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Flattening Open Segment Rings



Hey guys, I would love to hear your strategies for flattening your rings as you assemble an open segment bowl. In the past, I've tried putting a few rows on at a time, but errors add up over a few layers. Do you guys flatten each ring after you glue on the segments? How long do you wait after you put the last piece on? What tools do you use to flatten them?

On the vase I'm doing now, I planned for .25" thick rows. I cut the segment stock at .28, so I have a fair amount to take off each ring to get down to .25. Right now I'm using a flattening stick with sandpaper.

Again, I'd love to hear how you guys tackle your open segment bowls!
I've only done a couple of open turnings but id say get a few layers on and when you try to flatten the top ring have the lathe running as fast as you feels safe and take light shear cuts, don't use a scraper. Then you can finish it off with a sheet of sand paper on a flat board, i use a cross visa set up to flatten my ring on lathe as posted on the forum under jigs
Thanks Martyn. I actually have a cross slide for my lathe, but it is quite large, and I wouldn't want to be putting it on and taking it off too often. Yours looks much more manageable.
Justin, I found that I need to flatten every row. When I mill my wood I normally will cut up the complete board and then plane it down to thickness. However, doing it this way I end up with left over pieces that I will use on my next project. But the thickness will vary from piece to piece, so then I have to flatten every row.

I flatten my row with a sanding board only I don't try to use a tool on them.

Time between final glue and being able to flatten will vary with the glue you are using. I've learned to slow down and I'll leave at least half an hour after finishing a row before I take it from the jig to flatten.

I know your going to ask so, my favorite glue to use with open segment is Titebond No-Run, No-Drip
It dries really fast and is almost as transparent as the Titebond Translucent
Title: Titebond - Product

I can find the No-Run, No-Drip much easier than the Translucent

Also, getting back to flattening rings. I find the thinner the row the more important it gets to flatten each row
I do like Bob, flatten each row using a sanding board only. I have been using Titebond III and will wait on average 1.5 - 2 hours before sanding. That's probably a bit excessive but I'm in no rush.
Thanks. I’ll give it a shot.

I’m using pipe cleaners to remove squeeze out from the open spaces. I’m worried that finishing will be a problem due to the glue keeping the seams from taking up the finish evenly. How does that work?

I’m finding the difference between too little and too much glue is a vanishingly small amount. :)
I also sand each row. I built a 90 degree fixture to mount between the saddle on my lathe . I put a pencil mark on each segment I put a piece of sandpaper against the flat on the fixture which is parallel to the work and simply sand the pencil marks off. Takes about 2 minutes and the segments are flat and square. I use the Titebond moulding glue but I think it is sold under a different name now.
Having only built 2 open segment bowls so far my answer is bound to be somewhat speculative. However, I found that stock prep is the key. Having planed to slightly over thickness I then put everything through a drum sander. Doing this I found that I did not need to sand each row and I didn't end of with a "bent" bowl. See attached - still working on getting the glue between segments right so that it looks clean. Tried pipe cleaners but not completely happy.2021-09-29_8-47-35.jpg
Nice bowl. I use Titebond Quik and Thick. Dries fast an in nearly invisible. IMO if you have problems with squeeze out, you are using way too much glue.
I will look for Titebond Quick and Thick. You are probably correct about the squeeze out. I am always concerned about too little glue with open segments because I have had a few pieces with wings that end up at the other end of the workshop :(. Getting it just right requires trial and error I guess!
Prepping the wood is the most important step. Same thickness will same you
More time and aggravation than almost anything you can do. Check out Earl’s Small Segment on YouTube. He is doing a series on open segments.
Warren is correct. That is where a drum sander is a boon. It is not a cheap investment for a decent one but I now wonder how I managed before. Having persuaded SHMBO that it was necessary addition I make sure to tell her how often I use it :). Of course I did manage before but the time in my shop is now much more productive and thus more enjoyable. I use it all of the time and not just for segmented bowls. Anytime that I want to square up stock or produce very thin stock of a consistent thickness I go to the DS. First, I rip slightly oversize on the band saw. Something that I guess we all learn over time is that quality tools produce quality results when used and set up correctly. It is worth paying that bit extra!