A Salad Bowl set of maple & walnut #1: The Cutting and Assembly of Staves

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Blog entry by Bob Simmons posted 06-11-2010 11:11 PM 3657 reads 1 time favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of A Salad Bowl set of maple & walnut series Part 2: A Salad Bowl set of maple & walnut #2 »

As you can see my first maple segment is cut. The dimensioning of the material  has been taken care of and the compound mitresaw has the necessary angle. I use a Wixey digital gauge to ensure the accuracy of the sawblades’s angle. The stop-block on the right is clamped into place to maintain a consistent width for the segment.  (Note:I always use scrap to test the accuracy of the segment’s angles. I do this by cutting 1/2 the amount of bowl segments and taping the outside perimeter and aligning the joints. If the angles are correct then the two outside angles will be completely flat on a solid surface as pictured below.)

Now it is a matter of taking the time to allow for each segment to be cut. There are 12 maple segments for each small dinner salad bowl and a total of six small bowls.  While I have the saw set in this position I will make all 72 maple segments for the smaller bowls and just to be safe I’ll make a few extras. One large tossing bowl will  be made later as well however, the widths of the segments will be greater and will require an adjustment of the stopblock.

The walnut spacer is just under an 1/8” and it is sanded flat, smooth, and parallel. It’s now ready to be ripped. The width is determined by measuring across the maple segment’s angle. For example if the thickness of the maple segment is 3/4” then the measurement across this angle will be somewhat greater then the 3/4” thickness. I set the tablesaw’s fence to this dimension and rip away.

Once the spacers are ripped it’s time to cut them to length. I find it easy enough to do by hand and sometimes it’s nice to take a break from the power tools.

Masking tape is quite useful in this operation. It’s on the opposite side of the segments pictured to the left. The tape is holding the alignment of the segments so that the walnut spacers can be sandwiched between the maple segments. So now, it’s time to add glue. I’m using Titebond 2 for this operation. Make sure you get enough glue in the joints! It’s a one-time shot.

Pictured above are glued segments that form two halves of a  bowl . For the moment masking tape and rubber bands apply enough force to allow for a bit of glue to set. This also gives me time to grab an adjustable metal hose clamp.

To the left is an example of the segments being tightened with the use of the adjustable band clamps. I use a socket driver on the drill to take up most of the slack and then I finalize it with the hand driver. You’ll notice a few shims under the circle of segments. Sometimes an adjustment is needed to maintain uniformity in the alignment of the segments. So now it’s just a matter of tapping here and there with the hammer. (The larger tossing bowl is pictured to the left.)

-- Bob Simmons, Las Vegas, NV,

7 comments so far

View tyskkvinna's profile


1310 posts in 3010 days

#1 posted 06-11-2010 11:20 PM

very clever! I would not have thought of using hose clamps for this application.

-- Lis - Michigan - -

View a1Jim's profile


117115 posts in 3601 days

#2 posted 06-11-2010 11:22 PM

Very cool Bob fantastic blog.
Not sure about ripping by hand , you’ve got to be better at it than I am.
Look forward to more installments.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View Bob Simmons's profile

Bob Simmons

505 posts in 3038 days

#3 posted 06-11-2010 11:58 PM

Lis…The hose clamps work very well to tightnen the joints. The key is making sure that the angles of the stave are accurate. Once you are confident of the angles accuracy it’s just a matter of adding the walnut spacers and glue.

Jim…When I do rip on the tablesaw I make sure that there is no space between the table and the fence so that the thin piece cannot stray. Also, I make sure the piece cannot be lifted as the blade is spinning. This is very observant on your part. Safety first! It can just as easily be ripped on the bandsaw to get the same outcome. Thanks for your imput!

-- Bob Simmons, Las Vegas, NV,

View deeman's profile


379 posts in 3104 days

#4 posted 06-12-2010 02:03 AM

Very good blog. What blade do you use on the miter saw?

-- Dennis Trenton Ohio And life is worth the living just because He lives!

View Bob Simmons's profile

Bob Simmons

505 posts in 3038 days

#5 posted 06-12-2010 03:58 AM

Dennis…Excellent and very important question! I highly recommend the Forrest Chopmaster 10 inch 80 tooth ATBR Mitresaw blade. In my opinion it gives a very clean cut.

-- Bob Simmons, Las Vegas, NV,

View Mary Anne's profile

Mary Anne

1058 posts in 3232 days

#6 posted 06-12-2010 04:01 AM

Excellent idea for a blog. I have only made a few staved pieces and know I have a lot to learn.
Thanks for sharing your knowledge.

View Bob Simmons's profile

Bob Simmons

505 posts in 3038 days

#7 posted 06-12-2010 05:48 AM

Mary Anne …Thanks for your support!

To ensure you’re “dialed-in” it’s best to give it a trial run with mdf scrap or similar. It may take a little tweeking to get the mitre angles correct.

Once you get your equipment (mitresaw in this case) is set up in terms of accuracy, it is then just a matter of repetitive cutting. Then it’s smooth sailing.

-- Bob Simmons, Las Vegas, NV,

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