Still Pining Away

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Project by stefang posted 09-05-2009 06:03 PM 2711 views 3 times favorited 26 comments Add to Favorites Watch

The purpose
This my very first open segment turning. Like my last vase, it is just for experimentation purposes and getting some experience. That’s why it is pine and with no finish. While this piece is definitely no art treasure, it does have an interesting story (at least for those of you who don’t get bored too easily). It is a very long-winded story though.

The construction method
Firstly, I constructed this turning using my own method, which is a lot different than what you might have seen on the various open segment turning websites. My goal was to prove to myself that this method would work, and surprisingly it did. I am not describing this method yet because this piece is a little different than the usual open segment construction. That is, if you noticed, the openings are all the same size regardless of the ring diameters. In the usual OS construction, the open parts are tapered from the outside of the ring to the inside. This turning should probably be called an “open insert” construction inasmuch as the openings are all the same size, and the same width from outside to inside, or at least they should be (more on that in the next paragraph).

The big catastrophe!!
While gluing-up disaster struck! I was gluing up a ring at-a-time clamping the newest ring for 30 minutes before mounting on the lathe and rough turning. In order to prevent knocking off freshly glued segments, I made a rule for myself that I would not turn the inside of a ring until I had glued another ring on top of it to lock it into place. However, I broke this rule when I got to the 10th ring which is just above the widest ring because it would be a bit difficult to get inside after gluing on the much smaller ring above it. I watched in fascination as the vase exploded into 3 pieces and hit the wall behind me!In my younger days I might have sworn and had a temper tantrum, but I figured this would be undignified at my advanced age, so I just took it in stride. Luckily, I found all the bits, which consisted of three large pieces and 5 individual segments. To my amazement these all went apart at the glue joints with no damage to the wood. I had it re-glued and clamped within and hour and had lunch while the glue set. After lunch I continued to glue up to completion and even managed to rough turn the rest of it. The following day after the glue was cured I was able to almost finish the job using my hook tool, bowl gouge and scrapers. Today I refined the shape a little and parted it off the lathe. The re-gluing resulted in some distortion of some of the openings, but not very much, so I’m pretty satisfied with the learning experience and not the least my new construction method, which worked exactly as conceived.

Sharing plan
I do intend to share my new method with all you LJers, but first I want to do one more vessel to produce the normal OS piece with angled openings that will be in proportion with the ring diameters. This requires a couple of extra details, and I want to describe the whole procedure at the same time. I thought out this new method in order to lower the entry threshold to this type of turning so more people (including myself) would feel more comfortable trying it out. I have never had so much fun doing a turning before, so I am anxious to share this with you soon as possible.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

26 comments so far

View John Stegall's profile

John Stegall

557 posts in 4804 days

#1 posted 09-05-2009 06:27 PM

Do you believe that 30 minutes is enough? I have found that sometimes, depending on the wood species, I need more time. I am not using your technique, but just curious if that amount of time is enough.
Congratulations on making it to whatever advanced age you are. I am a ‘43 model myself, and have also found that I am usually more patient than in my younger days. I also find that I can walk away and think about it first.
Great job by the way.

-- jstegall

View darryl's profile


1795 posts in 5614 days

#2 posted 09-05-2009 06:32 PM

very cool looking piece Mike.
Glad to hear you were able to salvage it!

View patron's profile


13722 posts in 4629 days

#3 posted 09-05-2009 06:34 PM

wow , mike ,
this is gorgeous !

even thought it is pine ,
you really should seal it , as it will leak if you don’t .

and i did read everything ,
you didn’t cross your t in the 8th line , 3rd paragraph .
glad you are back in the shop !
looking forward to the instructions .

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View Dennis_MGWW's profile


90 posts in 4705 days

#4 posted 09-05-2009 07:22 PM

Very nice, Mike. Turning is something that still eludes me, especially when I see something like this. You did a great job. I agree with David that you should put a finish on it.

-- Dennis,!/MpleGrvWoodwrks

View DaddyT's profile


267 posts in 4798 days

#5 posted 09-05-2009 07:38 PM

Looks like white pine to me. Am I right? If so you should really let the glue set up alot longer than 30 minutes. White pine has so much resin in it that does “soak” in the glue like many other woods do. Atleast that is what my shop teacher told me. I know that everyone has their own take on how things work but I just thought Id try and help by throwing that out there for ya. But it is a beautiful turning and I cant wait to hear your take on the prosses.

-- Jimi _ Measure twice, cut [email protected]#%#[email protected]!!!......measure twice, cut....

View stefang's profile


17040 posts in 4622 days

#6 posted 09-05-2009 08:02 PM

Grateful for your comments and compliments. Jimi I’m not sure what kind of pine it’s called in the States. This particular pine only has one name here in Norway as far as I know. It is the most expensive pine and comes totally dimensioned and very nicely planed. In fact good enough to joint glue the edges without further work providing you use it before it warps slightly.

As far as gluing goes, my pva glue (didn’t want to waste my expensive Tightbond III on this project) works just fine in 30 minutes, but you will probably need double that time with most hardwoods. As far as sealing goes, I’m not sure I will bother with these pieces as they really aren’t for show. I just wanted to prove to myself (and you guys too) that I could do it.

Thanks for reading my exhaustive post.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Dennis Zongker's profile

Dennis Zongker

2859 posts in 4880 days

#7 posted 09-05-2009 08:10 PM

Super looking turning. Great job & explanation. Thanks for posting.

-- Dennis Zongker

View dustyal's profile


1322 posts in 4763 days

#8 posted 09-05-2009 08:24 PM

congratulations on coming up with a unique method and testing… well done. Nice looking design and execution.

I’ve been too impatient on the glue time… and have lost more than a few hours re-gluing at minimum… or ending up with fire wood and I wasn’t even trying something difficult like turning…

-- Al H. - small shop, small projects...

View huff's profile


2828 posts in 4573 days

#9 posted 09-05-2009 08:28 PM

I really like your turning and look forward to you explaning how you did the glue up. Thanks for sharing.
BTW….I’d put a finish on that and put it on display. Great piece.

-- John @

View webwood's profile


626 posts in 4538 days

#10 posted 09-05-2009 09:08 PM

very nice mike – if i ever learn how to measure and cut straight i’ll move on to rouund stuff – lol -

-- -erik & christy-

View degoose's profile


7285 posts in 4642 days

#11 posted 09-05-2009 10:49 PM

I agree you should seal it so it don’t leak and then display it. Much better than I will ever be able to do.

-- Be safe.

View Loucarb's profile


2388 posts in 4733 days

#12 posted 09-06-2009 03:16 AM

That came out very nice. I agree with the others you should put a finish on it. I liked to hear how it was done.

View Woodwrecker's profile


4240 posts in 4863 days

#13 posted 09-06-2009 03:57 AM

That’s some true craftsmanship Mike.

View a1Jim's profile


118297 posts in 4865 days

#14 posted 09-06-2009 04:34 AM

Hey Mike
As is all of your work fantastic this an outstanding turning an most interesting to read about an view the great results. As to the undignified part of your statement ,Not possible ! If there ever is a contest for dignified on LJs ,I’m sure you would be the hands down winner. Always enjoy your know how and comments. Look forward to a blog on this turning technique.


View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


22848 posts in 4964 days

#15 posted 09-06-2009 06:36 AM

Looks good enuf for finish to me :-)) Why waste it? Are you going to firewood it?:-((

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

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