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Making a Plywood Vase…

One of the more challenging woodturning tasks is making segmented bowls.

Some advantages of segmented turning is you can easily repeat an item and they take a lot less wood that if you made the item from a single solid piece.

This is how I made a vase from 3/4″ Russian Birch Plywood. (it did state on the board that it was made in Russia)

First I cut the board into more manageable sizes and then began to rip the wood for the segments.


The plywood was ripped into pieces just over 1 inch wide. I left the saw set where it was incase I needed more pieces to cut.

The next step was to cut the segments for the bottom or base of the vase.


After that it was simply cut pieces for each succesive ring.

This item has 13 rings with each ring being made from 16 pieces. I also made a plug for the bottom that used 2 additional pieces of wood. Total of 210 pieces were used.

Rings were glued together using AeroMarine 300/311 epoxy. This is a slow curing adhesive which gives more time to build the rings.

After the rings are glued together they are stacked together on the lathe to make sure they were all signed up properly.


The last step was to turn first the outside then the inside of the vase.

I used my Jamieson hollowing jig to turn the inside. This is easier and safer for both the finished item and the lathe operator that using regular gouges and scrapers.

After turning the vase was sanded and finish was applied.

After who knows how many hours to cut segments, making and stacking the rings it took about 1 hour and 20 minutes to turn and finish the vase.


I plan to begin a new plywood vase in the next few days.

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