Spherical Segmentation

I have developed a new technique for making segmented spherical wood turnings.  It is much easier than conventional ring-type segmentation, and doesn't require as much machinery.     Ordinarily, rings of segments have end-to-end joints that are along vertical planes that intersect the axis of the vessel being made, and the top and bottom sides of the segments are along horizontal parallel planes that also intersect the axis of the vessel being made – e.g. latitude and longitude lines on a globe.  My technique I have developed is fundamentally different because all joint surfaces are planes that intersect a single center point, i.e. great circle planes.  This makes all of the angles the same whether a segment is large or small, and any convex shape.   

The segments can be joined at angles instead of just being limited to flat rings.  They can form three-dimensional ribbons that can turn any direction along a path on the surface of a sphere.  A segment can be shaped like any convex polygon instead of being limited to a rectangle or trapezoid like a compound mitered stave.

 Each segment or segment assembly is roughed out on a simple shop-made jig on a band saw and then the edges are sanded on a stationary disc sander to get a better joint surface.  The idea is very similar to the way a wooden whiskey or wine barrel is made, except barrel staves just have the long edges shaved to be on a plane with the axis of the barrel.  The segment edges are sanded to be on a plane with the center of the sphere.

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