Introduction: Segmented Salad Bowl Maple and Walnut

Picture of Segmented Salad Bowl Maple and Walnut

Hello everyone,  this is my 12th bowl that I have "successfully" completed and my 2nd segmented bowl.
I made it for my Fathers nurse for a Christmas present. Im am pretty proud of this one as it is the finest piece I have made thus far.
This one was a lot of fun. enjoy.

Lathes are very dangerous and you can become seriously injured or even killed operating one. I have a lot of experience and knowledge you should only attempt this project if you have sufficient knowledge, experience and safety gear.

Step 1: Lumber Selection and Preperation.

Picture of Lumber Selection and Preperation.

You can make this out of any type of wood you choose, though I would suggest using hardwoods.
I chose some Harvested Maple from a friend and some Black walnut I brought from eastern Tennessee.
These two woods accent each other wonderfully.

I didn't measure anything except the bowls finish dimension. also take into account your lathe "swing" allowance, My Delta 46-460 has a 12 1/2" swing. so I chose to make the bowl around 11 1/2 - 12" in diameter.

The bowl consists of a solid walnut base with progressively larger "rings" of segmented octagonal circles stacked on top of one-another for a grand total of 5 rings of 8 segments each each segment is cut at 22.5° at each end. each set of segments per ring must be the same length

after choosing the lumber you need to rip it into strips. I chose 1 1/2" widths but looking back I coulkd have gone less.
once you have enough lumber ripped for your bowl (you have to do the math) cut all of your segment for the bowl one ring at a time. this will ensure you have the same sized segments for each ring.

Step 2: Time to Glue Up the Rings

Picture of Time to Glue Up the Rings

I used 3- 4" hose clamps joined together to clamp the rings individually. I bought a total of 8 clamps and used two glue sessions to complete the rings.
Use yellow wood glue. I used Titebond I it is fine for this project and pretty cheap to boot. you have a 10 - 20 minute set time and the glue cleans up nicely with water.
after your glue dries you must sand each ring flat. This is a very very important step as they need to be as flat as possible to ensure a tight bond there is nothing worse than having a piece come apart at 1200 RPMs :(
after your glued rings are dry and sanded you can now stack them on top of one another one at a time glueing each surface making contact. also make sure you align your rings the way you want them. and as your gluing the rings check back on that often as they tend to slide around a bit.
after they are glued and stacked properly clamp them and walk away overnight...

Step 3: Mount and Turn the Blank on Your Lathe

Picture of Mount and Turn the Blank on Your Lathe

There are a lot of different ways to do this and if you are attempting this project I am leaving this entirely up to you. however I did use a 3" faceplate attached to a scrap block then glued to the base of the bowl.

I am also not going into detail on how I came up with the shape as again, if you are attempting this you will want to choose your own design.

Step 4: Finish Sand and Cut Off the Scrap Block

Picture of Finish Sand and Cut Off the Scrap Block

After you have rough and finished turned the inside and outside you must sand, then sand, then sand sand sand some more.
this is also a very very important step. I am also not going into extreme detail on how to sand because if you are attepting this you should know already how to finish sand. I will add though I sanded from 80 through 800 grit.

After you have sanded it through 800 you can add a food safe finish for it. I made a concoction of "Beeswax and Mineral oil"
Its best to apply the first coat while the bowl is still mounted to the lathe as the speed will help generate heat and melt the wax deeper into the wood fibers. after at least two coats its time to cut it off the scrap block.

once its off the lathe you can sand flat the bottom and apply a thick heavy coat of the same finish to the bottom.
at the same time you could apply a few more coats to it to further protect the piece you have created.
Thanks for checking it out.

Step 5: *****Update on the Finish 03/18/2013

I got to see this bowl again recently and I must say the bowl looks great, even after several salads and washings. The finish has only been applied one time since she received it and while I had it, I applied a fresh coat and it looks as good as day one!.


jpayne21 (author)2015-04-24

The bowl look fantastic!
Nice job on the instructable too.

Bill WW (author)2014-04-03

Very nice, Slick.

Your rings look like they fit together perfectly - the 8 segments of 22.5°. I have to sand a bit to make them fit well enough to glue; so that you can't see any gap at all between segment pieces. I have not yet made anything this large, however.

About the hose clamps - they look like blue belting? Are they just regular clamps?

I have some maple and walnut - will give it a try!

SlickSqueegie (author)Bill WW2014-04-04

also, I made a dedicated sled for the 22.5 degree angles. It worked excellent. Since then I have purchased an INCRA miter gauge with sled. I haven't tried it out yet with segments but I'm sure it will perform nicely. One thing I have noticed with angle cuts is that a crosscut sled is the best way to go. At least with woodworking...

Bill WW (author)SlickSqueegie2014-04-04

Thanks for the quick reply.

I have been tempted to buy the INCRA sled, very impressive tool. However, my shop is so full of sleds now that I'm tripping over them. I made a sled where I can "tweak" the angle with a threaded adjuster. Will be using that one for segments.

Here is my first segmented project.

SlickSqueegie (author)Bill WW2014-04-13

They are a lot of fun arent they... Yours looks fantasrtic. Nice work Bill. Are you addicted yet?

Bill WW (author)SlickSqueegie2014-04-13

I confess I had to get help on turning the inside, but thanks. It is made of padauk and oak. For this one, with 12 segments, I experimented used my miter saw, which has a factory set stop at 15°. But I'm going to abandon using the miter saw (hard to set other angles precisely) and make dedicated sleds as you do. The first should be complete today. I am laying out everything mathematically. I am taking photos and will post an Instructable.

Yes, I get addicted. But my motto is "if you can't be obsessed about something it's not worth doing".


SlickSqueegie (author)Bill WW2014-04-13

Great motto.
Your turning is more cup shaped. When the walls are narrow like that its quite a bit more tricky to do the inside. You can get specialized tools for hollowing. that makes all the difference.

SlickSqueegie (author)Bill WW2014-04-04

yes, I bough the sled. But in all honesty, I still use the one I made for the 22.5 degree angle It's unbelievably accurate and does not slip.

The INCRA sled comes in handy and is used quite a bit. But if I need to do a lot of repetitious cuts, I always go for the "fixed" home made sled.

I can always count on their accuracy!

SlickSqueegie (author)Bill WW2014-04-04

Good morning Billl

The "blue" you are seeing is painters tape. The tape holds it together while you slip the clamp on.

OutlawKtulu (author)2013-11-07

How strong would you say the glue needs to be to hold the bowl? I've been clobbered by flying bowls before.

strong!!! if you are properly clamping them and use a yellow wood glue, you should be fine. also, wear a good quality face shield just in case. make sure you let the glue fully set before attempting to turn it.

sunshiine (author)2013-02-28

Gorgeous! thanks for sharing your hard work and congratulations on the win!

SlickSqueegie (author)sunshiine2013-03-01

Thanks for the compliment!

freeza36 (author)2013-01-12

When I went up to Alaska last year, they had a lot of plates and bowls similar to this for upwards of $100. Great job!

SlickSqueegie (author)freeza362013-03-01

yeah, they can be pricey in the right market... I asked someone to make an offer on it based on their perception of the value, and i was sadly told 50 bucks... lol!

bwaite (author)2012-12-24

Great job on the bowl! a little trick i sometime use when not mounting a bowl an a chuck is to glue a piece of news paper between the waste block and the bowl bottom. a sharp chisel will easily separate the two and you are just left with a little bit of paper to sand off.

SlickSqueegie (author)bwaite2013-03-01

Yep. The newspaper trick i have used before.

tvm777 (author)2011-12-29

what did you add for finish? or you make it?
for me its easy to get beeswax, but mineral oil? like? Linseed oil can be good finish also?

Swampcreature (author)tvm7772011-12-30

If using linseed oil, you should read the label carefully because some linseed oil furniture finishes have lead and/or other toxic materials added as preservatives. Mineral oil would probably be a better bet for use in a food-safe finish.

ruthinator (author)Swampcreature2012-11-03

linseed oil is industrial grade oil from flaxseed. (possibly processed with toxic things). you would want flaxseed oil instead for this project. they are the same oils, but with different names, processed differently for different purposes.

thanks for the re-enforcement ;)

SlickSqueegie (author)tvm7772011-12-29

beeswax and Mineral oil
I made extra, and filled an empty "childrens" paste stick for easy application.

tvm777 (author)SlickSqueegie2011-12-29

that was my question, extra of what?
so u mixed linseed oil and bees wax?

SlickSqueegie (author)tvm7772011-12-29

and I sent you a link on that post to an instructable on the recipe of what I used..

here it is again

tvm777 (author)SlickSqueegie2011-12-29

thanks! :D

SlickSqueegie (author)tvm7772011-12-29

I got mineral oil from CVS (a local drug store). A qt for 6 bucks or something.
Its a "digestive lubricant" lol.

quiltina2 (author)2012-01-29

Absolutely beautiful bowl !!!!

SlickSqueegie (author)quiltina22012-09-18


FletchINKy (author)2012-09-18

Brilliant! Excellent work!

SlickSqueegie (author)FletchINKy2012-09-18

Thank you sir!

SlickSqueegie (author)2012-03-04

Thank you everyone. And a special thank you to the instructables team. This special bowl won an iPad in the holiday gift challenge. And received it yesterday. It's absolutely awesome!!! I love it!

Thank you instructables.

Penolopy Bulnick (author)2012-01-03

That is just amazing! You have done a wonderful job!

Thank you very much!

Carleyy (author)2012-01-03


SlickSqueegie (author)Carleyy2012-01-03


skiedra (author)2011-12-27

Absolutely beautifull!

SlickSqueegie (author)skiedra2011-12-30

thanks :)

Wheatridge (author)2011-12-29

Slick Squeegee, that was a great project. You did good. Segmented turning is a most rewarding endeavor. Keep at it. There are many directions to take.

SlickSqueegie (author)Wheatridge2011-12-30

Thank you.

billyup (author)2011-12-29

Most of my pro woodturning instructors, demonstraters, and finish books/DVD, etc, say that all un-leaded finnish are food safe-ONCE THEY HAVE CURED. It can take various times to realy cure, depending on what you apply. Some say that mineral oil never cures, and can retain impurities. ???? Maybe the varnish based oils would work, as they do cure, but takes a longer wait.

SlickSqueegie (author)billyup2011-12-29

in my experience with varnish and polyurethane finish types they turn milky and soft after water has set on them for a length of time. After its soft and you scrape the finish and essentially "ruin" the look of the bowls finish. Therefore if the bowl is going to be in a wet environment (salad bowls) you would want to use a more durable finish that is food-safe. Wax (paraffin, bees) are excellent alternatives. Also note Beeswax gives off a wonderful honey aroma while you apply.

I can see straight mineral oil retaining impurities as it does not dry out. but mix it with a wax base and you have one that wipes dry and protects better than any oil base out there. unless you look into an epoxy or marine finish. But then again. that's a whole new ballpark all-together. not to mention cost of those finishes.

billyup (author)SlickSqueegie2011-12-29

I never use Poly, not only for the reasons you cite, but also one can't repair a ding, scrape, or water damage. I use EEE, Black Bison, Shellawax some, but most finish is CAB Acrylic Lacquer on larger pieces. On smaller quick project I use Rust Oleum or Deft, clear Lac spray can, as I find Minwax spray inferior.
Not had a problem, unless one fills a bowl with water and lets it sit.
I suppose I should go back and study Bob Flexner some more, as I am always willing to learn.

SlickSqueegie (author)billyup2011-12-29

I have never heard of the black bison it seems pretty pricey. The EEE looks good but seems like it would give the wood a "plasticy" feel. Thus taking away from the feel of the wood bowl. If this were a fruit bowl ore a show-piece I would have finished this differently. but this will see regular use and she knows how to apply this stuff as well as a wipe a little vegetable oil from time to time.

Even if I was selling this piece I would stand by my decision on the beeswax and mineral oil finish for a salad bowl seeing regular use. This goes on easily and quickly and you can make enough for 4 lifetimes of coatings for 4 bucks and 20 minutes of time.

aristide202 (author)2011-12-29

Good chice of woods, nice design and nice result. Congrtulations

Lucas.Worley (author)2011-12-28

Very nice piece, nice joints. I enjoy doing segmented work, i just completed a segmented vessel for my brother, I'll post a pic.

yokozuna (author)Lucas.Worley2011-12-28

Sweet, when is your instructable forthcoming? :)

Lucas.Worley (author)yokozuna2011-12-28

Well i didn't think to take any pictures until the end, so I'll make an instrucable on the next one I make.

rimar2000 (author)2011-12-28

As I said before, these bowls are very beautiful.

What I think is quite difficult to cut sectors exactly to 23.5 ° to form a perfect octagon. Does that prove and error?

SlickSqueegie (author)rimar20002011-12-28

They are actually 22.5 ° and yeah, they are tough. I had to once again go under my table saw and adjust the blade parallel to the miter slots. and after that I made a dedicated 22.5° Miter crosscut sled (fixed at 22.5°).

Getting the angles right is easy if your saw is properly aligned.

About This Instructable




Bio: I've built houses, decks, custom cabinets, furniture of all types. Ive done furniture repair and restoration, residential and commercial remodels, restaurant seating and tables ... More »
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