Super-simple method yields dead-accurate pieces for segmented turnings
Despite many years working with wood, I found myself struggling to cut accurate segments to glue into rings for segmented turnings. An error as little as 1⁄10 ° in the angle of segment ends proved too much. Then I hit upon the idea of using a 30-60-90° woodworking triangle as part of a cutting jig for 12-segment rings (which require 15° miters on each end of the segments) and the problem evaporated. Like drafting triangles, woodworking triangles are incredibly precise, but made of plastic twice as thick (item no. 31545, rockler.com or 800-279-4441).
To get started, use double-faced tape to attach the triangle to a tablesaw sled at a 15° angle. (The angle need not be exact.) Place the segment blank against the far edge of the triangle and cut its end. Now, secure a gauge block to the fence to set the length of each segment. Place the board against the near edge of the triangle, and butt its cut end against the gauge block. Push the sled forward to cut a segment as shown. Repeat the far-edge, near-edge sequence for the remaining segments. The angles, though they may not match exactly, complement each other and will fit flawlessly in the segment ring.
—Bill Wells, Olympia, Wash.