Mark is an accomplished turner and active forum member who joined Segmented Woodturners in late 2018 looking to learn about the art of segmented turning.
I have a confession to make. I am not a segmenter. It’s true, I haven’t made a single segmented piece yet, so I can’t claim that title. But in my defense, I am planning to take a class with our very own Al Miotke later this year. Given that I belong to the same in person club as do Al and some other excellent segmenters, it’s not hard to imagine how my interest would be kindled. But for right now segmented works are not what I have been able to sign.
I have only recently checked in to the “Hotel California” that is wood turning, having spun my first piece in spring 2017, so my repertoire is not broad. But early on I became intrigued with the possibilities that lie in the corners when you mount a square piece on the lathe and don’t automatically cut the corners off.
I began by using the corners to create wings. These became longer, eventually reaching the table top to become legs lifting the basin. Ultimately this has become what I call convolved forms after the mathematical operation of convolution where two functions are combined into one more complex function.
And actually that does give me a lead in to my ulterior motive for exploring segmenting. Given the forms I have been pursuing I am always on the look out for very thick pieces of dry wood. Dry because I want as little wood movement as possible and thick because it gives me more space in which to develop the shape. Unfortunately dry wood thicker than 15/4 is rare, and not perfectly dry, so it’s occurred to me that if I learn the secrets of segmenting it may be possible to actually build up my own blanks from pieces. And just possibly if I join the pieces in the right sequence the pattern may enhance the form.
I did try out an idea gluing up layers of veneer to make a blank, but owing to my failure to realize that veneer swells the moment it even smells glue, this expensive experiment came to naught. So maybe none of this will work. But I experiment away in my basement workshop. It’s about the size of a two car garage and in addition to my Nova 1624 DVR lathe I have DC, a table saw, drill press, sliding compound miter saw, router table and a 14 inch bandsaw. I also have a couple of grinders and bench top sanders. Missing are jointer, planer and thickness sander as well as the elusive tool of greatness.
Here are a few pictures of these pieces and the shop.