A segmented vase for charity

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Project by Ryan Haasen posted 11-06-2012 01:52 AM 5730 views 7 times favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch
A segmented vase for charity
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My parents attend this community Crisis dinner/auction every year. They always donate items to be auctioned off and all of the money raised from this event is used to help abused women and children who have escaped from their homes. This year, I decided to build a segmented vase to be auctioned off. This was two and a half weeks prior to the event, and I knew nothing about segmented turning. So I started doing a lot of research and designed the vase. I also needed to design and make four jigs and tools for this build: a set of cole jaws, a steady rest, a gluing jig to ensure rings glued flat, and a sled for my table saw to cut the angles. I really jumped into this quickly and designed the vase to be 32” tall and 11” wide at the widest diameter. I like full scale drawings, so I made a 1:1 scale blueprint on graph paper, and used those dimensions to create a calculation sheet with the circumferences and the diameters of the rings, amount of rings, the width and length of the segments, species of wood and the layer number.

The cutting and gluing was pretty easy going after I got into the routine. I would cut three rings and then label them with the layer number according to my calculation sheet. I found that it makes everything easier to tape all the segments in a ring together before glueing. I used Tite-Bond 2 to glue everything together. After applying glue all the joining edges of the segments, I used surgical tubing to tighten all the pieces together. Hose clamps would have been more ideal for this process but I did not have any on hand. Once all the segments were glued into rings, I hand-sanded the faces of the rings so that they were flat. I then glued the 43 layers together into two parts to create the vase blank.

When I was turning the mouth of the vase on my home-made cole jaws, it flew off at 700rpm (my lathe’s slowest speed) and hit me right in the head. It left quite the bump for a couple hours, but luckily, the vase mouth was completely undamaged and I was able to finish it off.
The turning made me very nervous because the entire thing could be destroyed so easily. I was very relieved when the turing was done, and once it was sanded and fished with four coats of wipe-on Poly it really shined. It looked much better then I imagined when planning it. Here are a some pictures of the process of building this vessel.

The mouth and neck were then glued to the body, I just used some lead weights as clamping pressure. I attached the entire vase to the faceplate that came with my lathe (it was also my first time using the faceplate). I turned a large taper to attach to my tail-stock to assist in supporting the top of the vase. The immense size and imbalance of this case caused my 310 pound lathe to vibrate so much that it was moving around the floor. My solution to this; add more weight. I ended up adding around 250 pounds (with concrete bricks and heavy shop objects) to the lathe, which extremely reduced the vibration.

These first two photos were taken in the workshop at my school where I started building the vase.

The vase was originally going to be in the silent auction, but was transferred to the live auction thanks to the people who run the event. It sold for $2800, which made me extremely happy considering it all goes to a great cause.

Thanks for taking a look,


-- Ryan

14 comments so far

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

27800 posts in 4597 days

#1 posted 11-06-2012 02:01 AM

Awesome vase, Ryan !!!!!!!!!!............Jim

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

View ShaneA's profile


7085 posts in 4090 days

#2 posted 11-06-2012 02:07 AM

Nice looking turning. I really like segmented turnings, and this one is sweet.

View Birks's profile


109 posts in 3721 days

#3 posted 11-06-2012 03:57 AM

Excellent. Real world, research and get it done. Amazing result for lots of careful work. I just wonder if that’s carpet beneath your lathe….
Oh and…

“When I was turning the mouth of the vase on my home-made cole jaws, it flew off at 700rpm (my lathe’s slowest speed) and hit me right in the head. It left quite the bump for a couple hours, but luckily, the vase mouth was completely undamaged and I was able to finish it off.”

YARR! If that isn’t deserving of a pizza and a cold one I don’t know what is….

View CalgaryGeoff's profile


937 posts in 3974 days

#4 posted 11-06-2012 04:10 AM

Wow, is that baby ever big. Glad you put the build picks in for the scale of the vase. I’m very impressed with the vase.

-- If you believe you can or can not do a thing, you are correct.

View Lazarus's profile


48 posts in 3600 days

#5 posted 11-06-2012 04:17 AM

That is a beautiful piece and extraordinary work for a first time effort. Kudos to you also for contributing to a worthy cause.

View michelletwo's profile


2795 posts in 4508 days

#6 posted 11-06-2012 10:27 AM

FIRST SEGMENTATION??? Unbelievable. And the size for a 1st? Jeepers! The vase is totally wonderful. Most first timers have trouble getting any design/grace/lovely shape, as they are so worried about the mechanics. This has all the great work of first rate segmentation. Welcome to a new opportunity to design wood items as you wish them, not what an old chunk will give you.
And on top of that you did it for a charity. Thank you so much for helping & caring
As a last thought..I have seen somewhere, and I will try to find it & relay to you, a way to slow that lathe down. 700 is way too fast for a slow speed. Glad you were not injured. Someone here may also have seen a post about slowing down the speed of a lathe of this type…maybe they will chime in.

View hunter71's profile


3564 posts in 4679 days

#7 posted 11-06-2012 11:32 AM

Wow! Quite a large vase for your first. Very nice Ryan, and a good cause was the winner.

-- A childs smile is payment enough.

View toyguy's profile


1798 posts in 5329 days

#8 posted 11-06-2012 12:14 PM

Well done young man…..........

-- Brian, Ontario Canada,

View Surfside's profile


3389 posts in 3665 days

#9 posted 11-06-2012 05:38 PM

Praiseworthy! That’s a piece of work from a wise man .

-- "someone has to be wounded for others to be saved, someone has to sacrifice for others to feel happiness, someone has to die so others could live"

View Vince's profile


1334 posts in 4921 days

#10 posted 11-08-2012 08:58 AM

Very nice, I really like the form of the vase.

-- Vince

View Schwieb's profile


1925 posts in 4953 days

#11 posted 11-08-2012 10:36 AM

Pretty amazing for your first segmented piece. I’m impressed

-- Dr. Ken, Florida - Durch harte arbeit werden Träume wahr.

View kapanen's profile


121 posts in 4274 days

#12 posted 11-09-2012 10:49 PM

Just think how upset you would have been if you had a harder head?

Nice work….impressive vase.

-- "Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life"....Pablo Picasso

View Gshepherd's profile


1727 posts in 3693 days

#13 posted 11-17-2012 08:09 PM

Ryan, excellent job….. A learning experience for sure…. Sometimes my turnings do the shop floor dance as well glad you were not hurt. It sold for 2800 smackers that is quite impressive…...

-- What we do in life will Echo through Eternity........

View hunter71's profile


3564 posts in 4679 days

#14 posted 11-14-2013 03:02 AM

I cannot imagine doing that! What a great vase, and for a great cause. Beautiful job Ryan.

-- A childs smile is payment enough.

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