Instructables
Picture of Segmented Turning Blank (for bowls and cups)
Decorative cups and bowls can be made on a woodturning lathe, and are often made out of a single block of wood (or a straightforward laminated block of wood).  For a more complex appearance, try a segmented wood turning.  In a segmented turning, the turning blank is made out of a series of stacked wooden rings.  Each of these rings is made from a group of small, precisely cut pieces of wood often of different wood species.  Each piece must be cut at an exact angle, or the resulting ring will have small gaps between adjacent pieces.  This is challenging enough that people make or buy special jigs for cutting these pieces very accurately.

This instructable shows an alternative way to make these rings which greatly simplifies the cutting and assembly of the pieces.  Using a laser cutter, each piece is created to resemble a jigsaw piece.  This not only provides the precise angle needed between pieces, but eliminates the need to clamp the pieces when gluing them together to create each ring.

This instructable shows how to make the segmented turning blank itself, but not the process of turning it on a lathe to make the final piece.  That is a likely topic for a future instructable...

I made this at TechShop  www.techshop.ws
 
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Step 1: Materials and Equipment

Vector drawing software (I used CorelDRAW)
Laser cutter (my TechShop has a Trotec Speedy 300)
150 grit sandpaper
Wood glue
Hammer
~24 square inches of 1/4" thick light wood (poplar)
~24 square inches of 1/4" thick dark wood (walnut)

This instructable assumes some basic familiarity with CorelDRAW and a laser cutter.
menardmam11 months ago
I have read every step, but cannot find the vector pdf document to laser cur it can i have it ?
Now I have anvil-envy. Totally uncool to show that off.
Can you provide a download link to the template? I would like to make this. I don't have a laser cutter but I can use my ban saw or the scroll saw.
Looks like only the top layer needs to have the interlocking puzzle pieces to be seen, do the puzzle shapes add any structural strength to the rest of the bowl?
I next want to see you do one with the turning perpendicular to the puzzle layers...
bgerens1 year ago
Well done! I especially appreciate the detail you put into describing the interference fit.
very cool, nice job, I like the puzzle piece rings... I wish i had a laser cutter. but, for those of us that do not have a laser cutter, to do all the intricate cutting you can make something similar. Check out this instructable.
togo19191 year ago

Excellent!

I just ordered some metal insulated coffee cup inserts and planned to use the lathe to make the bodies. See the following at Woodcraft:

Item # Description Qty. Status Price Subtotal
154508 16oz. Stainless Steel Travel Mug Turning Kit

I did this "almost" same thing, but I used keystone-shaped matings as opposed to the puzzle-shaped matings. I hit the same problem with my prototyping - the kerfs were very wide, and the pieces were loose.

Thanks for the insight on using additional drawing techniques to make the pieces snug-up well.

Thank you also for the details on how you minimized the burn-factor!