First Segmented Bowl!

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Project by Dustin posted 11-28-2018 06:19 PM 690 views 2 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Well, decided to take some of my time off during the Thanksgiving holiday and attempt a new project. I’ve been practicing my bowl making skills on some inexpensive box elder blanks I ordered a few weeks ago, got up to speed on sharpening my gouge more effectively, and ordered a cheap set of bowl scrapers from Penn State that I re-ground into negative rake scrapers. After getting results that I’m sufficiently happy with, I decided to tackle my first segmented bowl!

This bowl is made of ambrosia maple and purple heart: solid base with 3 12-segment rings (because “dodecagon” is fun to say). Drew up a rough sketch on graph paper, and used an online calculator to determine my segment sizes. As it turns out, I had exactly enough of this spare lumber laying around to make four of these bowls, so I still have three more to turn.

Eventually I’ll learn to take some better pictures, but until then, I think these will do. I used three coats of OB Shine juice to finish, then topped with paste wax. I’m not terribly thrilled with the paste wax on top, so I’ve ordered a Beall buffing system to give these bowls the shine I think they deserve. I used my Incra miter sled to cut the segments and glued them up an entire ring at a time (no half-rings plus sanding for me). I’m thrilled at the accuracy of that sled: no gaps.

I also learned that a bowl this size (3” tall, 11” diameter) is pushing the limits of my Delta 46-460 midi lathe (the motor bogged down at a few points, and man that purple heart is heavy). Makes the decision to upgrade in January that much easier though!

Thanks for looking!

-- "Ladies, if your husband says he'll get to it, he'll get to it. No need to remind him about it every 6 months."

10 comments so far

View MrFid's profile


886 posts in 2108 days

#1 posted 11-28-2018 06:30 PM

Great looking bowl!! Enjoy the turn!

-- Bailey F - Eastern Mass.

View Dustin's profile


597 posts in 944 days

#2 posted 11-28-2018 06:49 PM

Thanks, Bailey, it was tons of fun to make! Well, except for hand sanding 144 small pieces to remove the fuzzies…

-- "Ladies, if your husband says he'll get to it, he'll get to it. No need to remind him about it every 6 months."

View ralbuck's profile


5422 posts in 2470 days

#3 posted 11-28-2018 07:35 PM

Very pretty.

On the photography; a plastic table cloth of some solid, neutral—light color will make a great background for pictures. You can prop it against a wall or a chair or on steps etc. for a solid place to take pictures. Wise2wood always used light blue carpeted steps in his house for the background.

The more simple that you can keep the background helps the work to stand out! I do not always take my own advice on this though, but usually, I do.

-- Wood rescue is good for the environment and me! just rjR

View doubleDD's profile


7896 posts in 2247 days

#4 posted 11-29-2018 01:19 AM

Absolutely a great looking bowl. Especially for your 1st segmented.

-- Dave, Downers Grove, Il. -------- When you run out of ideas, start building your dreams.

View socrbent's profile


693 posts in 2473 days

#5 posted 11-29-2018 02:16 AM

Great looking first segmented bowl. Welcome to the wonderful world of segmenting – always turning side grain.

-- socrbent Ohio

View Peteybadboy's profile


522 posts in 2153 days

#6 posted 11-29-2018 11:17 AM

Great bowl.

-- Petey

View Calmudgeon's profile


173 posts in 1631 days

#7 posted 11-29-2018 11:21 AM

That’s a mighty fine result for a first effort.

-- "As are the things we make, so are we ourselves." - Lin Yutang

View Dustin's profile


597 posts in 944 days

#8 posted 11-29-2018 12:57 PM

Appreciate all the compliments, folks!

ralbuck, I’ll definitely be picking up a cheap table cloth this weekend. That solution was too obvious and simple for me to ever think of it, so I appreciate it!

socrbent, I really loved turning this without dealing with end-grain (except a small bit on the base). Seeing the shavings peels off in long, curling ribbons was pretty satisfying. It’s also the first time that the carbide tools I built for myself have come in particularly handy.

-- "Ladies, if your husband says he'll get to it, he'll get to it. No need to remind him about it every 6 months."

View Jacketppal's profile


2 posts in 54 days

#9 posted 11-29-2018 06:48 PM

Nice looking bowl! You’re right about purpleheart. I’ve been debating about a sled like the incra. Do you find it worth the cost?

View Dustin's profile


597 posts in 944 days

#10 posted 11-29-2018 07:32 PM

Thanks, Jacket!

I really do love my Incra sled. It’s the Miter Express with the 1000SE miter gauge. Setup is easy and intuitive, and micro-adjustments are available, but I didn’t need them as the 15deg mark on mine was already dead-on (I checked it with a digital protractor that only went to a tenth of a degree, but the results verified it was at least close enough for 12 segments to show no gaps). I do think mine was a little cheaper when I got it. If I had to pick, I’d at least grab one of their miter gauges as you can make your own fence for it, then build cross-cut sleds to suit your needs.

-- "Ladies, if your husband says he'll get to it, he'll get to it. No need to remind him about it every 6 months."

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