Ringmaster Vases

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Project by Lazyman posted 02-27-2019 12:53 PM 975 views 0 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is my first project with my new (to me) Ringmaster. This is a another of my shameless imitations, this time inspired by fellow Lumberjock and master of the Ringmaster (Marshall) Peterford. If you haven’t seen his stuff, you really should check them out. His combination of design and wood grain is truly fantastic and one of the reasons I decided to buy a ringmaster. Thanks Marshall for the inspiration and advice.

This is made from 2 walnut boards (3/4” thick and about 4.5”x30” each) I had laying around in the shop. I attempted to duplicate Marshall’s grain orientation but since I had to use 2 different pieces of lumber, i could not make the pattern consistent all the way up the vase, plus I got in a hurry and didn’t align them quite right during the glue up. I modelled the profile of the vase and the ring radii and angles using Sketchup which I find much easier than the traditional method of using graph paper because it is much easier to make changes and corrections. The 2 smaller vases are made from the remnants after cutting the rings for the large one.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

13 comments so far

View EarlS's profile


3601 posts in 3028 days

#1 posted 02-27-2019 01:06 PM

Oooh – pretty!!!! I like them.

The end grain from the walnut is really wild. I actually like the little one on the left best, maybe because of the domed top and it is small enough to hold in your hand.

-- Earl "I'm a pessamist - generally that increases the chance that things will turn out better than expected"

View  woodshaver Tony C   's profile

woodshaver Tony C

7367 posts in 4033 days

#2 posted 02-27-2019 01:59 PM

Really nice work! two thumbs up!

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

View HokieKen's profile (online now)


12859 posts in 1819 days

#3 posted 02-27-2019 02:40 PM

Nicely done Nathan!

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

View pottz's profile


8478 posts in 1665 days

#4 posted 02-27-2019 03:20 PM

those came out real nice.i may have to look into the ring master.

-- sawdust the bigger the pile the bigger my smile-larry,so cal.

View GR8HUNTER's profile


7191 posts in 1393 days

#5 posted 02-27-2019 03:36 PM

simply beautiful vases GREAT JOB :<))

-- Tony---- Reinholds,Pa.------ REMEMBER TO ALWAYS HAVE FUN

View bushmaster's profile


3888 posts in 2963 days

#6 posted 02-27-2019 03:50 PM

superb projects done with the ring master.

-- Brian - Hazelton, British Columbia

View ralbuck's profile


6470 posts in 2947 days

#7 posted 02-27-2019 04:25 PM


-- Wood rescue is good for the environment and me! just rjR

View kiwilynne's profile


269 posts in 459 days

#8 posted 02-27-2019 07:09 PM

Really beautiful, and I love the patterning. Great job!

-- Lynne, New Zealand - Crikey, Aussie is another country, Bro.

View Woodknack's profile


13141 posts in 3060 days

#9 posted 02-28-2019 02:46 AM

Very cool.

-- Rick M,

View MJR's profile


331 posts in 1094 days

#10 posted 02-28-2019 11:01 AM

Beautiful! I have a Ringmaster I got from Dick Byrd (recycle1943) on LJ, I’ve made quite a few nice bowls but only a couple practice vases from cheap wood. Yes, PeterFord’s work is amazing. What finish did you use? And how did you finish the inside?

View turnkey47's profile


313 posts in 3372 days

#11 posted 02-28-2019 11:33 AM

i like all three..great job!!!!!

View Lazyman's profile


4837 posts in 2068 days

#12 posted 02-28-2019 02:36 PM

Thanks everyone. The ringmaster is a little addictive. I can see many other projects in my future. I am even contemplating making a cyclone for my dust vac with it just to see if I can ( I already have a 3D printed cyclone so don’t really need one.) My wife actually found this used Ringmaster on Facebook Marketplace for a great price. It was for a smaller lathe but I was able to add a 1” block under it to raise it to the right height and it works great.

MJR, I used Hut Crystal Friction finish on the large vase but tried GC wood bowl finish on the 2 smaller ones as an experiment. It was the first time I have used the GC finish. I think next time I may try a higher gloss finish. Because I was careful to cut the rings precisely, the 1/4” thick rings on large vase lined up almost perfectly so I simply used a coarse sandpaper to finish the shaping on the inside, outside and the lip and then worked my way up the grits. I glued up the large vase in 3 phases so I could sand the inside before it got too deep. I just wiped on a coat of the GC finish on the bottom half of the inside just to seal it, since you cannot really see it. I had some problems cleaning the grain tearout on the outside with just sandpaper so I finally resorted to wet sanding with Howard’s Feed and Wax and the marks immediately disappeared.

On the domed one, I actually glued that one up from the left over center disks that were too small to cut on the RM and hollowed it out on the lathe before gluing on the top disk and shaping it on the lathe. I glued them up using a dowel, since they all had a center hole, which I then used to mount the blank using the pin jaws of my chuck. The other small one was made from rings and I used gouges to shape and and clean up the sides before working up through the grits, again using the Howards F&W to clean up the tearout in the walnut and get a nice finish.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

View Sasha's profile


1092 posts in 1893 days

#13 posted 03-01-2019 03:12 PM

-- Ganchik Sasha. Life is not a draft, tomorrow you will not redo......

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