Prototypes #8: Segmented bowl with floating bottom

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Blog entry by darryl posted 05-07-2010 02:30 AM 10244 reads 1 time favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 7: the heart stopper Part 8 of Prototypes series no next part

Being a fan of segmented turning I joined the group Segmented Woodturners, a chapter of the AAW, earlier this year. While I’ve made quite a few segmented turnings, I have not yet made a segmented bowl… well until now!

The current preseident of the Segmented Woodturners group is Malcolm Tibbets, an astonishly talented turner. Malcolm has written a book on segmented turning and has also produced four dvd’s on the subject. With Malcolm’s advice and encouragement, I incorporated his floating bottom technique in my first bowl. The floating bottom is used to prevent damage to a piece due to wood movement.

Here is a series of pictures that covers the process:

yes, there is a hole at the bottom… it’s actually designed that way!

the base has a recess to hold a floating bottom.

the floating bottom is a single piece of pine, turned to a diameter of about 2”. the floating bottom is just shy of 1/4” thick.

the floating bottom is kept in place with this “keeper ring” made of ten segments. there is a 1-3/8” diameter hole in the middle and the ring is about 2” in diameter.

the floating bottom in place.

the keeper ring installed. The keeper ring was designed to be about 1/8” shorter than the base of the bowl.

a top view showing the floating bottom in place.

the bowl is 2-3/4” tall. 4-1/2” wide at the top. 2-3/4” wide at the base. the wall thickness is a fat 1/8”.

for dry items or display purposes the floating bottom seems to be the way to go. If you want to use any sort of liquid… you’d be better off taking your chances with a solid bottom.

7 comments so far

View matt garcia's profile

matt garcia

1927 posts in 4683 days

#1 posted 05-07-2010 02:37 AM

So that’s how you guys do it!!!!

-- Matt Garcia Wannabe Period Furniture Maker, Houston TX

View Napaman's profile


5534 posts in 5088 days

#2 posted 05-07-2010 02:46 AM

cool…i love seeing how you have really transformed as a woodworker…its been fun to watch.

-- Matt--Proud LJ since 2007

View dustbunny's profile


1149 posts in 4306 days

#3 posted 05-07-2010 05:59 AM

I have never seen this design before.
It certainly makes sense,
you did a great job with the piece,
and the blog.
Nice work Darryl,


-- Imagination rules the world. ~ Napoleon Bonaparte ~

View lew's profile


13317 posts in 4766 days

#4 posted 05-07-2010 06:00 AM

Great turning, Darryl!

These segments must certainly be easier to cut than those for your bottle stoppers!

Does the keeper ring wedge into place or is it glued in?


-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View sharad's profile


1119 posts in 4815 days

#5 posted 05-07-2010 07:40 AM

Darryl, your segmented bowl with the floating bottom shows what height you have reached in your turning skill. It is an amazing piece of wood working.
Hope you will add many more novelties to your projects.


-- “If someone feels that they had never made a mistake in their life, then it means they have never tried a new thing in their life”.-Albert Einstein

View lumberdustjohn's profile


1263 posts in 4177 days

#6 posted 05-07-2010 01:06 PM

Nice blog.
Your turnings are very nice.
Thanks for posting

-- Safety first because someone needs you.

View Dick, & Barb Cain's profile

Dick, & Barb Cain

8693 posts in 5310 days

#7 posted 05-07-2010 03:09 PM

Very nice,

I’ll have to try this sometime.

-- -** You are never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream ****************** Dick, & Barb Cain, Hibbing, MN.

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