Making segments for bowl turning

First, set up your stock size and draw a rectangle of an appropriate size:

Then draw in a rectangle of a suitable size to chop off the end if rotated:

Then work out the math to determine the angle of rotation — in this instance we want six segments, so:

 360 / 6 (number of segments) / 2 == 30 degrees

(you have to halve things because each angle is made up of 2 board ends)

duplicate the geometry and flip along the vertical axis:

Drag each copy to the appropriate corner:

Select the rectangle for the board and then shift click on a cutting rectangle so that the latter is the key object and has a dashed appearance:

and choose Boolean Subtraction:

(if using a version which doesn’t tidy up after this operation, delete the extraneous left-over geometry)

repeat for the other part:

Verify the fit by duplicating and rotating 60 degrees and repeating this until one gets all the way around:


The fact that a 60 degree endmill is available makes it possible for one to use such an endmill to cut along the edges of a board to create a set of six boards which can be combined to make a column or a post, just draw up the board, (or a suitable sheet of plywood) and draw in rounded rectangles which are board length plus board thickness long, and board thickness high which will cut board thickness deep using a V carving toolpath.

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Will you always have creative ideas. I make segmented bowls and use the
Wedgie system on the table saw. I like to make 12 sided rings because I turn them on the lathe. Your premise is a good one but will waste a lot of wood to make the same amount of segments that can be cut more efficiently on a table saw. That said if your only tool is the Shapeoko then your instructions would work.

This is a forum dedicated to CNC machine but some jobs in the shop are simply better done the old fashioned way. I have planners, jointers, bandsaws but sometimes a good old hand plane or chisel is the best and most efficient way of doing some things. To each his own.

If a carpenter only has one tool, a hammer, then everything looks like a nail. Use your full tool kit and mix up the machines with hand work.


Excellent point. Naturally when cutting one would alternate and rotate the boards 180 degrees for the most efficient use of stock.

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This Wedgie system?


Yes. I bought the system before I got the CNC. I think I could make my own wedgie templates now with the Shapeoko. I used several other sleds and the seg-way and wedgies are spot on with no adjustments.

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As noted above, it’s simply a matter of:

  • draw a rectangle of the correct size:

  • Draw a rectangle larger than needed

  • rotate it:

  • drag it into alignment

  • duplicate it and mirror horizontally:

  • drag the duplicate into position:

  • select the rectangle, then shift-click on one of the rotated square making the latter the key object (indicated by a dashed highlight):

  • Boolean subtract (and if need be, delete the extraneous geometry):

  • repeat for the other side:

Note that it is important that your machine be calibrated for belt stretch:

since even a tiny deviation will be magnified to a large one by the repetition.


It’s pretty common for woodturners to glue up half the segments in each of two pieces, then use a disk sander (I have a 12" one) to flatten the two faces before gluing together to fix any accumulated error. You could do the same with a ShapeOKO, just make a straight line pass across the edge.

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Woodturners wouldn’t care about some misalignment since they’re going to cut it off anyway. :smiley:

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