Segmented Bowl

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Project by TheDane posted 03-10-2013 04:12 PM 3365 views 6 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I have been struggling with getting the alignment of rings in segmented bowls. Being a fraction of an inch off on a ring … especially the bottom rings … can ruin a bowl, wasting wood, glue, and a lot of time.

One of the turners in my local club gave me a tip that really paid off.

He suggested super-gluing four little blocks around each ring to aid in alignment.

With the last/top ring flat on the bench, stack the next to the last ring on it, and center with a combination square.

Next, use CA/super glue to glue 4 little scraps of wood (I cut 1/4” plywood into squares) around the ring (being careful not to super glue the rings themselves together). The plywood squares are used to repeat the alignment when the glue goes on.

Place another ring on top of the stack and repeat. When all rings have been prepped, use a Sharpie to put a witness mark on the rings, then unstack and start gluing. I have a simple jig (a piece of plywood with a hole that fits the back of a face plate and 2 clamps) that I use to put clamping pressure on the stack. I let the glued up stack cure overnight.

When you are turning, the plywood squares will come flying off when you hit them with the gouge, but, so what? You have you face mask on (don’t you?)!

This particular bowl has 85 pieces … a solid maple disk in the bottom, and 7 rings (oak and maple) with 12 segments to a ring. It is 9 1/2” in diameter, and 2 1/4” high. The walls are 1/8” thick, so this bowl doesn’t weigh very much. I glued the bottom disk directly to a waste block that is in turn screwed onto a face plate.

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

12 comments so far

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

18613 posts in 1428 days

#1 posted 03-10-2013 04:54 PM

Thanks for the pictures. As a non lathe person I always wondered how it was done.

-- Mother Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View branch's profile


1039 posts in 2244 days

#2 posted 03-10-2013 06:56 PM

hi very nice bowl like it i use hot glue to hold the wedges in places and the knock of very easily before turning

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

8548 posts in 3142 days

#3 posted 03-10-2013 07:40 PM

COOL work, Gerry!

That looks SO intricate… I can see how one could waste a little wood getting things ‘just right’.
Looks like you’ve figured it out!
Good for you!

One slight slip on that lathe & I’ll bet you have Fire Wood too… LOL

Thank you.

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: ... My Small Gallery:"

View MonteCristo's profile


2098 posts in 1279 days

#4 posted 03-10-2013 08:28 PM

Good tip on how to keep the layers in line ! Thanks !

-- Dwight - "Free legal advice available - contact Dewey, Cheetam & Howe""

View b2rtch's profile


4677 posts in 2139 days

#5 posted 03-11-2013 12:40 AM

This is a very nice bowl Gerry, congratulations.
Thank you for the tips but I do not turn

-- Bert

View CalgaryGeoff's profile


937 posts in 1572 days

#6 posted 03-11-2013 08:22 AM

I like this piece, fantastic work. Im enjoying your posts.

-- If you believe you can or can not do a thing, you are correct.

View Bluepine38's profile


3223 posts in 2175 days

#7 posted 03-11-2013 01:51 PM

Very nice looking bowl, I see that you use your tail stock as an extra brace to keep the bowl fastened to
the waste block until you have it rounded off. Took me one ruined bowl to pick up that trick.

-- As ever, Gus-the 76 yr young apprentice carpenter

View helluvawreck's profile


19513 posts in 1957 days

#8 posted 03-11-2013 01:54 PM

It’s a beautiful bowl, Gerry. Nice work. I’m hoping to be able to do something like that one day.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

View TheDane's profile


4578 posts in 2753 days

#9 posted 03-11-2013 02:10 PM

Bluepine38—I use the tail stock as often as I can.

I think the fixing metod I use is pretty solid (glue the bottom of the blank directly to a waste block that is screwed to a faceplate), but I like the extra support.

The live center that came with my lathe is somewhere in drawer, having been replaced by one (from Delta) that has replaceable components (standard cup, 60-degree point, and one with a 1” diameter foot on it).

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

View JJones98042's profile


228 posts in 1343 days

#10 posted 03-11-2013 03:34 PM

Very nice bowl and great tips! Thanks.

-- "Keep thy airspeed up, lest the earth come from below and smite thee." - William Kershner

View Tim Scoville's profile

Tim Scoville

97 posts in 2425 days

#11 posted 03-11-2013 07:19 PM

Very nice job on this one. Nice and thin walls.

-- Tim S, WA

View mafe's profile


10541 posts in 2179 days

#12 posted 03-11-2013 08:28 PM

You are really getting the hang of that lathe!
Nice bowl.
Best thoughts,

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

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