, something tells me that my appreciation of this simple wooden bowl and the time spent turning the wood project on my wood lathe will deepen as well. So, give segmented wood turning a try. It just may grow on you.

Learn more about Segmented Wood Turning

The Apprentice and The Journeyman University

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