A woodturned bowls of maple and walnut

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Project by Bob Simmons posted 06-24-2010 10:26 PM 4791 views 3 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch

A few years back while reading a book on woodturning I came across a style of segmented woodturning that caught my eye. As fascinated as I was by the pattern, I was equally if not more intrigued by the technique used to create bowls like the ones pictured above. So, I read on and began studying the process which struck me as actually quite creative.

Believe it or not, the technique starts out with a flat board (planed & parallel) comprised of laminated strips of maple and walnut. The next step requires some layout work and drawing of concentric circles on the board followed by a trip to the bandsaw. Then the table of the bandsaw is tilted (in this case…45 degrees) and the layout circles are then carefully cut.

Here’s where is gets interesting. When the cutting of the circles is completed they are now ready to be stacked. There’s an order to the process. Small circles on the bottom followed by the progression of larger circles on top. Of course, these rings need to be glued and aligned as they are stacked. As a result, they take on the shape of the bowls that you see in the pictures. From here it’s just a matter of turning the bowls, sanding, and finishing.

(If there is enough interest I may do a video demonstration of the process.) Feel free and let me know.


..........................Learn more, Experience more!

-- Bob Simmons, Las Vegas, NV,

12 comments so far

View MostlyHarmless's profile


21 posts in 2887 days

#1 posted 06-24-2010 10:44 PM

Very cool!
Looks like it’d be difficult keeping track of all those tiny pieces.

-- If there's anything more important than my ego around, I want it caught and shot now.

View degoose's profile


7231 posts in 3347 days

#2 posted 06-24-2010 11:38 PM

Missed the point MH.. it is laminated first… then cut into one base and four rings.. with slanted sides…
BTW Bob . good design and well constructed.. the choice of timber is classic…

-- Don't drink and use power tools @

View tyskkvinna's profile


1310 posts in 2979 days

#3 posted 06-25-2010 12:13 AM

That’s really gorgeous! I love the slant to it, it really adds something to the design.

-- Lis - Michigan - -

View Bob Simmons's profile

Bob Simmons

505 posts in 3007 days

#4 posted 06-25-2010 12:36 AM

MostlyHarmless…Good point! It can be puzzling and yet it is actually less complicated than it appears.

Larry…You are familiar and understand the process. Thanks for the acknowledgement and support!

Lis…Thanks! You’re right…The slant does have a positive affect with the design. Also, during the stacking process there is flexibility in creating the design. Just by turning the rings one way or the other will have an overall affect on the final design.

-- Bob Simmons, Las Vegas, NV,

View Loucarb's profile


2388 posts in 3438 days

#5 posted 06-25-2010 01:57 AM

Vert nice Bowl & thanks for sharing the technique.

View Ted Pagels's profile

Ted Pagels

63 posts in 3055 days

#6 posted 06-25-2010 03:53 AM

I had this as a student project when teaching woods many moons ago. I still have my tool rest specially made by the machine shop instructor that held the parting tool at the proper angle and spacing. I’ll try to find it and get some photos posted….someday.

-- Ted Pagels, Green Bay, WI

View imallchalkedup's profile


393 posts in 2974 days

#7 posted 06-25-2010 04:27 AM

that’s different, I like it.

-- RStadler

View Bob Simmons's profile

Bob Simmons

505 posts in 3007 days

#8 posted 06-25-2010 07:10 AM

Lou…Thanks for your comment & checking it out.

Ted…Love to see the photos you have.

RS…You’re right. It is different. Thought you’d find it interesting. Thanks!

-- Bob Simmons, Las Vegas, NV,

View a1Jim's profile


117083 posts in 3570 days

#9 posted 06-25-2010 07:38 AM

Your turning are always amazing great job.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View Ken90712's profile


17556 posts in 3182 days

#10 posted 06-25-2010 10:56 AM

Your a truly gifter turner! Your work is always fun to look at!

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View michelletwo's profile


2735 posts in 3008 days

#11 posted 06-25-2010 01:19 PM

This process has been around since the 60’s that I know of..bowl from a board..was used in commercial wood industry for years & woodturner’s took it in as an efficient process that saves wood. I enjoy making bowls from this process as one has great control of the design in the walls

View Bob Simmons's profile

Bob Simmons

505 posts in 3007 days

#12 posted 06-25-2010 08:08 PM

Jim…Thanks again for you support. It’s very much appreciated!

Ken…Thanks! You’re going to love woodturning. (Let me know if you decide to take it up at he college.)

M2…Thanks for your insights and adding to the story! Like you say, the control of the design and flexibilty iof the design in the walls makes for a fun process.

-- Bob Simmons, Las Vegas, NV,

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