Long ago I purchase some commercially prepared segmented bowl blanks from Woodturningz of Indiana priced from $27.50 to $32.50 each, so a rather sizable investment all total. I turned one years ago and was happy with it and now I have finally gotten around to turning the rest.
Because each one, with two exceptions, is unique, the experience varies between them depending on the component species. Some were considerably easier than others. When finished each comes in at about 5.5″ x 2″.
The easiest by far was the blank with the random mix of what I am mostly certain were domestic woods. The most difficult were the three featuring Purpleheart which is a difficult and splintery wood that doesn’t easily cut clean and requires some significant sanding. My favorite in appearance and the Maple and Walnut combinations and they were easy to turn as well. A significant problem with the Padauk and Maple blanks is that Padauk forms a soluble dye so when the finish is applied it transfers some of the orange color to the white maple. I felt that really detracted from the finished product and I wouldn’t use Padauk in a segmented blank given the future choice.
I don’t have the planing and joining equipment required to make segmented blanks myself but it was an interesting exercise compared to working with a single species at a time.
These will be given away by my sister as Christmas gifts so I hope they enjoy them!
All cuts were made using the Easy Wood Tool system on my Robust American Beauty lathe. Forward chucking was in a Nova Chuck, while reverse chucking was done using a Nova Chuck with Cole Jaws. Sanding was with Gold and Green Wave sanding discs from Packard Woodworks. Final finish is Shellawax.
As always, I wish all my readers a great experience in whatever your wood working interests happen to be and to those who like working with lathes especially, do a good turn today!