As The Lathe Turns #50: Still Learning

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Blog entry by William posted 09-22-2013 01:01 AM 1538 reads 2 times favorited 25 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 49: Slow Progress Part 50 of As The Lathe Turns series Part 51: Newest Antler Pen »

I mentioned some time back that I was going to try to get into segmented turnings. I have been reading and getting advice everywhere and anywhere I could on the subject, along with doing a lot of reading. I felt I was ready to start a simple bowl to see how it would go.
Things got off to a rocky start right from the beginning. While trying to make an eight piece segmented ring, I happen to discover that my Incra sled was one half a degree off from square. This had never presented itself as a problem to me before now and therefore went undetected. However, when you consider a half degree per side of each joint piece, times eight pieces, this made for an eight degree gap overall in the ring. Now, a half a degree is tiny, but eight degrees, well, let’s just say that glue is not going to cover that gap.

Anyway, after fiddling with the sled for a couple of days, I was finally able to get it to where it was accurate enough for the segments. The Incra sled is a great piece of equipment, but I have found out that if it ever gets a tiny bit out of square, it is a pain in the rearend to get it perfect again.

The bowl press I made a while back made the glueing up of the stacks of rings much easier.

I allowed it to set up overnight before moving on the the turning fun.

The biggest difference I found with doing the segmenting over simply turning a bowl from solid wood is that there is nothing in the middle on one end to keep everything securely on the lathe until you get everything balanced well enough to spin safely.
You may also notice I glued a piece on the bottom for no other reason that to have something to attach to the chuck without having to get into the material of the bowl itself. This I planned on turning off later.

Here is the bowl. Well, here is what is left of the bowl.
Everything went fine until I started turning the inside. I had nothing but problems, catches, and disappointment when I tried doing the inside. My tools were sharp, but I ran into other issues. The biggest of them being I need a better technique for getting into these smaller diameter bowls. When I work off the end of my tool rest, I’m kind of out there in no man’s land because there is not enough room for my rest, my tool, and my hand to steady the tool. There has got to be a better way to do what I’m trying to do. I just need to do some more research and watch some more videos to figure it out. As usual though, it’s always a learning process and I will get it one day.
The bowl isn’t a complete waste. Since all my past “reject” bowls that I put next to my bench to hold small tools always seem to get snatched up by family members, I needed a new small tool catch-all anyway.


25 comments so far

View grizzman's profile


7836 posts in 3332 days

#1 posted 09-22-2013 01:12 AM

well it looks really good from this angle, would it help to get another turner over that way to help show you technique, i know you have the drive and determination, glad yo see you post, ive tried to call you twice, but get voice mail…maybe i will try again monday…grizz

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View ken_c's profile


323 posts in 3191 days

#2 posted 09-22-2013 01:15 AM

I see no waste there – nice job – as for the inside turning – mind you I am still in search of a lathe so I am no expert – I have been reading and watching for a month or so – call it research – but – is it a captive tool holder that you need to help with the tool/hand/reach issues? Maybe someone with some experience will chime in here too..

View Arlin Eastman's profile

Arlin Eastman

4234 posts in 2590 days

#3 posted 09-22-2013 01:15 AM

Hey William

I did not know you were a fellow turner. I have a few DVDs on turning bowls and also segmented turning if you wish to borrow them.

Also I think this was an awesome first time.


-- It is always the right time, to do the right thing.

View William's profile


9949 posts in 2871 days

#4 posted 09-22-2013 01:48 AM

Thanks guys.

Grizz, I deeply apologize for the missed calls.
I pulled my back out bad this time and just haven’t felt up to actually talking to anyone. I promise to give you a call when I feel better. When I am hurting this bad, I hate takling to anyone, on the phone or in person, because I do not wish for them to hear my grunts and groans everytime I move.

Ken, I’ve seen several options, including the captive tools, snakes, and others. I’ve been trying to learn a more traditional approach like I’ve seen online. I may have to back up and try something different though. I’ve also been debating giving some carbide a try as well.

Arlin, I wouldn’t call myself a wood turner, but a potential future wood turner.
Check out some of the other posts in this series and you’ll see that, although I am still rough on a lot of my techniques, it’s been a long and fun road just to get to this point.
This wasn’t the first bowl either, but the fist segmented bowl of this style. What I mean by that is, I have glued up layers before, but never mitered pieces into rings such as this one.


View grizzman's profile


7836 posts in 3332 days

#5 posted 09-22-2013 02:07 AM

i totally understand william, i look forward to the call when your up to it, know that im thinking of you and your times of pain and i hope that you will feel much much better and soon.

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View DIYaholic's profile


19623 posts in 2703 days

#6 posted 09-22-2013 02:07 AM

The bowl looks good. Well, you have the segmented glue-up figured out. Now it’s time to conquer the next hurdle. I am positive that you will!!!

-- Randy-- I may not be good...but I am slow! If good things come to those who wait.... Why is procrastination a bad thing?

View William's profile


9949 posts in 2871 days

#7 posted 09-22-2013 02:23 AM

Thank you Grizz and Randy.


View Roger's profile


20929 posts in 2832 days

#8 posted 09-22-2013 12:46 PM

That’s frickin awesome, William. Luv the clamps too. :)

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed.

View William's profile


9949 posts in 2871 days

#9 posted 09-22-2013 01:29 PM

Thanks roger.
Bearpie, when he visited a while back, have me that idea.
I had been wanting to buy some of those expensive band clamps.
When he told me large pipe clamps in the plumbing section, I felt like an idiot for not thinking of it myself.


View Doe's profile


1404 posts in 2858 days

#10 posted 09-22-2013 02:09 PM

Have you tried a scraper? My bowls are tiny in comparison to yours and I use a scraper to get deep. I have one inch dome and flat scrapers that will beaver out the most stubborn innards, as well as smaller ones.

-- Mother Nature talks, I try to listen

View William's profile


9949 posts in 2871 days

#11 posted 09-22-2013 03:32 PM

I have not tried a scraper, but I will definitely be trying it next time.
Every video I’ve seen they always do their hollowing with gouges, so that’s what I’ve been trying to do.


View Parsimonia's profile


51 posts in 1980 days

#12 posted 09-22-2013 04:30 PM

I’m looking forward to seeing this project progress. I haven’t tried this yet. +1 on the scraper. I’ve found the scraper works much better on difficult grain, but I understand how it is to learn to get inside without catches. I just ordered a curved tool rest to help get close.

-- More Ideas than Time.

View clieb91's profile


3520 posts in 3963 days

#13 posted 09-22-2013 08:35 PM

William, Looks fine from this angle as well. I still need to get up the confidence to try a regular bowl. My wife is very interested in turning one as well and I just have not even started on it to figure it out. Perhaps after teh holidays.

Always look forward to your posts, thanks for the inspiration. Hope your back is feeling better soon.


-- Chris L. "Don't Dream it, Be it."- (Purveyors of Portable Fun and Fidgets)

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 2718 days

#14 posted 09-23-2013 01:07 AM

William, 1” ratchet straps make cheap (and excellent) band clamps.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View William's profile


9949 posts in 2871 days

#15 posted 09-23-2013 01:28 AM

I have a curved rest but it is too large to fit in smaller bowls.
I find “regular” bowls easier. If I start with a solid chunk of wood and hollow it out myself, I can ride that bevel with a sharp gouge and keep things smooth all the way. Then it is just a matter of keeping that smooth surface until I have it hollowed out to where I want it. With the segmented bowl, it is dealing with a completely uneven surface until you get it worked down. It is almost like turning air on some turnings I’ve done before on the outside. Only it is inside, which adds a whole other element to it.
I will have to try the ratchet straps. I have a few of those somewhere. I was worried abou gluing the strap to the wood though.


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