Making a Chaotic Patterned Segmented Sphere

I have made another segmented sphere. In building this sphere, I utilized a random pattern of sectors similar to that used in many chaotic cutting boards. I cut the scrap pieces of pine into short lengths and stack them together to make a length of end grain material. Then I cut this at a 30 ° angle to start to make a pattern of angled sections. I did this 3 times. Then I cut the chaotic pattern into equilateral triangles and glued them into an . I rough cut this on the 4th axis of the into a sphere. Lastly, I ended up the sphere on the lathe. I had implied for this to simply be a model to play with and study how the patterns work, but it ended up being a good project in itself so I made it into a video.

How to Woodturn a Sphere:
A Christmas Ornament:
a Mosaic World:

Tools utilized in this job can be discovered at

Woodturning tools:.

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Making a Chaotic Patterned Segmented Sphere

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    1. I thought I was the only one who loved it! I immediately went to amazon and purchased a couple for my Dad, who is very into woodworking. He’s constantly losing his marking pencils, AND last summer he had an incident with a knot kicking up the table saw guard (he had done everything right, bc I was ready to read him the riot act if he hadn’t), and the knot giving way so quickly that unfortunately he lost the tip of his fingers in 2 places. A perfect storm of “this shouldn’t happen but if it does its ok if this and this didn’t happen” sort of thing.

  1. Next time you do this I’d enjoy getting to see the evolution of the grain pattern at each stage as you cut and reglue all the segments together.

  2. Thank you for this. Watching you use the rotary axis and realizing that ultimately it was a time saver was a great watch. Although the CNC takes a lot time to cut you can walk away and do other things. Plus you can speed it up now.

  3. What a gorgeous project! I really love the way you show your whole process, from the concept on. I’m not even a woodworker, but I find your videos both soothing and inspiring.

  4. Seeing this project partially complete, made me think of a D20 Dice. I’d love to see you make a giant D20 nice, give it some kind of sudo marble/epoxy surface look, and put some kind of logo of yours in place of the number 20. (A fairly common thing among custom dice makers.)

  5. Very cool project!!! Love how you combined tons of skills and ended with a beautiful little piece.

  6. Looks great, Frank. I still can’t wrap my head around how you made this one and now you’re moving on to something even more complicated. Take care.

  7. Also- Doing the sphere on the C&C was a PERFECT example of “work smarter not harder” – I salute you, sir!

  8. The sphere making technique really seems to be perfected now. Some of the previous ones have had slightly out of alignment joints but this one seems perfect. I love the pattern as well.

  9. Really cool random pattern- great effect! Beautiful!
    And, as always, love the techniques used to get there.

    If I may digress: This one made me wonder about the whole concept of “the sphere,” from our fascination with it to how it works in nature, etc (Maybe it was the pattern, maybe this beautiful Sunday morning, Idk….).
    Thank you Frank!

  10. This will sound insane but once you had glued up the sphere, you needed to cut it again in to pieces, 6 cuts, 90 deg apart on the x,y,z, going through any side of the triangle. Then glue it back together and either repeat, or proceed as you did. Smaller sphere here you come…

    I thought the end result was beautiful, but can see the larger triangles still. Arm chair opinion over. Back to making this movie. Mark Breakspear.

  11. It may be ‘just scrap pine’ but I think plain old pine has nice looking end grain. Very good look for this project.
    Rather than hardwood, I would like to see pine dyed in a few different colors randomly assorted.

  12. All of your segmented projects are so fun to watch come together, but this is the wildest one yet! Constantly in awe or your ability to both conceptualize your projects and make alterations on the fly as you work.

  13. Love it! As for finding a more efficient set of cutting angles, would there not be a 3D geometry person in the comments who could advise? (Mind you, you seem to be doing just fine all on your own.)

  14. Dude. That’s awesome. Loved how you detail each step in the process! I’ve got a ton of scrap pine I’ve been trying to figure out something interesting to make with it and this is very inspiring. I really dig the organized chaos!

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