Segmented Bowl #1

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Project by Steffen posted 08-05-2007 06:54 AM 7419 views 0 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Well my fellow LJs here is my first segmented bowl being offered up to the alter.

It’s made from walnut and some wood the guy threw in when I bought my lathe tools off of He didn’t even know what it was but it was very very light and it had a wonderful grain pattern. However, when I put a finish on it the color darkened quite a bit.

I searched the internet for segmented bowl software and I downloaded a trial version of Woodturner Pro. It is amazingly simple and it prints a cut sheet for each segment.

As I don’t have a planer or a jointer yet I glued all of the mitered surfaces of each ring and wrapped them with several rubber bands. When they were dry, I mounted each ring to the jumbo jaws on my lathe and slowly turned each side flat. I say slowly because the jumbo jaws don’t hold onto a flat surface very well and though I didn’t have one come off, if it wasn’t for the tool rest they might have.

Once all the rings were flat I glued and stacked them then placed them under my drill press with a board on top and lowered the chuck as far as I could get it then tightened the stop collar. I came back the next day and had a really rough shape which ended up laying around my shop for a couple months. Right before I broke my shop down for the move I turned it into this finished shape.

Things I learned from this:
1. I need longer handles on my tools
2. I would like a planer and jointer
3. Test all unfamiliar woods for finish
4. inspect all wood very carefully for defects that might show up on the finished product (I wasn’t too concerned about this for this one because I was really just seeing how it all worked)

That’s pretty much it. I think I would have liked to turn the sides thinner but being my first segmented turning I didn’t care much.

For those of you who haven’t tried it, segmented turning is great. It’s a little “manufactured” looking but there is no end grain and the colors really stand out. It’s also a great way to get rid of more scrap around the shop. This piece was pretty much constructed of all scrap. The project also turns very fast due to the fact there is a heck of a lot less wood to hog out.

-- Steffen - Kirkland, WA

12 comments so far

View cajunpen's profile


14578 posts in 4431 days

#1 posted 08-05-2007 10:39 AM

Very nice segmented bowl Steffen. I’ve never tried one on my lathe yet – but I have made them on my RingMaster. Another source for your Segmented Software is Bill Kandler's Website. Bill is quite an accomplished turner and has designed the software. It is also very simple to use, you can also print out your cutlist and view your project. He offers a 30 day trial and it’s only $39.95 for the software. I have no interest in his company – just offering another link for the software.

-- Bill - "Suit yourself and let the rest be pleased."

View MsDebbieP's profile


18619 posts in 4525 days

#2 posted 08-05-2007 12:03 PM
(quick link to the mentioned program)

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (, Young Living Wellness )

View MsDebbieP's profile


18619 posts in 4525 days

#3 posted 08-05-2007 12:08 PM

I think this has been answered elsewhere but I forget – what do you use to glue them together?

It’s a beautiful bowl.

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (, Young Living Wellness )

View Douglas Bordner's profile

Douglas Bordner

4043 posts in 4429 days

#4 posted 08-05-2007 02:21 PM

You rock Steffen. Looks good and I like the way you waded into the experiment, learned a lot and came away with a beautiful piece. Bet we will see more…from a new shop.

-- "Bordnerizing" perfectly good lumber for over a decade.

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6866 posts in 4344 days

#5 posted 08-05-2007 04:33 PM


Very nice post. Thanks for the software tip.

Also a great iidea to list lessons learned from a project.

Will prove to be very handy in years to come.

I also like the dual moniters.


-- by Lee A. Jesberger

View Steffen's profile


326 posts in 4400 days

#6 posted 08-05-2007 06:17 PM

Thanks for the comments guys. I’ve missed you all in my absence.

-Cajun—Thanks for the tip, I will try his software out before purchasing. I think Woodturner Pro is about the same price.

-Debbie—Thanks for catching me not posting the link…Didn’t Cheap Trik have a song called “the link police” maybe I’m wrong. I used yellow Tight Bond glue.

-Douglas—Thank you for your kind words. Waded is a kind way of describing how I do things…it’s more like, grab the first aid kit and jump.

-Lee—I’m always a big fan of good cheap software. It’s amazing how much design software can be. If you haven’t already, download sketchup from google…it’s free!
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-- Steffen - Kirkland, WA

View Bill's profile


2579 posts in 4526 days

#7 posted 08-05-2007 06:20 PM

Nice work Steffan. What is in the bottom of the bowl? It looks like it has a metal center?

-- Bill, Turlock California,

View Steffen's profile


326 posts in 4400 days

#8 posted 08-05-2007 06:24 PM

Just a reflection off the finish. I originally had the blond wood on the bottom but I didn’t like it so I cut a round piece of walnut and glued it on. When I turned it I just broke through the blond wood to the walnut.

-- Steffen - Kirkland, WA

View TheGravedigger's profile


963 posts in 4389 days

#9 posted 08-05-2007 07:26 PM

Steffen, you may already know this trick, but one thing I’ve found helpful when I’m unsure about the fixing of a blank in the headstock (chuck or whatever) is to bring up the tailstock for support. I use this especially with rough blanks or pieces I’ve just re-chucked. A little pressure does wonders to keep the wood in place till you get it true and balanced.

-- Robert - Visit my woodworking blog:

View mot's profile


4926 posts in 4401 days

#10 posted 08-16-2007 11:16 PM

Great job, Steffen! I’m going to get geared up for doing segmented bowls this winter. Really nice offering there, bud!

-- You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation. (Plato)

View TomR's profile


9 posts in 4268 days

#11 posted 09-20-2007 07:27 PM

Good job. I can’t see the glue lines. that tells me a lot . I’m just getting started myself. It doesn’t look like a lot of woodworkers are into this right now. Keep it up. is a great site

-- Amateurs...built the ark : Professionals....built the Titanic !

View Karson's profile


35186 posts in 4765 days

#12 posted 09-20-2007 07:41 PM

Great segmented bowl Stephen.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia [email protected]

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