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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A view of the mounting

A mortise was turned into the base. The chuck was then seated and tightened in the mortise to ensure a firm hold.
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Ready to turn

A small bowl is being prepared for interior turning.
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Here you can see the glue-up process of the small and large bowls. The large bowl is pictured with a waste piece from the lathe still attached to the bottom.
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Clamping the bottom to the ring

Now it's just a matter of time for the glue to cure.
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The Mortise and the Tenon

A 1/4" tenon has been turned on the lathe to seat firmly within the mortise. Now it is time for gluing and clamping the two together.
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Mounting the bottom to a faceplate

The faceplate is screwed to a waste piece. The bottom piece and the waste pice are alligned with one another by lining up the intersecting pencil lines. I used hotmelt glue to adhere the bottom piece to the waste piece.
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Cutting the bottoms

Notice how the corners were connected by diagonal lines to find the intersecting center. Then a compass was set at the appropriate radius to draw the circle. Then I just cut the circumference allowing about a 1/16" of waste.

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Measuring the mortise

Pictured is a caliper indicating a 1/4' depth of the mortise. That'll work!
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Flattening the opposite side of the ring

This picture shows a straightedge checking for flatness after using a scraper gouge. This needs to be perfectly flat as this will become the mating surface for the bottom piece.
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Sanding one side smooth

Once the ring's glue has had a chance to cure I sand the bottom of the ring on the disc sander. This allows for a flat surface once mounted on the lathe.
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Joining two rings together

The large tossing salad bowl walls are being assembled in this picture using metal hose clamps. A socket driver is installed in the drill to speed up the process and once the slack is taken out of the metal bands I use the hand driver to apply the final pressure.

Make sure all the joints are tight as well as ensuring the staves are levelled horizontally. I use Titebond 2 and allow it to dry at least overnight before placing it on the lathe..
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Testing the bevel angles

This is how I make sure the bevel angles have been accurately cut. Notice how the bottom bevels of each stave lay flat to the tablesaw surface. In this picture the walnut vertical pieces were omitted as I was only interested in making sure the bevel angles were accurate.
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Two glued segmented halves

Pictured are two segmented halves that will be joined together. Notive how the masking tape keeps the joints in aligment. Also, you can see the rubberband around each section to help maintain compression of the glue joints.

In the background there are rings that have been previously glued up.
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Gluing the staves and the vertical spacers

In this picture you can see the plan printed from the software. I use Woodturnerpro which is available online. It gives you all the necessary information for cutting after you design your segmented project.

The vertical pieces are placed between the maple staves and then glued.
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The vertical spacer...walnut

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The walnut vertical spacers are 1/8" and are being cut to length.

Cutting the maple staves

Posted by Picasa The first stave is cut with a bevelled angle of 15 degrees. As you can see the saw is crosscut at 90 degrees. Once the first bevel cut is made the board is then flipped edge for edge and it is then measured for the appropriate segment length. A stop block is clamped on the right side of the blade to guarantee accurate successive cuts.

Creating Salad Bowls...a study in Segmented Woodturning

These salad bowls were created using flat boards of maple and walnut. There are 12 staved segments of maple along with walnut vertical spacers in between.
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