Turning laminated projects (also called segmented turning) has been something I’ve been fascinated by ever since I purchased my lathe. As those of you who followed my Mantel Clock and Router Table builds may have noticed, I like to feature multiple types of woods that have contrasting colors and/or grain patterns. As such, laminated turning speaks to me from both a design standpoint as well as a test of skill. Having expressed my interest in this form of turning to my family on multiple occasions, my loving sister (and talented wood turner in her own right) Jessica gave me Deenis Keeling’s Segmented Turning: Design, Techniques & Projects for Christmas (find it here on Amazon).
Although my shop is missing the table saw, bandsaw, jointer, plainer and disc sander (whew!) recommended for segmented turning, I became inspired by one of the beginner projects detailed in the book – a simple bowl lamination that combines two types of woods. The project is simple to prepare in that it requires no unique shapes or mitered angles. My attraction to the project – other than the fact that it’s a nice-looking piece – is that I actually own the tools needed to do my own variation of it. Instead of starting big with a bowl, though, I decided to make some laminated candle holders. I had purchased some confetti lights awhile back, and decided they’d be perfect to base these candle holders on.
I had purchased a large piece of Curly Maple just after the holidays that I’d intended to turn into a platter, but decided to re-purpose it for this project. I cut the wood into 4 pieces, which I then glued wooden chucks to. One by one, I rounded the blocks down on the lathe. While on the lathe, I also squared off the ends of the blocks to give myself a flat surface. Next, I cut evenly shaped squares from 3/4″ stock of Bocote that I had flatted with my hand plane. The Bocote was then glued to the Curly Maple blanks using copious amounts of Titebond’s Original Wood Glue (aliphatic resin); note that Polyvinyl Acetate (PVA) glue would have worked just as well, as I wasn’t gluing end grain for this project. My laminated blanks were left clamped for 24 hours to ensure a solid bond before tossing back on the lathe for turning.
At this point, I’ve turned two of the blanks down to shape, and the laminations held up perfectly on the lathe. Check back soon for Part 2, where I’ll unveil the completed designs!
On another note, you may have noticed a recent tweet where I unveiled my nearly completed router table. It’s almost there! I still have to build the fence, but as soon as that’s complete, I’ll be shooting pictures of the finished project. Stay tuned…