Segmented Salad Bowl Maple and Walnut





Introduction: Segmented Salad Bowl Maple and Walnut

About: 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 and hotel furniture. Ive been ...

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.

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

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

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

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!.

Holiday Gifts Challenge

First Prize in the
Holiday Gifts Challenge



    • Creative Misuse Contest

      Creative Misuse Contest
    • Oil Contest

      Oil Contest
    • Water Contest

      Water Contest

    49 Discussions

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

    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!

    7 replies

    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...

    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.

    P4040005 (Medium).JPG

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

    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".


    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.

    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!

    Good morning Billl

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

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

    1 reply

    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.

    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!

    1 reply

    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!

    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.

    1 reply

    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?

    2 replies

    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.

    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.