Spherical Segmented Bowl

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Project by steveg769 posted 10-14-2013 10:54 AM 1857 views 5 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Hello everyone! This is my first post on LumberJocks. I made this bowl with a technique I developed and call, “spherical segmentation”. It is quite a bit different than traditional segmenting and is not made up of stacked rings of segments. The segments are assembled into segment assemblies or panels using a sphere (bowling ball) as a form. The segments and panels are jointed on a bench-top disc sander. Other than the sander, the only other tools I used in making this bowl is a drill press and a band saw, and then I finished it out on a lathe. The bowl measures about 10 inches in diameter and 4.5 inches high, it is made of walnut and maple. I have made a video that shows all of the steps of the construction:

-- Steve Garrison,

10 comments so far

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2783 posts in 3627 days

#1 posted 10-14-2013 11:28 AM

welcome to LJ’s. neat variation on the typical segmenting. thanks for the video, it was very instructive. The bowl is a beauty.

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312 posts in 2325 days

#2 posted 10-14-2013 01:15 PM

Steve, welcome to LumberJocks! I’ve gotta visit my local bowling alley.

-- Visit my Youtube Channel:

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17820 posts in 3800 days

#3 posted 10-14-2013 03:10 PM

First off welcome to Lumberjocks you’ll Love it here!!!! 2nd, that is one cool turning, the video is great. What an interesting and cleaver way of doing this. You Turners do some amazing work… Very creative…..

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

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3114 posts in 2435 days

#4 posted 10-14-2013 11:21 PM

cool looking segmented bowl and nicely turned…well done.

-- Dave.......If at first you don’t succeed redefine success....

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276 posts in 3218 days

#5 posted 10-15-2013 01:30 AM

Welcome to LJ. I have been following you for years after I found your gear cutting system. I cant wait to see more of your projects

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15499 posts in 3478 days

#6 posted 10-15-2013 02:31 PM

Nice work, my favorite combination of wood.

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

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343 posts in 3917 days

#7 posted 10-31-2013 06:58 PM

Steve, The video, plus the Ebook, makes the concepts easier to grasp than either by themselves.j The bowl you made is amazing!


-- Spence in Skokie, IL

View steveg769's profile


8 posts in 2356 days

#8 posted 11-01-2013 01:09 AM

Thanks for the compliments and comments. I agree that the video helps grasp the concept better than just reading about it and seeing some pictures. I found several used bowling balls in good condition in a second hand store for $3 each the other day.

-- Steve Garrison,

View SawTooth1953's profile


343 posts in 3917 days

#9 posted 11-01-2013 02:09 AM

Steve, Have you cut enough bowling balls to advise what to look for as far as easier or cleaner cutting based on appearance of the ball material and which band saw blade tooth configuration to use or to not use?

I don’t have a lathe. As an alternative to bowling balls, and for a variety of radii, I was wondering if I could buy styrofoam balls to cut and paint with a coat of epoxy as an alternative… what do you think?


-- Spence in Skokie, IL

View steveg769's profile


8 posts in 2356 days

#10 posted 11-01-2013 03:04 AM

Hi Spencer, I have only cut just a few of them. They seem to have a core of lower density grainy-looking plastic material (easier to cut???), and a higher density outer layer – I think they vary the weight of the ball by using a larger core for a lighter ball. So if that’s the case then a lighter weight ball should be easier to saw through. I used a 6tpi hook tooth blade which got the job done, but was dull afterwards. Maybe a metal-cutting blade with more teeth per inch and lower hook angle would work better – just a guess. Modern bowling balls are plastic all the way through. You can also look into the finger holes to see how thick the outer layer is.

I don’t see why a coated styrofoam ball wouldn’t work as long as the surface is smooth, hard, and very spherical. I am skeptical of a foam ball being round enough though. The router jig I describe in the eBook works very well for making spherical forms for any radius you want to use. They can also be re-mounted on the jig and re-surfaced to a different radius if needed.


-- Steve Garrison,

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