Segmented Turning

Segmented turning is also known as polychromatic turning.
The process involves gluing up several pieces of wood to create patterns and visual effects in turned projects.

In traditional wood turning, the template is a single piece of wood. The size, grain orientation and colors of the wood, will frame how it can be turned into an object like a bowl, platter, or vase. With Segmented turning, the size and patterns are only limited by your imagination, skill and patience.

Indian pottery is frequently used as inspiration for form, and design features. These patterns are often geometric in design and thus, are easier to recreate than more fluid forms found in nature. In Segmented turning, your palette comes from the natural color of the wood you choose to incorporate. Exotic woods are frequently used for this reason.


The glued up rings are stacked into a bowl blank


The bowl blank is turned on the lathe

Segmented turning is a vision, followed by math, problem solving, technique, and the frequent question: How did you do that?
There are several books, videos, and websites sharing information about segmented turning.

The AAW created a virtual chapter dedicated to Segmented Woodturners. This chapter is headed up by Malcolm Tibbetts.
See this link for more information:
Dimensioned lumber is cut into mitered segments
The mitered segments are glued into rings
Need help calculating the angles and sizes?

Check out the Segment Calculator!
Go the Shop Utilities page.
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