My segmented woodturning adventure #3: Gearing up for doing some segmented work

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Blog entry by stefang posted 01-28-2018 02:43 PM 3071 reads 0 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 2: Get Started (again) Part 3 of My segmented woodturning adventure series no next part

The more or less completed Wedgie Sled
After showing my almost completed Wedgie sled, I went back into the shop the next day to attach the runner on to it which would slide in my tablesaw slot (My tablesaw has only one). I got almost finished and then had a heart attack. After some fiddling at the hospital I returned home and have been taking it easy the last 3 weeks. As of yesterday I am back in the shop good as new.

Problems due to my weird European combi machine
My wedgie sled is almost complete and just lacks some shop made knobs to tighten the fences with although it is now fully functional. My tablesaw is a 5 function economy combination machine made in Belgium. I’ve had it 22 years and it still performs like new. The only problem is that many (read almost all) jigs that work on American machines don’t work on mine, so I always have to try to adapt using my somewhat dried up imagination.

Because the table slot is on the right side of my saw blade, that is the side the wedgie sled must run on and the slot is very closely located next to the edge of the table. Luckily I have a sliding table on that side which I can use to help support the sled. I plan to drill a hole through the wedgie sled and the sliding table so I can screw them together when I’m using the sled. Here is the basic set-up. I ran the sled through the saw just taking a whisper off the edge to create a zero clearance.

Test cutting to determine accuracy
Next I wanted to see how well this set-up would work and also to test the accuracy of the sled and the angle wedgies I bought from Gerry Bennet. I decided that a 48 segment ring should give a pretty good indication. There was a couple of thin strips about 36” long that were cut from a pine board that I figured would be ok for the test. I clamped on a spacer to my tablesaw fence for the segment width I wanted and cut out 55 or so segments. it’s always good to have a few extra in case some get damaged while cutting.

After the cutting the fuzzies were removed. No sanding was done to the glue joints. I glued up using rub joints starting with 2, then 4, then 8, then 3 times 8 to make two half rings. I took a steel rule to see how the ends would line up. They were right on! I have to admit that I was pretty surprised. So after letting the glue dry a little I glued the half rings together, again without any glue joint sanding. I let the ring dry awhile then measured it top to bottom and left to right and believe it or not they were exactly the same. Again unexpected accurate results. I left it overnight to let the glue harden.

Test results
This morning I went out hand sanded the top and bottom edges of the ring and sanded the outside edge with my disk sander freehand so I could get a better look at the quality of the glue joints. I really don’t think I could get them any better. Pine glue joints can never be quite as good as hardwood glue joints, but they are pretty darn close.

Fully satisfied with both my shop made wedgie sled and the angle wedgies I purchased from Gerry Bennet.

What’s next
I have to round up some of the special woods I have in the shop and above in the loft. these include walnut, sycamore, yellowheart, mahogany, maple, cocobolo, paduak and African blackwood. These are all in small quantities, so I will have to determine first how much I have of each and then try and translate that into a segmented design. I will get back to you when that is done. A few years ago I did turn some pine segmented pieces just as experiments, but this will be my first one with some proper wood species and I hope I can come up with something interesting and a little different.

Thanks for reading.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

13 comments so far

View shipwright's profile


8570 posts in 3599 days

#1 posted 01-28-2018 02:57 PM

Looking really good Mike. You have to admit, it is more fun re-inventing the wheel every time than just doing what everyone else does. ..... isn’t it? I often have to design work arounds for the ShopSmith too but that’s what makes it a challenge.
Glad to see you back in the shop!

-- 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 4135 days

#2 posted 01-28-2018 03:06 PM

Thanks Paul. Yes, it is good to have some challenges to keep the gears oiled. My biggest and most difficult challenge is the lack of space in my shop which makes it so difficult to work and also to keep the shop neat and clean. I don’t need a lot more space, but wider than the 2 or so meters I have would be really nice. If I were a lot younger I would seriously consider using the shop for handwork only (not sure if I really mean that).

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Dutchy's profile


3774 posts in 2969 days

#3 posted 01-28-2018 03:09 PM

I like your contribution. It is opening my eyes on how the segments can be made the easy way. In the past I have done segment gluing, but always after sanding.


View stefang's profile


17039 posts in 4135 days

#4 posted 01-28-2018 03:24 PM

Yes Jan. The sanding was one of the reasons I gave up segmented work. This sled and the wedgies solve that problem. My other concern at the time was the difficulties in getting hold of suitable wood species. That situation is somewhat better now. You can of course make your own wedgies, it isn’t that difficult, especially for someone with your capabilities. I just didn’t want to add another layer of work before getting started as I get tired pretty quick nowadays.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

4275 posts in 3965 days

#5 posted 01-28-2018 03:47 PM

Both your saw and you are as good as new, from what I can see. I also enjoy making the jigs and modifying my tools to suit my needs.

Still getting a rest from the shop after a hard binge or refinishing and repairing work, but that may come to an end soon. I needed a little rest but it is about time to shift ground again.

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

View stefang's profile


17039 posts in 4135 days

#6 posted 01-28-2018 04:10 PM

Good to hear from you Jim. I hope that recent earthquake in Alaska hasn’t upset any of your apple carts. I hope you will soon be back in woodworking mode again.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View sras's profile


5533 posts in 3930 days

#7 posted 01-28-2018 04:35 PM

That’s pretty impressive accuracy! Nice to see you posting again.

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

View lew's profile


13143 posts in 4556 days

#8 posted 01-28-2018 04:47 PM

One of these is on my to-do list, Mike. Thanks for confirming my thoughts on the sled.

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View stefang's profile


17039 posts in 4135 days

#9 posted 01-28-2018 05:05 PM

Thanks Steve, it’s good to be back. I hope you will give it a try Lew. You certainly won’t find the turning work challenging, but the design and ring construction part should be fun.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Druid's profile


2205 posts in 3596 days

#10 posted 01-28-2018 10:03 PM

Really good to see you back on here Mike, and glad to hear that you are “back in the shop good as new”. :)
Excellent results with your new jig, and it reminds me to get my lathe rebuild finished.
Thanks for the update.

-- John, British Columbia, Canada

View stefang's profile


17039 posts in 4135 days

#11 posted 01-28-2018 11:14 PM

Thanks John. I look forward to seeing your refurbished lathe and some of your turnings too. It’s been awhile since I have done much turning so it will be fun to get back into the groove. I was reading a Jet lathe review today. It has a swinging headstock on it and the owner said it was great that he could swing the headstock towards the outboard side so he could hollow out without breaking his back leaning over the rails. The headstock on my lathe swivels too, but I never thought about swinging it to save my back. A great, if obvious idea that never occurred to me. Very glad I read that review!

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View doubleDD's profile


9527 posts in 2844 days

#12 posted 01-29-2018 05:25 AM

Good to see you back up and running Mike. 48 piece segment is a perfect test for accuracy. Glad it turned out great.
I’ll be watching and waiting to see what you do with the variety of lumber you have. I’ll be kind of doing the same as you after going through all my stock to see what I have. I’m not going with a 48 segment ring but maybe a 36. I even went out and bought a gallon of glue to get ready. Just curious as to what tooth blade you use. I have a 60 tooth dedicated for this purpose and get good results.
Good luck in your journey.

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

View stefang's profile


17039 posts in 4135 days

#13 posted 01-29-2018 12:23 PM

Hi Dave. I have a new 40 tooth all purpose blade. The blade for my table is an odd size compared to American saws. it’s 190mm or close to 7-1/2”. It’s also thicker than most folks use for segment work at 1/8”. It is a pretty good quality though. I have used a thinner blade intended for miter saws before and I might do that again just to save some wood. My maximum cut height is only about 2”. A 60 or 80 tooth blade would be better and I might get one depending on how much segmented turning I will be doing. It pretty much depends on the woods that I can get hold of.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

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