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Alternative to Sprinkler?

Dan Case

PRO Member
I think the Stomper is a great idea--but I'm concerned about the amount of flex that the plastic sprinkler stem could introduce. I can't help it. I'm a precision kinda guy. :)

Has anyone tried to build a Segment Stomper from all-metal parts? Before I start buying parts and experimenting, I thought I should ask and learn from others' mistakes.



I wish the flex wasn't there, but at less than $10, it doesn't have the accuracy that a mechanical device would have. Nevertheless, it is easy to achieve results as good as any other centering system I've ever used. The key with either open segments or closed segments is simply to add the new ring and then look at the turning from the side, adjusting the ring so that the joints are aligned vertically. Then turn either the SegEasy plate of the Longworth Disks 90 degrees and check that alignment and make minor adjustments as necessary. Repeat this two more times and the new ring will be centered. You will see that this process only takes 30 seconds and you won't have to worry about the rings sliding which I believe is a far bigger problem.

I have been experimenting with different mechanical solutions but as you can imagine, there is a significant cost to a mechanical solution. So far, it looks like a pneumatic Stomper will be the most cost effective and so that is currently the direction I am going. I don't have a target price, but I'm going to try to keep it as low as possible but still achieve a solution where flex is not an issue.

Whatever I do, it will be designed so that it will fix the current SegEasy and Longworth products.

Interesting, Lloyd--a pneumatic cylinder is exactly what's been floating around in my head. A cylinder with a comparable shaft size would certainly be more rigid than the sprinkler pop-up. It would be interesting (but messy) to incorporate clamping, too. I'll be interested to see what you come up with.

I also have been considering this problem. I'm thinking about making 2 bearings out of 1/2" mdf and put them on both sides of my 3/4" laminated building board. I would sink the top bearing in a second 3/4" building board. I don't want to use metal bearings because I think they would wear the plastic rod. This shortens the length of bowl you can build but I think would make a much more stable system. Any thoughts?
I have come up with my version. I'm doing 48 open segment bowls right now and the flex gets out of hand with these small pieces. This involves the Seg-Easy open segment plate. I have made a wooden bushing that fit snuggle in the the center hole where the Stomper would normally go. It is then bored out to 5/8". There is a 5/8" spot face in the bottom of the bowl, just like you would make for the Stomper. I'll use that while I put on the first couple of rows. The I'll turn the bottom of the bowl to clean it up. To continue I then hot glue a small block of wood to the bottom of the bowl and then stop face this block with the 5/8" spot the same as before.
To add a ring, I'll add my segments to the Seg-Easy plate, them put glue on all the pieces. The bottom of the bowl is in the lathe on a face plate. I then put the wooden bushing into the bottom of the Seg-Easy and run a piece of 5/8" OD chrome moly tube thru the bushing. One end of the tube goes into the spot face in the bottom of the bowl and the other onto the live center of the lathe. Tighten it up and now the Seg-Easy plate is dead center with the bowl and lathe. Slide the Seg-Easy plate up to bowl, line it up and press and hold for a minute or two until the glue grabs. Release the tail stock, unscrew the face plate and move over to the bench and add my clamping weight. Then get of the pipe cleaners and go to work.

Here are a couple of pictures.
This is the bushing with the tube installed
The Seg-Easy plate on the bushing ( I found out I do not need the rubber band)
IMG_20161218_131033362.jpg IMG_20161218_130046826.jpg
Center spot face in the bottom of the bowl
with the block after tuning the bottom
Tail stock live center
In the lathe
IMG_20161218_130141288.jpg IMG_20161218_130148474.jpg
Pushed up tight
Pulled off the lathe and weight put on ready to go after the glue
Nice set-up. Am I to much of an amateur if I leave the 5/8" hole in the bottom and fill it with a 3/4: domed plug in offsetting color? The deep vase I'm making it will be difficult to get the block out (or in since I'm almost done up to the top). Also where did you get the 5/8" tube?
Bluemax, you've got to remember "You are the Artist".
A domed plug is just anther way to skin the cat.
The 5/8" tube I bought online from Wicks aircraft: Title: {title]
I made your fixture to finish up the vase and it worked well. I was in kind of a hurry so I used a piece of copper pipe (5/8" o.d.) which worked o.k. I think the steel one will be more rigid. Anyway I included a picture of the vase. It doesn't compare to the ones you have done but for me it was a step up. I have two of my wife's favorite bible verses and I included a picture of the bottom. I've started an Egyptian bowl ( a picture of a couple of segments off the feature ring). If anyone has a good plan for the painted segments with an Egyptian motif I'd appreciate it. It will be aboput 6" in diameter and 6-8" high.


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Bluemax, glad it worked for you.
I posted this procedure over in the segment woodturners forum and Jerry Bennett came back and he suggested mounting the Seg-Easy plate on a piece of MDF to keep the Seg-Easy plate flat. I have not gotten to do it yet but thought I pass it on.
I have had my Seg Easy plates mounted on MDF ever since I got them some time ago. That way they don't flex at all. Its worth doing it and works for me.
Good job. Love the pictures on how to do the job. Sometimes I have a hard time picturing when something is just explained
I think the Stomper is a great idea--but I'm concerned about the amount of flex that the plastic sprinkler stem could introduce. I can't help it. I'm a precision kinda guy. :)

Has anyone tried to build a Segment Stomper from all-metal parts? Before I start buying parts and experimenting, I thought I should ask and learn from others' mistakes.



I didn't care for the flexibility in my stomper either. I had one of my infrequent attacks of brains and stood my Shopsmith up into drill press mode as in the picture. It shows the start of my first open segment experiment where I'm also trying coloring the segments before gluing in order to get the ID and the walls of the open holes colored. That success has me wondering if an ordinary drill press would work.


The slick part of this is that the Shopsmith is too flexible to be a good lathe so I'm not tying up my good lathe by doing this. Fifty bucks well spent because I also use it as a drum sander and slow speed sharpener when I put my CBN wheel on it.


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I would love for someone to develop a mechanical Stomper-like solution made from solid parts and we've passed around a lot of ideas for this through the years. I've invested a lot of time in it myself and closest I got to an affordable solution was based on pneumatics. But even controlling the costs didn't result in an affordable product, though. I'm going to leave it to the imagination and inventiveness of others.
This is an older post from a couple years ago. I have since modified the fixture and will ne doing a demo at the symposium in St.Louis.
I have used the segment stomper on my last project "All American Trio". I found that the plastic shaft on the stomper could easily be deflected in one direction or the other causing inconsistent ring centering. This was especially true the taller the bowl got. I decided to modify the process by using an old air cylinder instead of a pop up sprinkler head. The cylinder has a stroke of 16". Since the air cylinder has a steel shaft there is no deflection at all. Operation is very simple. Open the ball valve to extend the cylinder shaft then close the valve. The air is only connected to the bottom of the cylinder, the top port is left open to exhaust as the cylinder extends. The bottom port has the air supply (maybe 3-5 psi). It also has a check/exhaust valve that will allow air to escape when weight is applied to the top of the shaft thus lowering the piece to the ring in the centering chuck. When the segments make contact with each other the weight is no longer pushing down the shaft and it stays where it is keeping the piece centered on the bottom ring. The bottom ring is held in place by a version of the Longsworth chuck. I also turn all my rings round before stacking.


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