Second Self Designed Segmented Bowl

Discussion in 'Follow Along Projects' started by Don Sepulveda, Sep 27, 2018.

  1. Don Sepulveda

    Don Sepulveda PRO Member

    Hello All,
    When I get into something, I jump in with both feet. After struggling through making a bowl or two through drawing, calculating, and attempting to line things up, I bought the software suite and decided to design things. I thought it would be interesting to talk about the process as I move through the design and production as a newbie.

    In this bowl I decided to experiement with thin rings as they would seem to provide smoother transitions between colors and shapes than if I had used thicker rings. I am using 1/4" thick closed segment rings of 48 segments. This gives me about 960 segments in 21 rings in the bowl. An ambitious undertaking for a new guy but you have to jump in sometimes.

    The choice of a color pallette was interesting. I liked the different shades of brown on one of the pallettes so I used that rather than redifining a new pallette. I had to make some species adjustments due to what was available.

    This was a learning process with the software. The ratioed fill option really helps. I was trying to do it individually due to some uniformity issues I was having but I finally figured it out and found it pretty easy overall.

    I have cut and layed out the first four segmented rings with the help of the printout from Segment Pro. When I look at this I cannot help but imagine the headache of doing this without the software.

    As I do with all of my projects, I am mapping out the stages before I begin them. This first stage of cutting and glueing the rings is interesting. For the other projects, I cut all the segments and formed the rings prior to glueing. However, I do not have the space in my 2-car attached woodshop to lay out 48 rings at one time. Therefore, I am going to cut a couple of rings then glue them up, then cut the next round. One of the challenges I see right off the bat is glueing the thin rings. Normally I would use a hose clamp, but these are 1/2" think. This will definitely be a problem in glue up. Looking in YouTube, I ran across another segmenter, Earl, who has a YouTube channel where he uses a clamping system consisting of cord and a block of wood. I think this would work better as a clamp. I made one of these so it will take a little longer but I think it would work better than the normal hose clamp.

    As I move through this, I thought I would use this thread to talk about the trials and tribulations of a new segmenter with a more advanced project. I am attaching an image of the proposed finished bowl and two images of the first four rings layed out. Excuse the dust, I have been down with the bug this past week and have not had a chance to clean up after cutting the initial segments.

    For assembly, I will be using . a Stomper (a great tool) on my homemade Longworth chuck (another great tool).

    One of the great things about this forum is seeing the feedback from others. If you have thoughts please share them.

    Attached Files:

  2. mfisher

    mfisher Super Moderator Staff Member

    Thanks for sharing. Looking forward to your updates as your project progresses. Nice bowl design.

    I have done a few bowls of 36 segments per ring with a ring thickness of 1/8 (0.125"). I have used the chord clamp as well as a hose clamp when the rings were perfect. For others I have built by gluing pairs to build half rings. Touch them up and then do a final gluing.
  3. Don Sepulveda

    Don Sepulveda PRO Member

    I used the Wedgie and sled to cut the segments. When I put these together on a rough fit they look pretty good, no gaps. I don't expect to need to do half rings.
  4. mfisher

    mfisher Super Moderator Staff Member

    I use the wedgie system on my incra miter sled. I found that is works very well. I do have a few rings that don't come out perfect. When I do it is mostly because my stock was did not have good parallel sides. The hose clamp, rubber bands or cord clamp works well for me with 0.25" stock or thicker. The half ring method works better for me with 0.125" ring thickness.
  5. Don Sepulveda

    Don Sepulveda PRO Member

    That's good to know. I will look at that as I move forward.
  6. Mike Goldfine

    Mike Goldfine Member

    Nice going Don. For those thin rings you might consider doing them in double thickness whenever feasible and then splitting them to make for easier glue-ups.
  7. Don Sepulveda

    Don Sepulveda PRO Member

    Hello All,

    I am back. Been a busy work week and I have been fighting that bug which has been going around. I finished cutting, glueing and sanding the rings for the bowl. This has definitely been a learning experience. The 1/4" think segments are difficult to work with. I did get some helpful suggestions on this. I think the real problem is the tendency for thinner segments to twist when you clamp them. I did work with a couple of different methods for gluing and clamping the rings. I used hose clamps and tried the chord clamp. The chord clamp was a disaster. It just did not work well. I use the wedgie system for cutting segments. I settled on gluing rings in the half ring method and truing the half rings before gluing them together whole. That worked well but there was a tendency for the rings to twist. After sanding, the rings are at 3/16" which is not a problem. Looking at the pattern, it looks like the thinner rings create a smoother transition between shapes. I like the transition the thinner rings ptovides over thicker rings. Something to remember as I create the next design.

    The next step is to build the top ring and base. These will be the same material. I gound a nice piece of Goncalo Alves for these layers.

    If you are a newbie like me, here are a couple of suggestions from the trenches:

    1. For thinner rings, make them thicker than you need and sand or turn them down to your desired thickness. This helps with the ring assembly and also allows a little more leeway on truing the layers.
    2. Start with a wider ring than you think you need. Segment Pro has a default setting for the wall thinkness of 3/8". When I did the first bowl, I found a couple of rings where there was insufficient overlap due to the rings not being perfectly round combined with normal assemble issues. I set the wall thickness to 1/2" for this bowl and it looks like it will be pretty forgiving on assemble. I use the Stomper and homemade longworth chuck so alignment is pretty good but it is better not to keep it real tight. I am an engineer but I have to remember it is woodworking and not rocket science. You can always turn away the excess but you cannot add it on. Or to coin another phrase...better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it.

    Shown are two progress photos. The rings are not in the final location but the pattern is showing up.

    Again, thanks for the helpful hints. I know this is a long post, but I wanted to share some thoughts in case there is somebody else in my shoes.


    Attached Files:

  8. Bob Beaupre

    Bob Beaupre Administrator Staff Member

    Nice job Don
  9. mfisher

    mfisher Super Moderator Staff Member

    Looks like you are making good progress.

    My last bowl the rings were about 0.2" in thickness when glued into a ring. I did it by gluing pairs till half rings. Then gluing half rings together. I just pressed the two halves together for 30 seconds or so. Then taped the halves. Put a weight over them to keep them from wanting to warp. The next day the rings were sanded to .12" thickness.

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