Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Simple segmented bowl.

Hi all.
I have just made this simple segmented bowl.
I think it looks quite good i will show you how it is done.
I am teaching tomorrow and Saturday but i will try and fit it in.

To make this bowl i used approx 6' off 12" x 1" yellow pine board available from most builders merchants
that supply timber.
It is made up from 12 pieces end grain and 3 pieces long grain 3 1/2" thick .
This piece could be made with nothing more than a bandsaw and some clamps if that is all you had.
I started off by cutting 12 pieces from the end of the board with my sliding chop saw.

Because yellow pine is so fast growing the growth rings are very big and the board has
only been through a planner at the mill I like to sand it so that I get a nice surface for gluing.
I have done this on a belt sander simply because i have one but there is no reason why this could not be done by hand.
I have used PVA glue at this stage because i am in no hurry and will be leaving the glued up block over night.

The one thing you cannot get away with is decent clamps this is essential if you are going to get tight joints.
I clamp up as tight as i possibly can and have made a lot of segmented bowls and never had one fly apart."Touch wood"
My brother Chris makes segmented bowls without clamps by using his large woodworkers vise.
Not many of us have a vise that opens that wide but i suppose if you were going to make a lot of segmented work it might be worth considering.

You cannot skimp on the glue when you do segmented work or you could end up with dry areas and the problems of your work coming apart on the lathe.
After gluing up this block needs cutting into three equal parts ready for the three slices of long grain to be glued in.
I found that it was about a 1/4" too thick for the chop saw.
Just to see how good a cut I would get I took a thin slice off one side with my bandsaw and a 1" blade.
I was not really happy with the finish.
It would have been Ok if I was prepared to do a lot of sanding.
I have a bench saw that is capable of cutting this thickness but I have to move it out and put the sliding table on and i could not be bothered.
So not happy with this and cannot be bothered to sort out the table
saw I put plat C into practise.
A quick phone call to my mate Richard Fairbrother http://www.richardfairbrother.com/.
Richard has the best equipped workshop I have ever seen and makes the most beautiful Bespoke furniture.
Anyway he said he would be happy to do the cutting up for me.
First he run it over his planner so that it would sit nice and flat on the table saw.
Then he cut it into the three equal sections.
Thank you Richard.

I wanted to get on and get this finished now as I had other things to do so i thought i would give Gorilla glue a go to speed things up.
I  have never used gorilla glue before ,it said on the can 1/2"hour clamping time so i clamped it up for an hour to be on the safe side.
I am well impressed it was easy to use and after an hour it was cured and ready to use.

When you do this it is very important that you mark out your circle from the dead centre or when you have turned your bowl the two ends will look different.
Now we have a solid blank 12" diameter 3 1/2" thick ready to turn.
Because this is mostly end grain it is not easy to turn and requires very sharp tools and small cuts but I think the end result is worth it.

Not a bad result.
If you have any questions please use the comments below
and I will do my best to answer.


  1. Hi G,

    This is a beautiful piece.

    Unusual to see you turning a segmented piece but if this is what you can do then I am looking forward to more.

    Can't wait to read about how you did it. Your blog is very informative and I'm learning a lot about turning and you too.



  2. Hello Lee.

    I have done a lot of segmented works in the past but most of takes so much time it is not financially viable.
    I will see if i can sort out some pics of my segmented works.

  3. Hi George

    Have not been into your blog for a while as I have been busy.

    really like this segmented bowl. Not normally into segmented work but the pine is very effective.

  4. Yes it is very easy and very effective

  5. You would have to cut it into four equal segments to insert the three long grain spacers.??
    Maybe you could change the instructions before too many people ruin the job by cutting it into three segments.

  6. Hi Steve thank you for commenting I think anybody could see from the pictures that it has to be cut into 4 equal segments.If not your comment will point them in the right direction