Segmented turning is the creation of a bowl, vase or similar object by the assembly of small wooden segments. The segments must be accurately cut and assembled into rings. The rings are stacked and turned into the desired object.
The process of segmented turning commences by a detained drawing on graph paper, of the item to be constructed, to determine the number of segments per ring, the radius and height of each ring, the width of the segment and the wood to be used. The number of segments per ring will determine the angle of the segment and therefore the 'mitre angle' the actual cut angle for the segment.
In summary, the process of segmented turning involves;
Plan the project
Machine flat strips of timber
Cut into segments
Glue them together
Build and turn the desired object
Determining the length of the segments to cut requires some basic trigonometry, certainly within the capability of all woodturners, but can be tedious because of the number of calculations to make. Computer software comes to the rescue by providing the calculating power to do all the calculations quickly and accurately.
Various computer programs are available but I would recommend that club members use the 'Segmented Turning Helper Software' written by John Di Stefano. The software is very easy to use and presents a table of values very similar to what you would create on paper if you were doing the calculations manually. In addition the local support by John is most important. See the link below for full documentation and software download.
Note: If software download is problematic because of system software blocking the download contact John directly for a copy of the software. The software is provided at no cost.
Various club members perform this type of work, the most prominent being Alan Mc Naught who has achieved excellence and won 1st prize more than once at the Australian Woodturning Exhibition. Alan's work is shown in the photographs used on this page.