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any experience with longevity of segmented work (Read 528 times)
 
Breck Whitworth
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any experience with longevity of segmented work
Apr 21st, 2013 at 9:04am
 
If I glue up some beautiful hardwoods for bowls or platters what can I expect in longevity compared to bowls or platters made from one piece of wood. (utility use & decorative use )  Is there a better finish that will help protect segmented work when the piece is used for utility purposes? I wouldn't think an oil finish would protect the piece as well as, say a polyurathane or lacquer finish? But since I have no experience with these things.
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Walt
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Re: any experience with longevity of segmented work
Reply #1 - Apr 21st, 2013 at 10:02am
 
Well Breck, time will tell. After a couple of weeks most new segment ears see what's called glue creep. Little annoying ridges at all the seems. It is unite normal. To eliminate I try to wait to do the final sanding to give the wood time to move or relax and get the creep. The remove it with a cabinet scraper and a final sanding and then finish.

I have not used any of my segmented turning for everyday utility dish wear. Bless you are using a water proof the constant exposer to water could cause glue joints to fail. I do use them for candy dishes, desk pencil cups and clip cups. These I've used spray gloss Deft and they are holding up well.

If your grain direction is not consistent joints can fail and split apart. Small little less than 3/16" pieces may not cause a joint failure when grain directions are 90*. The issue is, different woods expand and contract at different rates. This called the co-efficient of thermal expansion and it will bite when you forget about it.

If your piece is placed in direct sun light it can oxidize the wood causing it to turn brown. You can use a finish that has UV inhibitors to slow down the effects of the sun and aging. There aren't a lot though, spar varnish is one and great around water as it is use to finish wooden boats.

Using excessive clamping pressure to close a gap can cause joint failures. Having clean tight fitting joints is paramount. As well as seams between rings layers.

I've used Tunge oil, Tunge oil blends like MinWax and spray finishes with good results. Your geographical location plays a part as well. Use a finish you are comfortable with.

I have pieces that are over 12 years old that are in great shape other than normal color decay.  But I have had failures on pieces that were two years old that had a joint split.  I don't know why. Wood moves!
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« Last Edit: Apr 21st, 2013 at 11:25am by Walt »  
 
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Ed Weber
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Re: any experience with longevity of segmented work
Reply #2 - Apr 21st, 2013 at 11:55am
 
Breck, I'll add a little more to what Walt said.
If you're making utility bowls, a basic brick-lay type pattern will be very strong. The longevity part you asked about is difficult to answer and would probably only come up if you have a total failure of a glue joint. This all depends on how it's made and how it's handled.
One thing I can add as far as construction is this.
I usually let my material adjust to the ambient air, at least overnight, before construction. An Example is, If I'm using a 3" board to cut 16 segments, by the time I get to the center of the board, the moisture content is going to be different than at the end of the board where I started.
As far as the finish is concerned, treat it like any other utility piece. A good oil-poly blend usually works well. The oils penetrate into the wood and the poly hardens, leaving a very durable finish that won't crack or flake off, since it's not just a surface finish.
I would suggest to you, make a small one and keep it around the shop. Give it a bit of a torture test and see for yourself.
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Ron Sardo
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Re: any experience with longevity of segmented work
Reply #3 - Apr 21st, 2013 at 1:00pm
 
I find segmented pieces are pretty strong. The most obvious reason for future failure is poor glue joint and/or wood that has not been dried properly. Standard woodworking skills do apply when considering longevity.

Segmenting has been around for a very long time. I've seen oval and round picture frames are where glued up from smaller pieces then turned that are over 100 years old.

Captain wheels from sea faring ships where also glued up from shorter pieces and they took all kinds of abuse. Many that are a few hundred years old are still around.
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