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Making of a segmented vase - I made it at TechShop

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I wanted to explore wood turning and make a huge vase. To figure out how it works and avoid all the usual pit falls, I wanted to make a small scale vase first. Little did I know that what I made as a prototype would be the one i will eventually display in the show at university. So this little vase was done with only intentions to learn and experiment, with no thought on how it will look or fright that it might fail.
The first step on making this was the design. I will illustrate multiple steps I went trough, and how and why I did them.

I took student membership at Techshop (www.techshop.ws), so I can use the facilities. I took a SBU for wood lathe and went to work. I got some personal tools for advanced hollowing.
 
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Step 1: Design

Picture of design
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I decided on segmented vase as no more one is limited to the size of the wood one can find. I wont mention the disadvantages, but there are lots of advantages, like having no end grain to bother with, using all the scrap wood, etc, etc.
Segmented vase is made by putting together pieces of wood, to make a rings, stack the rings, and then turn them on the lathe. Hollowing becomes easier, but the design is constrained after you start.

The design is first created as a half section. This is the shape of the vase or bowl you have in mind. I roughly used the thickness and the width, I will need to have sufficient overlap between layers. I decided to make each rings with 12 segments (each segment is a regular trapezium, with an included angle of 30 degrees). I tested my math skills, and just to be sure, by cutting some foam core and putting them into a ring.

I made the a CAD file (this can be done on paper with a ruler and pen too) and took a 1:1 print of the segments i have to cut and number of segments i have to cut.
deepaknrc11 months ago
hello sir,
i am deepak kumar from India and i am working on urn design but i have not technical knowledge and i wants know that how you calculate these segments of vase on graph paper and how you plane this on paper or divide this products into segments please kindly help me for making this sketch on paper like your drawing.
cglaw201311 months ago
brilliant
pegasos1 year ago
very nice!!! I whant to make one for my grandma. she will love that. can you tell me what the radius is from the top and the bottum or can i have your IronCad file??
rpare (author)  pegasos1 year ago
Hi Pegasos,
I made a file in alias. the approx radius near the top is 2.5" and at the base is 3". i used this reference only for making the blank. Turning is done by the eye. Initially i was thinking of having a laser cut template to match as i turn. Turned out that, it was easier and more relaxing to do it by the eye.
Its a good thumb rule to avoid any flat surfaces on the vase profile. Don't have the CAD file I made handy. I can find it if you still need it, once the quater ends (the projects and courseworks are piling up as its end of quarter!)
cheers,
Ravi
pegasos rpare1 year ago
that would be great!!! can you send it to poppedot@live.nl?
Sam DeRose1 year ago
This is incredible. I can't wait till I have some free time to make this!
Bravo!
Very beautiful! You should enter this into the Holiday Gifts Contest!
ringai1 year ago
Nicely done. Woodturning is a wonderful hobby. Segmented turnings have excellent potential and are a great method to use up all the cut-offs that'd otherwise end up in the trash, the fireplace, or in that huge box hidden under the basement stairs (my favorite).
rpare (author)  ringai1 year ago
Thank you. It's quite soothing to just see the chips fly! Nothing like putting to use all the scrap prices of wood and turning something. Had a lot of fun making this one.
ringai rpare1 year ago
I'll try one of those eventually. I'm only beginning to do bowls and learning to hollow.
rpare (author)  ringai1 year ago
The first time I was trying to hallow, my hands were shaking as I did not even see where the tool was touching, how it was touching and constantly thinking it will catch now...now...hahah.
Now if I have doubts, I just turn off the lathe position the tool and turn the peice by hand and see how the tool cuts and see the chips.
jake824651 year ago
Looks gorgeous. How thick are the walls of the final product?
rpare (author)  jake824651 year ago
Thanks! It's about 1/4 to 3/8 of an inch. Insides are not as smooth as the outside.
MacRankin1 year ago
That's so gorgeous I almost want to go out and buy anything that looks like it. 8-)
sabu.dawdy1 year ago
its a beauty
fretted1 year ago
Simply Awesome
That really is a beautiful result - but in some way I almost prefer the shape in the first picture in Step 5 ;-).

Earlier in the year, I started experimenting/doodling vases in SketchUp - I think I'll return to it and see what I can come up with...
rpare (author)  karlpinturr1 year ago
Thank you! It had an interesting pattern in step 5... I was holding it that way for while, when I was working on another project.
Sketchup or any cad is useful. I had a cad curve and template, but ended up turning it by feel. It's way easier that way.
I'm sure it is easier - and more fun - turning by feel...

Unfortunately, as a 47-year-old unemployed (since school) man, I have no experience of (or access to) working on a lathe, so have to content myself with SketchUp.

I do keep looking at 'build your own lathe' articles and Instructables, but I know enough to know I can't build anything well-enough to be safe enough. That's partly a lack of experience, but mainly because of my hand-strength and dexterity issues.

Still - maybe one day...
workislove1 year ago
Thank you for this instructable. I've been wanting to try a segmented vase after taking the lathe class. I'll definitely be looking back to this post for inspiration.
rpare (author)  workislove1 year ago
Thanks. I am it sure how clear some if the steps are in the instructable. If you need any clarification, just shoot a comment and will be happy to give my 0.02$.
rpare (author) 1 year ago
Thanks everyone for the encouragement.
abarberis1 year ago
You can also make one by cutting wood discs of different diameter and gluing one by one and be working both sides at the time
rpare (author)  abarberis1 year ago
Yes, you are right. I once saw someone do it all in just 1 board foot of wood, cutting concentric circles in it.
Although, one good advantage if segmented or brick lay structure, is that one can completely avoid end grain.
Awesome !
I always wonder how you craftsmen can do work with such an amazing precision.
You have all my respect.
rpare (author)  vincent75201 year ago
Thanks so much! I am a designer, but never considered myself a skilled craftsman. I think it becomes easier to do precision work with experience, as one gets to know where to put the maximum effort.
Really nice work. It looks like vases I have seen done with a RingMaster.
rpare (author)  Comanchegyrl1 year ago
Thanks! Hadn't heard about the ringmaster. Thanks for bringing it up.
ccrome1 year ago
Nice! This instructable loaded with much awesome :-)
PeckLauros1 year ago
Nice instructables! Thanks to share it with us.
agis681 year ago
wow! professional job, excellent presentation fine result.

+1000 respect
eyesee1 year ago
Very good
Great job, that vase is beautifull!
rimar20001 year ago
Truly beautiful!
r-philp1 year ago
Beautiful work.
rpare (author)  r-philp1 year ago
Thank you!!!