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Segmented bowl – Phil Bristow

There was a challenge set in our local club to make anything out of a block of wood – 8x3x3 inchs in size. I thought I would try something a little different and make a bowl – seems tricky you think?

Below are the steps I did.

1. First I cut the block into 9 8x1x1 inch rods.


2. Then selecting different rods that were not naturally next to each other, I grouped them in 2 sets of 4 rods and glued those rods together to create 2 panels.

3. Once the glue was dry – lots of sanding followed to ensure the main top/bottom surfaces were completely flat and the 2 blocks would fit perfectly together down 1 side (you will see why in the next step).

4. Once all the sides were sanded, I placed the two panels next to each other to form a 8×8 inch square. Using a compass I drew 4 circles roughly 3/4 inch apart starting from the largest circle .

5. Now the panels are moved to the bandsaw. The table had to be angled at roughly 45 degrees, so when cutting the circles the bottom of one circle would sit onto the top of the small circle below. Hopefully the below picture highlights this.

6. Once the base circle is glued together and also glued onto a waste piece of wood to hold it into a chuck (see above picture), take this to the lathe and just ensure the top of the base is flat/level and then glue the next level of circle/ring onto the base. For added effect and to strengthen the bowl – offset the join (join is where the two halves of the ring are glued together) of the first circle/ring with the base by 45 degrees. Compress the circle/ring onto the base using the tailstock to add pressure

7. Repeat step 6 for all the circles/rings ensuring so level off each level prior to glueing to ensure you have a true fit


8. Once you have glued each ring offsetting 45 degrees per ring – you are ready to refine the walls of the bowl, sand, finish and part off the bowl from the waste block of wood and you are finished.

By Phil Bristow

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