02/28/2016 - The current version of the Segmented Project Planner is 3.04.0208, 02/28/2016.
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When cutting a segment to make a ring, accuracy in both its length and cutting angle is important both for the cost of what you make and the result you obtain. If the angle is not precise, you will get gaps; they will be on the inside of the rings if the angle is too large and on the outside if the angle is too small. If the length is irregular, you will also get gaps. Finally the ring will be too large or small depending on if the length is long or short.
While a chop saw will do a pretty good job, the best result comes from using a sled with a table saw because both the length and angle remain constant for every piece in a ring. Using a sled with a good 55-tooth combo blade, I get segment cuts that require no touchup before going to the glue up step. Click here to download the plans for my AcuMiter™ Table Saw Miter Sled.. With this plan you can make yourself a truly accurate miter sled so you can cut first class segments for your rings.
When you set up for cutting segments using a chop saw, miter sled, or band saw, the blade needs to be as close as possible to vertical. The closer you can get it, the flatter will be the rings you glue up from the segments.
When you cut segments to make a simple ring, you have two basic methods. For what I call the "Economy" method, you flip the stock you are cutting from over for each cut to take advantage of the edge you just cut. This method gives you the maximum number of segments for a given length of material. But, since the grain can vary somewhat from one side of the stock to the other, each segment will be basically unrelated to its neighbor.
For what I call the "Grain Matching" method, you keep the same side of the stock up throughout the entire set of segments for the ring. To do this you have to turn the stock over and cut a new face. Then turn it back over, to the original side up, and cut the next segment. The "Grain Matching" method will use 10% to 54% or more material than the "Economy" method depending on the ring size and the thickness of the wall. This is the price to be paid for having segments where the grain walks from piece to piece. Sometimes it's worth it!
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