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About this blog

My deranged attempt into learning the art of segmented turning.

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Joe Candrilli

So with the koozie glued, there really isn't much left but the fun part.  I threw it on the lathe in my new oversized jaws and went to work.  I started slow, about 500 RPM because I didn't know how fast I could go with something this size.  Eventually I bumped it up to 800 and settled at about 1000RPM.  I used my Sorby roughing gouge to get it round (mainly because it is my favorite tool) and finished smooth with the circular carbide tip.  I also slightly rounded over the top lip and flattened the bottom with it as well. 

After turning I prefer to 'wet' sand with some stuff I picked up at Woodcraft.  I saw it on YouTube and have used it on my finished wood ever since.  It is the combo of Doctors Woodshop of walnut finishing oil and pens plus.  I use the walnut finishing oil to wet sand at 80, 150, and 220 grit.  It keeps the dust down and makes quick work of sanding.  I finish with the Pens Plus friction polish.  Gives the wood a nice shine and is durable.

 

I did not do much work on the inside of the cylinder.  Instead I cut the bottom off a neoprene koozie and layered it with 300 level heavy duty spray adhesive.  I gently slid it inside the koozie then inserted a can to hold it in place while the glue dried.

 

Done.  That is it.  In total it took about 10 hours, but this was just a single koozie.  I am pretty sure I can batch them out with little more time added to production.  The backlog would likely occur when trimming the inside diameter of each ring.  Turning the outside diameter was quick, barely needed to remove more than corners.  Sanding was also quick.  So in all fairness if I could find a better way, or simply ignore the ID it would speed the process up.

 

Concerns or things I would change:  The neoprene insert was probably not the best idea.  I did it because I was not sure how well plain wood would resist moisture and temp change like this repeatedly.  It also provides insulation and makes up for minor errors within the koozie I have difficulties correcting.  However, with those advantages it is still the biggest detractor.  After multiple inserts and removals of a can the koozie begins to roll, peel and fray.  It generally looks like a hot mess.  I will probably continue to use it until another option presents itself but it is the thing I dislike the most.

The sled concept worked amazingly well.  I would never have attempted such a project without it.  Making my first project with such small segments probably wasn’t a great idea but it performed flawlessly.  If I had a complaint it would be in ‘trapping’ segments once they are cut.  The 45 degree wedge worked to keep the segments away most of the time, but there were still many times where I had to stop cutting and figure out where the segment ricocheted off to.  My saw blade probably could be a little sharper, and cutting Oak may also contributed to it.  However one in five segments was launched to various parts of my shop and it became frustrating and time consuming to find them.

That is it.  Not sure what I can add or what I missed.  If there are questions, concerns, or recommendations I would love to hear them.  I can go back and try and recreate various points if you feel there was lack of explanation on how I got there, or just to clarify something that didn’t come across well.  I would also appreciate inputs on writing style.  I tend to me a slightly sarcastic person by nature and that tends to get lost sometimes in translation to paper (screen…see, there it goes again…). 

 

Finally, thank you for reading.  The internet is vast and unending and you chose to spend a few minutes here with me on this silly little project.  I appreciate your time.

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Joe Candrilli

Groundhog Day

This was a stupid idea.

 

Sorry, that was wrong of me.  What I should have said was...

 

This was a REALLY stupid idea.

 

OK, in all seriousness, it is not THAT bad.  It is only about 200 segments the size of my pinky nail that have to be cut, sanded, and glued into 10 rings...per koozie.  I honestly found that I could get into a rhythm.  I would cut  one 1.5x.5x24 strip of oak into 3 strips, then cut those int segments.  Once the segments were cut I divided them into piles for rings.  I sanded down the cut edges of one ring, which was about my breaking point for handling small pieces on sandpaper, then I would glue the 18 segments into a ring...

 

Side note:  Bad Husband tip #1.  If you want to do a project like this go right now into the kitchen and swip your wife's silicone baking mat.  Seriously.  Promise her you will buy her three more when the Pampered Chef rep comes back (yes three, you will likely want to swipe one of those too!).  I tried gluing these on both brown paper and wax paper and both were an epic, frustrating fail.  Those silicone mats are awesome.  Get one (or two) now.  

 

End Side Note.  Gluing the rings was fairly simple.  The sled makes sure the angles match, I will trim the inside diameter and turn the outside diameter on the lathe.  So my only concern was thickness of the ring itself.  As I get better cutting on the band saw the segments get closer to identical, meaning less sanding.  Once glued I zip tied each ring as the dried.  I hammered the ring flat so I had one side close to even when I sanded.  Once dry I used my Ryobi combination 4X36 sander and sanded each side flat with 80 grit.  My biggest concern was sanding one area of the ring more than another causing the ring to be lopsided.  So I constantly checked ring thickness with my digital caliper.

 

Side note #2:  It dawned on me many times during this project where the separation between a hobbyist and craftsman lies.  This was one of them.  I really want to do a good job on every project I undertake, but I am also limited on time.  I like finishing projects, and therefore I tend to make some allowances in my work.  Case in point, I made sure each ring thickness was close (within 0.02") but really stopped trying to shoot for perfection.  It may come a time later where it shows I was wrong and needed more attention to detail but at the time I could not justify the extra time at 9pm. 

 

End Side note #2.  The rings each sanded down to something slightly larger than 0.4"  It took about 10 rings, considering I used 2 rings that were smaller than 0.25" as accent rings.  I made the bottom ring with a smaller inside diameter so the can has a lip to rest on.  

 

Now that rings are glued and sanded flat we finally get to turn something!!!  I do not have the experience or tools to smooth the inside of the koozie after the rings are assembled so I chose to trim the inside rings individually.  The issue with this is I have no real control on accuracy here.  Each ID may end up slightly different in the end.  I minimize the risk of this by 1) the original ID is the exact size of the OD of the can before trimming so cleaning up the ID of the ring creates room for the foam koozie insert I plan on using, leading to 2) I am assuming the foam koozie will absorb any differences in ring size between each ID.

 

I picked up a set of large jaw plates to mount on my Barracuda 2 chuck.  This allows me to hold the outside firm and flush against the face allowing me to trim the ID of the ring.  I tried using a parting tool but it was too haphazard, it kept bouncing all over.  I ended up using the square cutter to trim most of the ID before flipping the ring in the chuck to trim the last bit.  I figured it was a pretty dumb idea to trim to the plate in one go since there was a chance the tool might catch a gap and fling it across the shop.  Yes, this was another 'hobby vs craft' moment but I usually default on the side of safety when I can.  Flipping each ring takes more time, but overall less time than removing my carbide cutter from whatever wall it may get lodged in.

 

Finally, rings are flat and ID is round.  Time to glue.  I feared this step more than any of the previous steps.  The number of variables here are difficult to manage all at once.  I wanted the gaps to overlap resulting in a layered brick type of pattern.  However, we all know that wet glue tends to slide a bit here and there while wet.  My fear was that I would set up all rings exactly how I wanted them, then try to clamp them down only to see each ring shift slightly resulting in a bad 4th grade art project.  Yet again I find myself in a 'hobby vs craft' moment.  The right answer is to glue each ring separately making sure each one is in exact position before moving on to the next.  Of course that means about 6 days of gluing and drying to finish this.  So anyway, I decided to go for it and assemble all at once (hobbyist!).  What I found out is that my fears were mostly unfounded.  I was able to glue a ring, put it under pressure for about 30 seconds (in this case a 25lb kettlebell) and then I could make slight adjustments without it moving freely.  I could independently glue and press each ring without affecting  any layers below it.  I plan on letting it sit overnight to completely dry, but first glance it looks pretty good.  Tomorrow I will need to figure the best way to mount on the lathe for turning.  Once again, thanks for reading.

 

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Joe Candrilli

OK, so on to working the segments.  As I said, my goal is to complete a can koozie using segmented rings.  The best way I found was the 'wedgie sled' concept created by Jerry Bennett.  It is basically a 3 part sled.  I thought I could get away with just the adjustable arms and quickly figured out why the parts are there.  It is really a simple concept.  You adjust the 2 bars on the sled according to how many segments you want per ring.  You can do math (360 degree circle divided by 18 segments per circle = 20 degree angle.  Divide by 2 since each wedge has 2 sides making it a 20 degree total angle or 10 degrees from center on each side) or you can have a predetermined wedge to drop between the two adjustable bars (hence the wedgie sled name).

 

Each segment has 4 critical dimensions.  We set the side angles in the first step.  In this step we determine the outside diameter of the ring.  The inside diameter was established earlier in prepping the wood.  In this case I purchased 2 strips of dimensioned wood from Woodcraft (1/4" x 3/4" x 16" purpleheart and yellowheart).  So in this case the 3/4" width will make a ring 3/4" wide.  I wanted to set my outer diameter at 3.5".  Now I will be totally honest here, I didn't do this math.  I could have, and I did earlier when I made the original koozie.  But why?  I found an app, put in some numbers and it spit out a length of .619".  You cannot see it in the photos, but there is a way to calibrate the stop, then using digital calipers I can set the exact length of each segment. 

 

The third part of the jig is a simple 45 degree strip with magnets on the bottom to keep the cut of segments from riding the blade and getting flung across the shop.  Didn't think it was necessary until one smacked my safety goggles (safety first kids). 

 

You can see the segments below.  It goes pretty quick.  I made 36 segments in less than 5 minutes.  Basically trim the square edge off the end, then move the wood to the stop and cut.  Switch to the opposite bar, move to the stop, and cut.  The way the sled is designed it eliminates any error in the angles by moving between bars vice trying to make multiple cuts on the same bar where errors are compounded.  Each 16 inch strip of wood made 24 segments which is more than enough for two rings, seen below.

 

Some of you who are good at math probably see the error already.  "Uh, Joe?  If your outside diameter is 3 1/2", and each segment is 3/4" (x2 is 1 1/2") then that hole in the center is only 2" across.  You making Red Bull Koozies?"...And you would be right.  In my hurry to show off how the sled works I skipped a step.  I should have ripped the 2 strips down to 1/2" wide before running them thru the sled.  I went back and ripped some oak down to 1/2" x 1/2" and made the segments again.  So now I simply glue and zip tie in a circle to dry.  They fit around the can well.  I will need to trim the center to round which will give me a little room around the can.  I plan to use a cheap thin foam koozie to insulate the inside and that will make this a snug fit.

 

So for now it is simply cut and glue, cut and glue.  If my math is good I should be able to get more than 6 koozies from a single 2"x6"x24" block of oak (2 BF).  Assuming around $7 per BF for oak, it looks like I am in for $2.50 in wood per koozie plus glue and time.  My initial temptation is to price these at around $10 except that there is likely a ton of man hours in this.  $15 might be better, but not sure if that is pricing myself out of the market.

 

So I am already seeing a few issues that I will have to overcome.  First, I was able to dimension down the large block of oak into 24"x1/2"x1 1/2" Strips.  Using the band saw I ripped these into 1/2 inch strips, but they were not ripped in a straight line at all.  So now I have a 24 inch x 1/2 inch x a wavy 1/2 inch strip.  Not a big deal except the top of the rings once formed is not flat. Since the rings eventually have to be glued together, and need to be parallel to each other I have to figure a way to flatten the rings out.  The strength of these segments comes from each ring supporting the other.  The individual rings are end grain glued together and provide some structure but not a ton of strength.  The strength comes from the edge to edge gluing between rings.  So I guess I will sand the rings with my Ryobi combo belt and disc sander.

 

Thanks for reading, as always comments, questions, and recommendations are welcome.

 

 

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Joe Candrilli

Welcome back!

 

Before I roll into today's update please allow me to fill in the background story and update my tool list as per Mr John Morris' request.

 

I caught the woodworking bug back in 2014.  I have always wanted to be creative, but in all honesty I do not have that gene.  If you sat me in front of a canvas and asked me to create content I would fail.  I simply do not have the ability to take something from imagination and turn it to reality.  What I have found though it that I can reproduce things very well.  There was an old commercial from many years ago whose logo was "we didn't invent the _______, we just made it better".  BASF or 3M perhaps?  Not sure.  Anyway, I have found that I can watch a video or sit through a class or follow a decent set of instructions to reproduce quality items.  So I started taking classes at the on base hobby shop in Pearl harbor.  First was pen turning, then a cutting board, and finally keepsake boxes.  Within a year I had picked up most of the essential tools for my garage and was in full blown addict mode.  In April of 2016 I bought a house in Jacksonville FL and have been actively preparing to turn my hobby into a retirement project.  I have 2 years of active duty time left, my kids are all grown and the last one is finishing her Junior year of HS.  By the time I retire it will just be the wife and I.  So the plan is to start a business, build up inventory, then get in the RV and drive from Craft Fair to Craft Fair for a few months selling our wares.  Likely do that twice a year, fall and spring.  Not looking to make millions, but if I can support the habit and pay for gas and food while we are out then I would feel it is a success.

 

My issue right now is I have to figure out what to sell.  I enjoy making pens but not sure they sell well enough to rely on those alone.  Same with cutting boards.  So I am spending the next few months making new and different things to see what I can mass produce in good quantity, have them be useful and desirable, at a low cost.  This week my focus is on Segmented turning and specifically making a soda (or beer) can koozie.  I also want to try making a few resin cast spinning tops (cheap gift for kids trapped with parents at a craft fair).  I have shifted focus in pen turning to making sets, a matching pen and pencil set for Father's Day and/ or Graduation.  I have made some bottle stoppers and cheese knife sets, and I plan to knock out a few of the wine bottle/ glass carrier planks later this year for the holidays.  I feel that right now is the best time to learn all of these techniques so that when we actually get rolling with sales it will not be bogged down with any kind of learning curve.  I can just batch and go.

 

Second issue is finding a decent source of material.  My parents were able to find a decent batch of walnut and cherry a few months ago but I cannot rely on that kind of luck.  Woodcraft is too expensive for me to try and turn around any decent profit, but I have no where to dry wood on my own.  Cypress seems abundant around my area so I think I will start there, but I think that means cutting boards are off the sales list.

 

As far as tools go, I think the list is better highlighted with what I still need (want) vice what I have.  I am still trying to get either a decent sized drum sander or small jointer, preferably both.  With what I have i am able to get from rough lumber to decent large dimensions, but I repeatedly run into times where I have pieces that need to be flattened but are not safe to run thru my planer.  You will see later in the segmenting blog that I have strips of oak that are a perfect 1/2" on one side, and a variety of sizes on the other edge.  The result is 18 wedges that make a perfect ring,  flat on bottom and a stair case effect on the top. If I had either a jointer or sander I could flatten the stock to 1/2" square before cutting segments, but I am just to chicken to run something that thin thru my planer.

 

The foundation of my shop is the Delta 36-725 10" table saw. It is a workhorse and has done everything I have asked of it.

Turning will be done on the jet mini lathe, non-variable speed.  I guess it would be nice to have VS, but I have never used it so I don't know to miss it.  I have too many turning tools because I cannot decide what I like.  I started with the generic small 3 piece set from PSI with the oval skew, gouge and parting tool.  From there I found a Carbide cutter set on Amazon where you get 1 handle and 3 bars (round, square, and diamond).  I like them but I think I am too aggressive with them.  With the square cutter I blow out acrylic pens at the tip (about 15 seconds after I think that is close enough and should sand the rest), where the circle cutter does awesome on wood but is uncontrollable on acrylic resin.  So for Chrismas I received a 3/4" Sorby roughing gouge and have used it extensively for all my turning work.  So much so that I wanted to get back int skew work and bought the Harbor Freight $70 set.  I cannot figure out why but this skew will not work for me.  I think the grind is different from what I expect and is causing issues but it is likely operator error.  I sharpen tools with the PSI knock off of the Wolverine sharpening system.

I purchased a Harbor Freight 14" Band Saw.  I know many people dislike HF tools, but I could not afford big tools such as this without them.  It does well for me, but it did take some time to iron out a few issues.  I am not proficient at resawing but I am developing the skill as best I can.

I was able to get a steal on a Craftsman 13" planer from Sears.  I happened to walk in and one was on the floor, open box for half off.  Looks like someone used it for a weekend project and brought it back.  It also has been a champ.

If I regret a major tool purchase it is probably the Harbor Freight 2HP dust collector.  Don't get me wrong, it does a great job.  However, it is big.  Very big, and takes up more space when you add the second stage separator to it.  I also did not realize that NOTHING in my shop has a 4" dust collection port.  Not my table saw, band saw, planer, none of it.There was a period of time where I had tried to mount 4"adapters to everything so I could use the fancy 4" collapsible hose Rockler sells before it dawned on me I was wasting time and effort and ditched the 4" hose for a 2.5" hose.

Other than that, just your typical random tools to fit a specific need at some point.  Ryobi combination sander, big HF air compressor, HF pressure pot, Ryobi router table and various plunge, fixed, and hand held routers.

 

Probably too much for this post, hope you enjoyed the read.  I will get back to segmented turning in the next post.

Joe Candrilli

Segment Day One

I moved this post here, figured it was more appropriate as a blog vice a random post...

 

I figured this would be a great place to document my path down segmented turning.  That way we can all look back years later and laugh...

 

Today I will start with why I am looking at getting into segmented turning in the first place.  Last Christmas I was trying to figure out what to get my dad for a gift.  He is at the stage where there isn't much he needs, and I had already made him a dozen or so pens.  In the end I came up with the idea of a beer koozie.  Strips of wood cut at an angle on each side glued together with one of those thin foam can insulating things spray glued to the inside (example in pic 1).  Surprisingly, it came out well.  My dad received many compliments on it an I had numerous offers for purchase if I made more. 

 

So I did, or at least I tried.  Imagine trying to glue Popsicle sticks together on the long edge to make a cylinder.  Yeah, I am stunned the first one went together at all.  You can see in both pic one and two some of the issues I ran into.  Really what it came down to was the material was too thin to turn, and there was no great way to get it into my lathe to turn it in the first place.  I could make a round bottom, but 12 Popsicle sticks glued together does not actually make a circle but more of a circle-ish dodecahedron.  So a circle bottom would leave many little gaps, or provided zero support when turning if I simply glued it to the bottom.  I failed four times before I realized that this was probably not the best way to go about making a wooden cylinder.

 

I did not make the jump directly from needing a cylinder to segmented turning.  As with most breakthroughs, I put the idea down for a while and went on to other things.  I follow a ton of wood people on YouTube and one of the videos that went by in my recommended feed was Kyle Toth and watching him turn a massive vase (if you have not seen it I recommend taking a look).  So of course I start going down the YouTube rabbit hole and found one where he made a segmented wine bottle...click...I could do that with my koozie!

 

So that started my research into segmented turning.  In my earlier post I discussed how most of my searches took me to a place called Seg Easy.  Next post I will discuss what I built, what I learned, and what I would do different with my first few rings.

 

Please feel free to let me know what else you want to know, any questions you have, or if this simply does not interest you and move on.

 

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