Some segmented turners use a technique called stack ring lamination to “extrude” larger wood turning blanks from pieces of flat wood stock. Cutting the precisely angled rings that make up this glued-up stack is part of the process. There are many ways to cut rings, but up-and-coming artisan woodturner, Mark Damron, has created his own custom tool designed to accurately and repeatably cut large rings at the correct angle and wall thickness with control and ease. This tool is essential to Mark’s large-scale work.
Mark is a toolmaker by training, so creating custom tools comes naturally to him. His custom ring cutting tool is accurate, easy to handle, and safe when used correctly. In this video, Mark explains the basic design of this tool and how he does the set-up. He then shows how each ring is cut. Watching Mark in action is a great lesson in creative tool design and use. Be inspired to create your own custom tools for your work. (3 Minute Woodworking Video)
Thanks Keith for all your hard work and time. Great videos, just starting HF, and want to try segmented work soon. Thanks Bruce
PS everything working great under Ubuntu Linux.
These videos are great,especially cutting the rings on a lathe. I have been making stacked ring bowls for about a year, I cut the rings on a 16-42 Jet lathe with a 3/16 parting tool which is not nearly as precise as the tool that Mark Darmon uses. Does anyone out here have an idea how I could make or buy one of these tools?
I’m glad you like the videos Larry, unfortunatly I do not make and sell the ringcutter used in this video. I suggest a tool called ring master which has a ring cutting attachment for your lathe and other makes and sizes.
For those who are not able to configure a fixture similar to (the fixture in the video); I might suggest they check out the Ring Master which offers the same basic functionality and technique for cutting precise rings for segmented projects. The Ring Master is made in the USA and has been around for 20+ years.
Keith’s Note: At this time, WoodTreks does not offer an opinion (pro or con) on this product.
Great videos. Reminds me of why I started woodworking.
As for creating a system to cut the rings, it’s actually easier than one may think and not that expensive either. Yes, the RingMaster does work, and pretty well too. But they cost well over $300, and can be upwards of $500 if you buy accessories and such.
I made my own system which was used on a conventional lathe until I built a simple, purpose built “lathe” to turn the wood and cut the rings. And even now I have less invested than if I had purchased a RingMaster, and in my opinion, I have a better tool.
What I started with was an Enco Phase II cross-slide table which was mounted on a simple platform I fabricated from plywood that attached to my lathe bed. To this I added a tool post designed for use on a metal lathe and made a simple cutter for it. The cutter I started with was just a 1/8″ thick x 1″ wide x 5″ long piece of high speed steel with a parting-tool-type tip ground on it.
The cross slide table provided the precision necessary to cut accurate rings, and by setting the tool-post with a protractor, I could get the proper side angle on the rings as well.
I believe this cost me around $140 total, and also had many other uses on my lathe. I also made a fixture to attach a trim-router to the tool-post, and this gave me the ability to do all sorts of work that simply wasn’t possible before. Watch the videos on YouTube by Capt. Eddie Castelin for some ideas as to what’s possible for other uses when you have a cross slide such as this.
Just post a reply if you want more info and I’ll find a way to get it to you. Though the concept is simple enough that I think most can figure it out without my help. But I’m here if you need it.
Keith’s Note: You can contact Kenny directly at: email@example.com. He says he’s happy to assist with more details on how to construct this tool.
I would really like to see (ed. – more of) the tool (ed. Kenny) (who commented below) made to cut rings. I would also appreciate it if you could send me detailed instructions on how to set my own rig up. Thank you.
Keith’s Note: Kenny tells me that he’s happy to assist anyone with more information. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I was refering to the ring cutter setup that Kenny was describing in the post prior to mine. I believe Ring Master is way over priced for what you get. Thanks
Would you be able to make these rings by using a parting tool?
Keith’s Note: Mark works to a high degree of accuracy. I’m not sure you could achieve the effect he’s getting without the right setup.
Do you have any plans or help building the cutter assembly?
Keith’s Note: My recollection is that Mark Damron, the designer of this tool, does not have drawings or formal building instructions. I know he’s been asked to sell a tool like this, but last time I asked, he was too busy with other pursuits. Basically, the tool is one-of-a-kind. With some ingenuity, the right metal working tools, and some tool building skills, I’m sure you could replicate something similar. You have to admit, this is a pretty slick “machine”. Good luck.