02: Segmented Bowl Design Basics – Part 1

Segmented Vessel Instructions 5-16-2016 PDF

Click on the above attachment to download a free set on instructions for making segmented turnings.

This video walks the beginner through the initial process of designing a segmented bowl without using one of the many sophisticated computer programs available to wood turners. The focus is primarily dealing with stave-type design, which incorporates the use of compound miter joints cut on a table saw. However, I almost always incorporate both stave and block miter segments in the design of my bowls. Block miter segments are simply done by determining how many segments you need and dividing 360 degrees by the number of segments times 2. So the formula: miter angle=360/ (# of segments X 2). I use a computer program created by Kevin Neely to design my bowls. His program is easy to use and can be purchased from his website.

03: Cutting Bowl Staves – Part 2

In this video you will learn how to set up and cut individual stave-type segments using a table saw. I use an after-market miter gage made by Kreg that incorporates a veneer scale that divides an angle into tenths of a degree. You should refer to the posting on the HOW website of the PDF document of a PowerPoint I’ve created to assist woodworkers with this whole bowl making process, included is a photo with dimensions of the table saw sled so that you can construct one for your use.

04: Cutting Veneer Strips – Part 3

This video demonstrates one method of cutting thin slices of wood into veneer to be used as accent strips between the segments of a stave-type segmented bowl. This method can produce veneer strips that are within a tolerance of a few thousands of an inch in thickness to each other. Be sure to have a sharp saw blade and a zero clearance throat plate installed on the table saw. I’m using a combination Forest blade (3/32″ thick, 40 teeth-10″ diameter) with a stabilizer to reduce vibration for this process. I do not have a thickness or drummer sander to run the pieces through after ripping so this is the final process before gluing the veneer to the staves.

05: Gluing Bowl Segments – Part 4

In this video the individual stave-type segments will be glued together using a “rub joint”. No clamps are used in this process. Franklin Type 2 adhesive is being used. As the stave segments are rubbed together you will feel the glue start to “grab”. At this point stop the rubbing action and hold the joint together with hand pressure for about 30 seconds or more. The staves being glued together should then be set to the side until the glue dries. Place a construction shim under the one side to help support the weight of the stave to keep if from pulling apart while drying. Shims of various thicknesses will be used as we go from the gluing process. After the quarter bowl has been created then you will glue two quarters together to form one-half of the bowl. It should be noted that woods react differently to rub joint process. Mahogany is not a recommended wood when attempting to assemble a stave-type bowl together using a rub joint. For whatever reason, the glue joint acts and appears to be starved creating a weak link in the process.

06: Sanding Bowl Halves – Part 5

The following video demonstrates the method used to match the bowl halves together by sanding them a disc sander. Make sure that the table and the disc are 90 degrees to each other. I normally use a 60-grit or courser abrasive disc. If you cannot seem to get the halves to fit perfectly together; with the disc sander turned off, hold the disc so that it will not turn with one hand and rub the bowl half back and forth. Continue this process until the two halves fit perfectly without any light showing through a the glue joint when you hold it up to the light source.

07: Gluing Bowls Halves – Part 6

This video shows how to glue the two halves of the bowl together after they have been sanded on the disc sander. You will need some rubber bands and glue. I use Titebond 2 Glue for the bowls I produce. I have also had good results using Titebond Original formula. I’ve tried and found that Franklin Titebond 3 formula doesn’t have the same “grab or tacky-ness” properties needed for using a “rub joint”.

08: Milling Top and Bottom of Bowl – Part 7

This milling process is a necessary step before gluing the bowl body to a wood faceplate. The objective is to get the top and bottom of the bowl body parallel to each other. You will need a drill press, a Wagner Safe-T-Planer (similar to a fly cutter used by machinist), and preferably a foot operated on-off switch so that your hands are free to hold the bowl body. I make light cuts (about 1/16″) in doing this process. Start by milling the bottom of the bowl.

09: Turning Outside of Bowl – Part 8

This video demonstrates how to turn the outside of the bowl after it has been glued to a wooden face plate. Again, refer to the post “Segmented Bowl Making PowerPoint” on this website for the PDF document created to assist the woodworker with this whole bowl making process.

10: Flattening Bowl Bottom – Part 9

This video demonstrates the turning method for getting the bowl bottom flat and parallel with the lathe face plate. You will need a straight edge, sanding board and skew or square scrapping chisel to complete this simple but critical process.

11: Creating Bottom Mortise – Part 10

This demo will show how to cut a mortise in the bowl bottom. The tenon will later be turned on the base to match the mortise. This process is critical to having a seamless joint between the bowl and the base. View the video series on How to Design and Construct Segmented Bowls and a PowerPoint presentation on the website www.thehandsonwoodworker.com.

12: Turning Base Tenon – Part 11

This short video demonstrates the method used to turn a tenon to fit up into the bowl body. The size of the mortise and tenon joint is dependent on the size of the bowl and the thickness of wood used to make the staves. View the video series on How to Design and Construct Segmented Bowls and a PowerPoint presentation on the website www.thehandsonwoodworker.com.

13: Turning Inside of bowl – Part 12

This video shows the turning of the inside of a segmented bowl using a bowl gouge and round nose scraping chisel. It won’t take long for the woodworker to realize that the time consuming part of making segmented bowls is in the meticulous cutting, fitting and gluing process and not lathe time. View the video series on How to Design and Construct Segmented Bowls and a PowerPoint presentation on the website www.thehandsonwoodworker.com.

Segmented Bowl Making PowerPoint

November 15, 2009 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Making a Segmented Bowl, Series 

Segmented Bowl Making PowerPoint

Double click on the link above to view the PowerPoint presentation. This PowerPoint was developed with the videos for presentations at woodworking guilds and high school woodworking shops. Now it is made available for self-study. The original PowerPoint had the videos hyperlinked in the presentation to better demonstrate this woodworking process. Now you can view the videos and PowerPoint on the HOW website. However, one-on-one instruction is available for a reasonable fee to those interested in hands-on instruction in my studio. Many thanks to my segmented bowl making mentor, the late Sonnie Sharrar, for his patience and guidance to many woodworkers in the Greater Kansas City area.

I suggest you print the powerpoint so that you can take notes while watching the videos. Please contact me via email if you have questions.   Jay S. Helland

Bubinga Desk Design Challenge

December 26, 2009 by · 2 Comments
Filed under: Articles, Bubinga Desk 

Scott Barton, AIAMy generously supportive and over indulgent woodworking wife (Kay) of 35 years purchased me a beautiful slab (approximately 30” X 70”) of waterfall-grain bubinga about two years ago after I had mentioned seeing it at the Lenexa, Kansas Woodcraft Supply Store. Since then I’ve been trying to create a desk design to compliment the splendor of this piece of wood. Read more

Bubinga Desk Construction Update

January 3, 2010 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Articles, Bubinga Desk 

Front Side of Desk has the Natural EdgeSince I work for a public school district, I’ve had time over the Christmas Break to work on the bubinga desk.  One element of the desk that is a bit problematic is the warp (cupping) across the grain and a slight twist in the bubinga slab.  Of course, I was aware of this issue and have tried to address the concern through the desk design.  I asked the designers to consider possible solutions in the design challenge criteria.  Read more

Bubinga Desk Construction Update 1-10-2010

January 10, 2010 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Articles, Bubinga Desk 

construction-update-1-10-2010-002After approximately 18 hours of work this weekend, the desk is progressing. The end sub-assemblies have been completed with the birch dowel rods installed. I used the full-size pattern, which were made of 1/4” tempered hardboard, to locate the holes on in the vertical members of the end panels. I first drilled the holes (1/2”) in the full-size lay-out templates. Read more

Desk Update 1-18-2010

January 18, 2010 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Articles, Bubinga Desk 

Top After Re-Sanding 1-18-2010Many thanks to Steven Todd for his assistance in helping me move the desk to the Lee’s Summit Woodworking Guild meeting on January 12. Many guild members told me how much they liked the contemporary look. Several commented that they would have never been able to visualize such a design. Exactly my thoughts and why I’m so pleased that Scott Barton (architect) accepted the design challenge. Read more

KC Woodworking Tool Show Project Contest

February 21, 2010 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Articles, Bubinga Desk 

KC Woodworking Show Project DiscussionI’d like to thank those of you who attended and voted for the bubinga desk that I entered in the KC Woodworking Tool Show “Project Show Off” contest which took place February 19-22, 2010.  A special thanks to my good friend Steven Todd, who hauled the desk to and from the show and to the desk’s resting place in my office.  To follow the journey of the bubinga desk you can read the previous articles on this website about how my wife (Kay) bought the bubinga for me; Read more

Petal Ring Design and Construction

July 25, 2010 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Articles, Making a Segmented Bowl 

Petal Bowl Design and Construction

These instructions (click link above) for making the petal ring can be printed and used separately or in conjunction with the video on this subject found on the website.  Use the pull-down menu ‘Series’ if you want to see the entire bowl making videos in sequential order or the ‘Videos’ to see the latest additions to the website.

The video on petal ring construction has been posted but on this website.

14: Petal Ring Design and Construction

These videos provide the information needed to design and construct a petal ring. Its recommended that the reader print a hard copy of the PowerPoint presentation, found on this website for notetaking during the viewing of this videos. The main video is approximately 35 minutes in length and features some video taken in Earl Reed’s shop. Earl discusses and demonstrates some of his techniques. I hope the video assists you in your efforts in constructing a petal ring.

Click any of the following titles to see a short demos to see how to make the petals.
Cutting Petal Slabs

Petal Layout

Sanding Petal on Disc Sander

Cutting Petals on Bandsaw

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