My segmented woodturning adventure #2: Get Started (again)

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Blog entry by stefang posted 01-06-2018 07:31 PM 3146 reads 1 time favorited 25 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: Segmented Woodturning - Cutting Segments On A Bandsaw Part 2 of My segmented woodturning adventure series Part 3: Gearing up for doing some segmented work »

I’m making some( slow) progress on my reentry into woodturning. My Wedgie sled is nearly complete. I have drilled and routed out for the bolts that hold the adjustable fences. I have made the runner for the sled and fitted it to the slot in my tablesaw ready to be screwed on this coming Monday, and I received my Wedgies for setting the various angles for different numbers of segments. Use of the Wedgie sled together with the wedgies to set the fence angles guarantees perfect segments every time without cutting test rings, using sanding jigs, or sanding ring halfs.

Wedgie Sled tip
After routing the the adjustment slots on the body of the jig you might find that the groove is a little too tight for the bolt to move smoothly (or in my case not at all). This is not a big problem if you are using mdf to make the jig with, but if you are using plywood like I did, you will soon find out that a file cannot be used to slightly enlarge the grooves without tearing up the plys on the other side. After thinking about how I could do this (way too much thinking) I remembered I had a scrollsaw. I just put a small pencil line on one side of the grooves and very carefully trimmed a little away. Bingo! I love my scrollsaw. Just make sure you don’t saw to much away (no, I didn’t).

Dealing with old age infirmities
I’m still not sure how turning again will work out for me physically, but I do know from experience that segment turning is a lot easier and faster than hollowing out large tree trunka. Another advantage of course is that you can turn the insides of a few rings at a time as the vessel is being glued up instead of using long and specialized tools need to hollow out closed forms along with all the work involved.

Making segments – work progression
The main work is preparing stock, cutting segments, sanding off fuzzies, glueing up rings, flattening them and then glueing them to other rings. In fact, more like traditional woodworking and most of it can be done sitting down. A real blessing to old geezers like myself. Of course I have only dabbled in segmented turning before, so I have a lot to learn and I am artistically challenged, so that will also be a factor. I’ve joined the AAW Segmented Woodturners forum and Woodturner Pro forum in order to steal all their great ideas and also to make some new friends (are my two goals incompatible?). The project galleries have lots of really amazing turnings, both technically and artistically, so that inspiration will at least give me something to shoot for.

Why not try it out?
So my message here is that if you have a lathe and want to try out segmented turning just build yourself a wedgie sled, it’s easy. Complete instructions at this link,

Thanks for reading.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

25 comments so far

View SPalm's profile


5334 posts in 4491 days

#1 posted 01-06-2018 07:42 PM

Sounds like a great idea.
There some really nice vessels I’ve seen, and you are right about they are easier than digging out the center.


-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View socrbent's profile


909 posts in 2878 days

#2 posted 01-06-2018 07:58 PM

One of the biggest bonus’s of segmented turning is that you are always turning side grain.

-- socrbent Ohio

View Arlin Eastman's profile

Arlin Eastman

4275 posts in 3170 days

#3 posted 01-06-2018 07:59 PM

First my friend I would highly encourage you to change your mindset on turning.

I started turning 2 years after I was in a bombing in the middle east and broken 16 bones in my neck and back and ribs and ankles and brain damage due to head trauma.

I started turning while in a wheel chair and it was quite a job to learn and turn and shut down my fear of everything at the same time. It was a lot of work and encouragement from others at WoodNet who so helped me mentally. :)

I have been wanting to also start learning how to do segmented work and then teach it to the other vets I teach wood turning to and I could use any and all advise on how to do it and like you shown a sled and those parts for how many segments per ring.

Did you make those or buy them from Jerry Bennett?

-- It is always the right time, to do the right thing.

View hunter71's profile


3477 posts in 3796 days

#4 posted 01-06-2018 08:28 PM

My turning is limited to the toys I build but, I have friends that are great at it. I have watched several segmented pieces. Love them.

-- A childs smile is payment enough.

View CFrye's profile


10836 posts in 2449 days

#5 posted 01-06-2018 08:31 PM

Just watched the video, Mike. Thanks for sharing.

-- God bless, Candy

View htl's profile


4872 posts in 1768 days

#6 posted 01-06-2018 11:04 PM

After doing a little turning for my rocket ship it’s got me thinking about playing on the lathe again and like you all my work needs to be while sitting so this segment work has been on my mind after seeing some of the beautiful work shown on here.
So going to pull up a chair and try to learn something> ;-]

-- An Index Of My Model making Blogs

View shipwright's profile


8453 posts in 3407 days

#7 posted 01-07-2018 12:11 AM

Great to see you jumping right back in Mike. Looks like a great project in the works!

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

View stefang's profile


17039 posts in 3943 days

#8 posted 01-07-2018 01:41 AM

Thanks everybody for your comments. I’m glad to see that there is some interest segmented turning out there.

Something unexpected happened to me today while I was finishing up my wedgie sled. I had a lot of pain in my chest so I had to quit and go back into the house. My wife made go to the our local emergency doctor and after examining me she told me that she was pretty sure I’d had a heart attack so she me gave me some stuff to relieve the pain and sent me to the hospital where i am now hooked up to a bunch of wires to monitor my heart. I’m not in much pain now. They said I will be here a few days to evaluate my situation. They are treating me wonderfully well here. My son came with me in the ambulance and my DIL came with my Kindle and my iphone so I could bore you to death with health problems. Please don’t feel sorry for me, this has turned out to be a very interesting weekend and I’ve met a lot of nice people tonight.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View socrbent's profile


909 posts in 2878 days

#9 posted 01-07-2018 01:45 AM

Stefang – wish you a speedy recovery. Lets get you beck in the shop.

-- socrbent Ohio

View stefang's profile


17039 posts in 3943 days

#10 posted 01-07-2018 02:03 AM

Alin, I bought the wedges from Gerry Bennet. I think he deserves some profit for his innovative ‘invention’ that saves us so much work. For those that can’t afford them I think a digital angle finder would work fine.

This is where I am now.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View htl's profile


4872 posts in 1768 days

#11 posted 01-07-2018 03:07 AM

Stefang you get better soon!!!
We need our #3 thread!!! LOL

-- An Index Of My Model making Blogs

View Druid's profile


2163 posts in 3404 days

#12 posted 01-07-2018 03:52 AM

In spite of everything going on, it sounds like your sense of humour is still intact. Best wishes for a full recovery for you Mike.

-- John, British Columbia, Canada

View doubleDD's profile


8976 posts in 2652 days

#13 posted 01-07-2018 04:44 AM

Wow Mike, didn’t know building a wedgie sled could be that stressful. Just kidding, trying to make you laugh.
Hope you make a quick come back especially after all the other crap you been going through.
I headed in a different direction with my sled as you saw but I picked up a good tip in the video if I need to tighten the jig up in the miter track. I’m with you on this journey to learn new ideas and improve my segment turnings.
Take care Mike.

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

View Dutchy's profile


3508 posts in 2777 days

#14 posted 01-07-2018 08:30 AM

- stefang

sexy socks


View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18793 posts in 4285 days

#15 posted 01-07-2018 08:37 AM

Good to see you out and about Mike. Great vid you posted.

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

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