A simple swirl vessel

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Project by stefang posted 10-07-2018 05:03 PM 2140 views 3 times favorited 38 comments Add to Favorites Watch
A simple swirl vessel
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This is my first segmented hardwood turning after doing 3 experimental ones in pine a few years ago. I lost interest in segmented turning because at the time the practice was to sand each segment to final dimensions and I didn’t like that work. That has changed with an innovative cutting sled which I now use. This piece has 740 segements from beech and purpleheart and is about 6” high and 6” wide. The rings are about 7mm or slightly higher than 1/4”. There are 36 segments to each ring.

I wanted to start with something easy, but not too easy. Instead of putting the challenge into design I decided to first see if I could successfully cut a relatively large number of small segments for each ring and get them glued up without too much fuss. I cut the segments on the wedgie sled I built and which is so accurate that sanding to final size is not necessary and the only sanding was the quick removal of the fuzzies left from cutting on the table saw.

I bought a set of wedgies, but I found out that a digital angle finder (the folding kind) works just a well to set the fences on the sled, so if you want to try this kind of turning it doesn’t really cost much to get started.

Still in the ring stage. I made a big mistake by making the rings way to narrow in width making it very difficult to turn the intended form. This error resulted in some very thin walls about 1/16” in some places.

The vessel was turned in two pieces because of the thin walls, otherwise I would have preferred to do it in one piece using my Stewart hollowing tools.

Segmented turning is a lot different than solid wood turnings. They are more of a construction project than actual turning and also I believe that the level of turning skills necessary is much lower for segmented work. Of course most segmented turners are probably pretty well skilled as most have likely started out with regular woodturning

The big difference segmented work offers is the ability to incorporate designs, which up to now have been mainly geometric is nature, but with a lot of variation in forms as well. The smaller the segments and the more their are of them allows for more detailed designs (and a lot more work). Some of the segmented work being done today is pretty mind blowing in complexity and just plain work, not to mention the artistic side of the equation.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

38 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile


118310 posts in 4920 days

#1 posted 10-07-2018 05:16 PM

I really like these,very cool Mike,it’s a beautiful turning.


View Dutchy's profile


4295 posts in 3511 days

#2 posted 10-07-2018 05:26 PM

Mike it’s great to see you back here on LJ and with a great project. I never did any segmented turning and for the time being I have no time for it. I’m working on a new and bigger shop. However I like all the segmented lathe work I see here and also yours is a nice one.

Thanks for posting.


View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

10963 posts in 5395 days

#3 posted 10-07-2018 05:30 PM

That is one Super COOL bowl!!

Quite a process to make… Thank you for the detail… very interesting…

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

View hunter71's profile


3561 posts in 4529 days

#4 posted 10-07-2018 05:56 PM

I have watched a lot of these being made, nice job.

-- A childs smile is payment enough.

View Woodbridge's profile


3751 posts in 3761 days

#5 posted 10-07-2018 06:01 PM

great looking turning.

-- Peter, Woodbridge, Ontario

View stevo_wis's profile


128 posts in 4370 days

#6 posted 10-07-2018 06:20 PM

Very nice Mike.

-- Stevo

View stefang's profile


17040 posts in 4677 days

#7 posted 10-07-2018 06:21 PM

Thanks for the comments guys. Sorry I haven’t been around lately, but my age is catching up with me and I’m not as active as I would like to be. I do miss your excellent company, but I’m having a hard time keeping up with everything these days, so I hope you will understand my long absences.

I am currently working on a new segmented project which I hope you will find a lot more interesting. I can’t promise that it will be beautiful, but it will be somewhat unique.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View shipwright's profile


8782 posts in 4141 days

#8 posted 10-07-2018 07:06 PM

A very good start Mike. Makes me want to do more turning but I have to limit my field if you know what I mean.
It’s good to see you posting again.

-- Paul M ..............the early bird may get the worm but it’s the second mouse that gets the cheese!

View ZAGREB's profile


1276 posts in 2992 days

#9 posted 10-07-2018 07:24 PM

great work

-- bambi

View robscastle's profile


8361 posts in 3547 days

#10 posted 10-07-2018 07:37 PM

OK first up a big hug!
Its a very plesant surprise to see a post from you again.

The segmented work looks fantastic.
The problem with aging from what I can work out is fairly widespread, I also am getting slower less motivated and less reluctant to take on very complex fine detail work but I can see from your work its very rewarding.
A question:
when its all glued up ready for the lathe is the inside surfaced with the stewart hollowing tool ?

-- Regards Rob

View  woodshaver Tony C   's profile

woodshaver Tony C

8464 posts in 4696 days

#11 posted 10-07-2018 07:47 PM

Outstanding work Mike! Love the look of these nice turnings! Happy to read that you found a better way!

-- St Augustine FL, Experience is the sum of our mistakes!

View stefang's profile


17040 posts in 4677 days

#12 posted 10-07-2018 08:53 PM

Thanks my friends, good to hear from each and every one of you.

Rob I haven’t used my Stewart hollowing tools on this turning as I was able to turn the inside with regular tools on both ends and then glue them together. With this shape I would have had to use a hook tool towards the top where it curves a lot if I had glued it all up before turning. The nice thing about segmented work is that I don’t have to stand at the lathe for long periods and I can sit down while doing a lot of the other work. I probably should rename myself ‘The Arm Chair Woodworker’!

Tony I haven’t found a better way, but the next bowl will be a little unusual regarding the feature ring it will have, especially the method I am using to complete it. Meanwhile I am trying to perfect this method a step at a time. I love to experiment even if my results aren’t at the level I might like.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View SPalm's profile


5338 posts in 5225 days

#13 posted 10-07-2018 09:04 PM

Hey Mike, looking good. Turning and CNC are all that is left in me. Segmented work looks inviting.

Right now I am camping in the woods around Camp David with my wife and dog. Probably the last time out for the year. I hope to maybe do some woodworking this winter.

Take car of yourself,

-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

27273 posts in 4448 days

#14 posted 10-07-2018 09:30 PM

Beautiful piece, Mike !!

Cheers, Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile


17686 posts in 3961 days

#15 posted 10-07-2018 11:35 PM

Wow!! And congrats on top 3! Good to see u in the shop!!

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. - OldTools Archive -

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