WoodCentral's Book Reviews
Segmented Turning ... A good start

Segmented Turning
    ... A good start

by Bill Kandler

Verified Software Products Co.: 2004
Spiral bound, 170 pp., $30.95
ISBN 0-9760305-0-0

     If you're like me, segmented turning has always loomed as a daunting task — all those pieces so carefully laid up, all the precision glue lines and fussy angles— and what if you should have a nasty catch after all that meticulous preparation? Yet, the finished product is so striking that you wish you had the patience and the nerve to give it a try. This book is exactly what you need to overcome your reservations and take the plunge down that slippery slope into the world of segmented turning.
     Although I couldn't find any biographical information, the author, Bill Kandler, is obviously an experienced and knowledgeable turner. He says the reason he wrote the book was to answer the beginner's question, "What do I do first?" but he goes much further — all the way to the end, to be exact — with sections on tools and machines, design theory, materials, and techniques for building up and turning your own masterpiece. Not content to stop there, he follows up with discussions of sanding, finishing and even photographing your work and documenting it for future reference.
     Then, he presents plans for eight of his own projects, with complete cutting lists and other helpful information, and closes the book with a nine-page chapter on building and using his trademarked "AcuMiter" tablesaw sled, a toot-simple yet deadly accurate shop fixture for cutting different angled segments safely on your tablesaw.
     Chances are, if you are considering segmented turning at all, you are already mechanically and mathematically inclined. That will make it easier to understand Mr. Kandler's explanations of determining segment angles and sizes. His preferred explanations center around simple trigonometry, although he also explains simpler drafting alternatives, and he presents a list of software programs that are available to help with this vital part of the process.
     For a self-published book, Segmented Turning is very nicely done, although I had a few quibbles with the organization and editing work and I would have preferred captions on the photos. The spiral binding is a nice touch, as it lets you lay the book open on your workbench or table as you read through the author's encyclopedic explanations of each step of the process.
    Armed with this book, I think I may finally try my hand at segmented turning. Kandler makes it look doable.

. . . Ellis Walentine


[NOTE: You may order the book directly from the author at http://www.verifiedsoftware.com/goodturns/segturningbk.htm.]