Reclaimed Segmented Bowl




About: I have an unhealthy relationship with pallet wood. I make fast paced and entertaining build videos on my YouTube channel that are made for everyone, but with the ultimate goal to get the younger generations ...

This is a wedding present for my cousin in-law and my cousin in-law-in-law(?). Materials for this project were all reclaimed (except of course epoxy/finish). The lighter wood is oak and poplar pallet wood and the darker wood is mahogany that came from deck balusters I rescued from the trash. Even the yellow plastic used for Mickey and Minnie Mouse was saved from the trash.

Step 1: Milling Down the Lumber

First ingredient - oak and poplar pallet wood

Second ingredient - mahogany balusters.

Everything is planed down to consistent thickness - I ended up being able to get 1/2" out of these pieces.

Then everything is ripped down to a consistent width of 1-1/2".

(SAFETY: search for methyl bromide pallet wood and heat treated pallet wood if your curious. This pallet wood is heat treated and was used to transport food so it's safe for use).

Step 2: Cutting the Segments

I created a rough grid layout of the shape I wanted for the bowl. With 24 segments in each ring, they need to be cut at a 7.5° angle. I used an online calculator to determine the length of each segment depending on the diameter of the ring.

This is the jig I used - known as the wedgie sled. You use a wedge in the center to set both angles. This enables you to get the exact angle you need for the segments - otherwise if you are off by just a hair, the error is compounded 24 times!

I used this stop on the left to set to the length for each ring, then cut 24 segments at this shape.

The bottom of the bowl is a solid piece of wood. I'm not sure what this is, but it was a super dense piece of hardwood that was sitting in my wood pile waiting for some love.

Step 3: Gluing the Rings

I use the tape to layout the 24 segments for each ring.

Then apply glue between each segment.

Spread the glue.

And wrap each ring up. The tape acts as a clamp on each piece and holds the ring shut until the glue dries.

16 rings total. That's 384 pieces.

I gave the glue overnight to dry and then unwrapped all of the rings.

Step 4: Sanding and 1st Glue-up

I have a disk sander mounted to my lathe and I use this to flatten each of the pieces. Watch those digits!!

More glue! I glue the rings up in sections. Roughly 4 at a time at this point.

Clamps city!

Step 5: Sanding & Final Glue-up

Once this glue-up dries, I do it 2 more times - sand the rings down and glue up in sections. Extra credit for the artsy shot.

This is the final glue-up. I use the bench and a plank across the top to hold it together while it dries.

Step 6: Mounting to the Lathe

To mount it to the lathe, I use a forstner bit to cut a hole for the chuck to mount to.

The chuck clamps into the end of the bowl and threads onto the lathe.

Step 7: Shaping & Sanding

Now the fun begins.

Lots of cutting and shaping and sawdust.

When the outside is shaped to my pleasing, I reposition the head-stock and tool rest to clean up the inside.

It's a little tricky reaching inside to clean it up, so it takes a bit of time.

Time to sand it down!! But...

Step 8: Fail & Recovery

I went a little too thin on the segments and had the bowl break off on me. This is my first time doing a real segmented piece like this and I realized when I was gluing up the rings that this might happen. Still got a good shape out of it though and I learned to have a bigger buffer next time! Time to ditch this base and make a new one.

I mounted the disk sander back on the lathe to flatten the bottom of the bowl.

I had a piece of mahogany that I had glued up from the mahogany balusters that happened to fit perfectly, so I cut it into a disk and glued and clamped this onto the bottom of the bowl.

I use my scribe to determine the center of the new base and drill this again to mount to the lathe.

Duck & cover!

Step 9: Final Shaping and Sanding

It's still in 1 piece. I shape down the foot to fit the base of the bowl.

Some finished sanding (again), a little more gentle this time. Sanding through the grits.

Step 10: Burning & Mickey/Minnie

I burn my logo and the bride & groom's name/wedding date on the underside.

At this point, I figured it need a bit more flare. They're both big fans of Disney, so I decided to cut Mickey and Minnie out of some PVC sheet stock.

They both got painted black.

And I hot glued them to the inside of the bowl. I then poured a 2 part epoxy into the base until it covered these 2 little guys.

Little bit of heat occasionally to pop the air bubbles.

(this is the epoxy I use:

Step 11: Finishing

Then I mount it back on the lathe again for some finish.

I use a mix of linseed oil and beeswax on the bowl. This really brings out the color and leaves a bit of a shine when it dries and gets buffed.

Taking it off the lathe in 1 piece and breathing a sigh of relief.

Step 12: Glamour Shots

Cat tested and approved. That's quality control right there.

The final piece! Be sure to check out the full build video too:

Glue Challenge 2016

Participated in the
Glue Challenge 2016



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    13 Discussions


    2 years ago

    so cool! the Disney figures add a really nice touch to it as well, beautiful job!


    2 years ago

    So very, very beautiful!! I hope one day to have even a bit of your talent... And I think it's 'cousin-in-law, once removed' !!!


    2 years ago

    Beautiful end result. Thank you for sharing this!


    2 years ago

    Fantastic job! This really turned out beautiful. How loud did you yell when the bottom broke out?

    1 reply

    Reply 2 years ago

    I stood there silently in disbelief while my underwear started to feel warmer than usual...


    2 years ago

    Great looking bowl. Thanks for showing us the 'fail' and recovery, letting us all know that things don't always work out perfectly but they can still be fixed instead of scrapped.

    1 reply

    Reply 2 years ago

    Thanks! I was so relieved that it could be saved after all that work.


    2 years ago

    Awesome. Truely well documented and photographed.

    1 reply