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SketchUp Tutorial - Visualizing feature ring after turning

Lloyd Johnson

Staff member
Because of the curvature of a vessel and the wood removed during the turning process, a feature ring design can change dramatically, often with poor results. This SketchUp tutorial was created in response to requests to show how a feature ring can be visualized after turning.

This is a follow-up to the 3-part tutorial on making a feature ring using the stacked wood process.

CLICK HERE to go to the tutorial.

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lester gillett

PRO Member
Lloyd i have one question, In the final part of this tutorial you show that the 3/4 thick is now all most 1/2 and when you turn it the wall is to
thin on the seam, so how much more thick would you make the segment to correct that ? Or how would you correct this ?


Lloyd Johnson

Staff member

After turning just enough to make the outside and inside round, this 3/4"-wide segment resulted in wall profile of approximately 1/2". In reducing this down closer to 1/4", if you remove the wood from the inside, the thin strips at the edges will become wider. If you remove the wood from the outside of the profile, the wide strips at the edges will become narrower. Therefore, you should always remove as much as possible from the inside of the vessel.

Making the segment wider than 3/4" will not help at all for the reason described above. You can, however reduce the width from 3/4" to 5/8" or a little less, but this all depends on your ability to add the rings with precision and keep the rings from sliding when gluing. If this is sometimes difficult, leave it at 3/4".


Dick Sowa

I have done several feature rings, using this technique, and agonized for a long time about how to deal with the dramatic change in appearance as you turn away thickness. I eventually came up with a technique that completely eliminated the distortion on the vertical spacers, or vertical elements...or at least it works for me. I'll try to explain it...

I start by cutting all the pieces for assembling the feature from thin stock. The key to the technique is that all HORIZONTAL elements of the feature are cut to the shape of a segment...trapezoid shape with angles corresponding to the number of segments you have chosen. Then, all the VERTICAL elements of the feature are cut rectangular...no tapering at all...essentially serving as a vertical spacer. During assembly of all the little pieces, and glue up of each feature element, it is important to not sand very much...just enough to give a good glue surface, and not enough to change the taper of the horizontal element or to introduce a taper into the vertical elements.

Once assembled into a feature ring, you can turn away (from either the inside, or the outside) as much wood as you want. The vertical elements will never change thickness. It is only the horizontal elements of your feature that will change length as you turn away thickness.

Not sure if I explained it clearly enough, but in practice, the technique works very well for me.


PRO Member
Dick, it's good that you've found a process that works for you and I'm sure it would also work for others if we completely undstand the process. I think it's an excellent topic to post as a BLOG. Quoting from the BLOG description "It will automatically be stored in your personal Blog but will be searchable by others and will be categorized depending on which categories you select when you create the entry."

I know it's extra effort for you but I'm sure it would be very informative for many of us less experienced segmenters.

Tim Boger

PRO Member
I agree, a tutorial or blog entry would be quite interesting.

Thanks Dick for taking time to share.