WoodCentral's Book Reviews
The Art of Segmented Woodturning

The Art of Segmented Woodturning
by Malcolm Tibbetts

Linden Publishing: 2005
paperback, 185 pp., $25.95
ISBN 0-941936-86-4

     Mr. Tibbetts has written a very detailed book on his innovative procedures for segmented wood turning. From spheres and soccer balls to Mobius-strip sculptures of wooden ribbons, he gives instructions and step by step guidance on how to accurately cut segments, stack rings, prepare efficient glue ups and make jigs for sanding the many pieces he uses.
     The author has a separate chapter for stave construction, trickery with laminations, and how to build an icosahedron. He turns port holes in laminated rings to reveal designs that were pre-assembled, and shows different methods for inserting diamond shapes into ring segments.
     Several pages are devoted to large vessel techniques. By large, the author means, for example, a 36" tall vessel with over 6000 individual wood pieces in its makeup, or a segmented, turned pedestal chess table 43" in diameter, with accompanying bar stools. Of this last he says, "It illustrates the idea that if you can think it, you can build it."
     The book is not meant for beginners. Tibbetts cites a need for at least some woodworking experience and familiarity with the machinery. Basic lathe turning skills are a necessity, as his directions presume the reader is familiar with turning techniques. He discusses safety precautions, moisture content and wood movement considerations, as well as the design process.
     Fully illustrated in color and well indexed, the book includes an appendix with compound miter angles for cutting pieces, and mathematical formulas necessary for construction. This is an inspiring work for turners, and the author is a master craftsman. Of course, he makes it look easy.

. . . Barb Siddiuqi