My segmented woodturning adventure #1: Segmented Woodturning - Cutting Segments On A Bandsaw

  • Advertise with us
Blog entry by stefang posted 12-29-2017 06:18 PM 3044 reads 3 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of My segmented woodturning adventure series Part 2: Get Started (again) »

Turners who want to get into segmented woodturning might hesitate because they think that accurate segments can be cut only on a tablesaw or mitersaw and they have only a bandsaw. There may be some truth in that, but I did a little experimentation today to see exactly how true it is.

Very accurate jigs for cutting segments
I am planning to do a little segmented woodturning again myself and I have gotten some wedgies from Seg Easy to set the angles on my double fence wedgie sled, which I haven’t built yet, but which will look like the one pictured below and which will be set up for cutting with the accompanying wedgies also shown below.

You can find a lot more about these jigs and accessories if you are not familiar with them on Seg Easy’s website and also on Woodturner Pro’s site.

Cutting the segments
As of this morning I hadn’t received my wedgies, but I wanted to try out the two fence principal. Since I didn’t have my tablesaw jig built yet I decided to use an all purpose sliding table for my bandsaw which I already had. Unlike the wedgie sled it covers the whole bandsaw table and rides on runners in the two table slots. I just used double sided tape for the fences and segment length stop and I used my digital angle finder to set the fence angle at 15 degrees in this case to cut 24 segments, which I thought would give the bandsaw a good test for accuracy as the more segments the more compounding of errors which would result in gaps. Since my sled covers the whole table I had to mount the Segment length stop on the sled, but no kickback danger, so that worked good even though it looks odd.

It turned out that my digital angle gauge was right on. After the segments were cut I hand sanded the fuzzies off the cut edges, constructed the ring, glued the edges and clamped with rubber bands. No gaps, but slightly thicker glue lines due to the rougher cut from the bandsaw blade. I think that the glue lines could be even thinner with a few strokes of the edges on a sanding platter, although I did not do this because I wanted see the results straight from the saw blade so to speak. Here is how the rings turned out. Both were 24 segment rings made from pine offcuts.

After finishing the glue-up of the rings I found a notice in the mail that my Seg Easy wedgies were waiting for me at the post office, so I went down and picked them up. Here is picture of my sled, which was set up with the digital angle finder and another with my new 15 degree wedgie inserted. Perfect fit!

I have to say that it was a lot more pleasant cutting the segments on my bandsaw and safer too. My next experiment will be to once again use the bandsaw and give the segment edges 5 or 6 strokes on my sanding board to see what if any effect it will have on the glue joint lines. It could be pretty tempting to use a bandsaw for this work.

If you are an experienced segment turner it would be interesting to get your opinion on the results and don’t worry about hurting my feelings with your comments because I would really like to have your opinion. Thanks for reading.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

8 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile


118065 posts in 4347 days

#1 posted 12-29-2017 06:21 PM

Great idea a very cool jig thanks for sharing.
Happy New year.


View Dutchy's profile


3726 posts in 2939 days

#2 posted 12-29-2017 06:53 PM

Great contribution.


View toyguy's profile


1734 posts in 4608 days

#3 posted 12-29-2017 07:35 PM

I have done a bit of segmented turning, and it is a lot of fun I might add.

I have never used the band saw for cutting segments, but if set up right like you have done, it should be doable.

I like to use a sled on the table saw. One thing I will note, there is no perfect segment. For me, they always need a bit of sanding. I do my rings in halves then true them up on the disc sander. Before stacking rings I mount them on the lathe for more sanding.

In segmented turning, you just can not have a good enough joint, anywhere. Any gaps will lead to failure…..

Good luck in your venture.

-- Brian, Ontario Canada,

View doubleDD's profile


9464 posts in 2814 days

#4 posted 12-29-2017 08:10 PM

Don’t be a sissy, use the table saw. LOL. Honestly Mike I’ve seen this before about using the bandsaw to cut segments. I am presently in the process of building a sled for segment turnings. I should be able to give it a test today before adding a few more extra’s on it. I had thought quite a bit about the bandsaw version but I look at sanding the teeth marks as a extra step. Your results look great without any sanding. Should be interesting if the joints will look even better with the extra sanding. For me in the past I made the joint look worst by sanding, but that’s just me. One other thing that helped me decide using a table saw was all the extra room on the table compared to the bandsaw table. With the results you have there I would stick with it.
So my 2 cents—-I like it.

-- Dave, Downers Grove, Il. -------- When you run out of ideas, start building your dreams.

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

24787 posts in 3876 days

#5 posted 12-29-2017 08:51 PM

Nice process, Mike!! I visited Lizzardhead here in Az a few years ago and he had two fixtures for bandsaw segmenting. The first was the cutting jig on the BS and the second was similar jig for the belt sander to get a real smooth glue surface.

cheers, Jim

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

View Julian's profile


1579 posts in 3461 days

#6 posted 12-29-2017 09:48 PM

I have done several segmented turnings in the past few years. I have never tired to cut segments on the bandsaw because the bandsaw will not give you as smooth a cut. I feel the table saw is the most efficient way to cut perfect fitting segments. The smoother the cut the glue joint will be less visible. I would recommend you cut segments on your table saw (with a new blade) and compare that to segments cut on the bandsaw. I always dry fit the segments before gluing. I hold the ring up to a light and look for any gaps. The only time I had gaps was when the runner on the sled came loose, otherwise the rings come out perfect. In the end you should do what works best for yourself.

-- Julian

View stefang's profile


17039 posts in 4105 days

#7 posted 12-29-2017 11:55 PM

Thanks for your comments everyone. With all due respect, this bandsaw work was just to test the accuracy of the double fence system. I actually wrote the blog to maybe inspire turners who do not have a table saw or miter saw to try using their bandsaw instead. Most turners have a bandsaw. I do think that I have demonstrated here that half rings and sanding jigs are not necessary for a decent result, even with a bandsaw. As for myself, I will be making a wedgie sled for my table saw in spite of the fact that I was really impressed with the bandsaw results.

If one wants to go further than I did and accurately sand the edges to smooth the cut a little more, a few strokes on both cut edges of each segment on a sanding board should do the trick providing the same number of strokes and consistent downward pressure are used for every piece. I plan to try this just for fun and I will let you know the results for those following this blog.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Schwieb's profile


1900 posts in 4232 days

#8 posted 01-01-2018 11:35 AM

I think your test was well done and proves a point. Looking forward to seeing your segmented project.

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

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics