Bill Smith had been involved in segmented woodturning since 1993 and open segmented turning since 1996. He is primarily self-taught having acquired an interest in turning as a hobby. He developed the system he demonstrated for years after seeing a turning made by Yosh Sugiyama, the originator of the open segment concept.
He first demonstrated his system at the 1999 Tacoma AAW symposium. Since that time many turners, both beginners and experts, have successfully created open segmented turnings using his system. In 2002, he authored the book Segmented Woodturning published by Schiffer Publishing Ltd to make the system available to turners who missed his Tacoma demonstration.
Although Bill has retired from woodturning, his influence on the popularity of open segmenting and his contribution to segmenting education is notable. Bill is also one of the founding members of the Segmented Woodturners chapter of the AAW.