Friday, March 26, 2010

A Pictorial study of the Process

Gluing the Segmented Rings

Here you can see the walnut spacers to be glued between the maple segments. Be sure to sand any frayed areas of the wood to ensure a clean glue-up.

I use Titebond II to glue the vase.

The rings are now being assembled with the aid metal adjustable pipe clamps. These clamps can be purchased  at Home Depot, Lowes, or at a plumping supply. I like to use these clamps because they cinch the segments up tightly. Again, the clamps are adjustable so you can adjust them to a variety of ring sizes.

One thing of importance:
Be sure that the segments form a tight fight as they form a complete circle. The segments need to fit tightly. I like to make test cuts of the segments on the mitre saw using scrap MDF or plywood. For example if I have a segment ring of 12 pieces...I'll cut 6 segments to form a semi-circle of 180 degrees and lay it flat on my table saw up against the rip fence. This way I can test the accuracy of the mitre cuts. The angles of the mitres will be either open at the top, open at the bottom, or a snug fit. I'm looking for the snug fit before I cut the material to be used on the vase. I use the Wixey digital protractor to align the blade angle on the mitre saw. In this case it was 15 degrees.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Starting the Vase Construction

To get started I used the plan from Woodturner Pro to dimension the maple and the cherry. The thickness is 3/4" and each strip of wood represents the material to be used for a specific ring.  As you can see the lengths and widths vary for each ring.

At the compound miter saw a stop block is clamped so that the vertical spacers can be cut. White oak is used in this instance and as you can see there is a 3/16'' crosscut section. The grain direction of the vase construction is all horizontal. The reason for this is to maintain stability of the glue joints while minimizing wood movement.

Ring segments are now being organized on the workbench. Each segment has a unique width and length so it is imperative to keep the segments for each ring seperate.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Segmented Vase ... 8" x 11 1/2"

What is a stacked ringed segmented vase you ask? That's a great question as this vase is an example of such construction. OK, so now you want to know how many pieces (segments) are there in this vase? There are 180 segments which make up the vase and the woods involved are maple, walnut, cherry, & white oak. Each ring has 12 segments and there are a total of 15 rings.

I was inspired to create this vase when I first saw the works of Lincoln Seitzman as I was browsing the web one evening a few years back. As it turns out Lincoln was a pioneer in the world of segmented woodturning back in the 1980's. I remember the effect he had on me when I came across his works. I was totally puzzled as to how he went about creating his works of art. Since that time I have learned some of the processes that Lincoln used and I hope that I can share some of these practices with anyone who cares to learn.

Woodturnerpro is the software that I used to design the vase and this software also produced a cutting list for me to follow. Since there are 15 rings of varying size I needed to know the dimensions of the woods that I would be employing. The software also gives you the necessary angles needed for the cuts...(15 degrees in this case.)

The Wixey angle gauge is very helpful when it comes to setting up the saw for cutting. Accuracy is imperative from the beginning til the end. You'll notice the a caliper employed as well.

In this picture you can see a piece of maple that will be used to form a ring. The first cut of 15 degrees has been made and is butted against a stopblock that has the same 15 degrees. The software also gives you the length of cut needed. Once the segment is cut, remove the segment and then flip the length of maple over 180 degrees so that it's 15 degree angle butts up against the stopblock. Continue this process until you have a total of 12 segments. That's good for one ring.

It's important to stay organized. Label the segments as you go so that you know what ring they will form. Printouts from the software reveal the shape of the vase as well as the cutting list.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Applying the Finish

Here are the six dinner salad bowls and the large bowl. I used various coats of "Tried and True" finish on them. Be sure to use very light applications when using this product. It leaves a very nice natural looking finish.
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The Large Bowl after sanding

Here you can see the large salad bowl once it has been turned and sanded. I went to 400 grit sandpaper and then burnished it with woodshavings.
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Reversing the bowl

Here you get a good view of the mortice in the base. The bowl has been reversed to finish off the base.
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