Square feature in middle of bottom of a bowl

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Forum topic by Abter posted 11-17-2019 11:21 PM 427 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Abter's profile


77 posts in 1190 days

11-17-2019 11:21 PM

Topic tags/keywords: segmented medallion

I’m not sure how to ask this question, because I’m not even sure of what the right words would be.
I want to make a segmented bowl with a square ceramic tile as a feature in the middle of the bottom. At my niece’s wedding 4” x 4” Mexican Talavera (aka majolica) square ceramic tiles (~3/8” thick) were a feature of the wedding decorations. The tiles have brightly colored glazed ceramic on top, with terracotta showing on the bottom.I am trying to think of a turned bowl project could make that has the tile in the bottom. The closest turning term I can come up with is to use this square tile as a medallion-like feature in the bottom.

I’m thinking of something like make a tight fitting wood “frame” around the tile. The frame would be the same thickness as the tile and would eventually form a disk with a square hole cut through it. Underneath this frame would be a “base” of another piece of wood that the tile would rest on. Permanently glue the frame to the base, making a wood sandwich with a hollow place for the tile. Use this sandwich as the base of a turned bowl project.

Does this this description make sense? What is such a feature bottom called in the woodturning world? Any pictures, or shop notes anyone know about of such a beastie???

-- "Many men fish all their lives without ever realizing that it is not the fish they are after." {often mis-quoted as by H.D. Thoreau}

4 replies so far

View John Smith's profile

John Smith

2083 posts in 725 days

#1 posted 11-18-2019 12:31 PM

watching this one closely. I love a challenge like this.
please follow up with photos if you ever get it figured out.



-- I am a painter. That's what I do. I paint things --

View Jack Lewis's profile

Jack Lewis

529 posts in 1641 days

#2 posted 11-18-2019 03:14 PM

My suggestion: Mount the tile on base, frame it with appropriate frame, turn it to form a floating base with mortise on bottom, cut your first ring with a mortise on top, fit the tile and base into the mortise of the ring.
Sorry for the hastily drawn pic.

-- "PLUMBER'S BUTT! Get over it, everybody has one"

View gwilki's profile


329 posts in 2036 days

#3 posted 11-18-2019 04:21 PM

I’m with Jack. I do my floating bases a bit differently, but the objective is the same. I would make a frame for your tile, then turn or cut the outside of the frame round. Then, glue up the bottom segmented ring of your bowl into two halves. Use a slot cutter bit to cut a groove into each half. The groove needs to be thick enough and a big enough diameter to allow the ring to close while surrounding your framed tile.

I’ve done this many times for floating bases and it works very well. I’ve not had a floating base with a square tile in it, but, once you make a round frame for the tile, the concept is exactly the same.

-- Grant Wilkinson, Ottawa ON

View Abter's profile


77 posts in 1190 days

#4 posted 11-20-2019 04:46 PM

Thanks everybody. You nailed the idea I had, but helped me flesh out what I was thinking about. A floating base is the phrase I needed. Never heard of it before, but I was sure something was out there to describe the concept. I will post some pics when I make this (eventually).

-- "Many men fish all their lives without ever realizing that it is not the fish they are after." {often mis-quoted as by H.D. Thoreau}

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