Programming Solution Segments in Wooden Ring or Bowl One of the clubs that I belong to is the Savannah River Wood turners Association. We meet once a month in a friends shop down the road from where I live, and we usually have guest speakers give a presentation on aspects of wood turning. Last weekend we had a gentleman from Atlanta teach a session on segmented wood turning. Segmented turning is a type of wood turning that involves gluing together hundreds of segments to make a particular shape that you would then refine on a DOD lathe.
It is a very time consuming and complicated endeavor sometimes, and the thought of a program to help with the math seemed like a great idea. The personnel involved in the project is mainly myself, but also some of the other members from the group. The aim is to be able to input the amount of segments that you would want to use in a ring and then determine the angle at which you must cut the sides of the segments. It would also be great if the program could output the length of each segment based on the diameter of the bowl.
I say bowl loosely, building a blank with segments is usually done so that they form a ring. The final shape could be anything, but for this program it will be a bowl. In terms of the development cycle, the program will be built in five stages. The first part I am doing right now by writing this paper, this part is the analysis of the problem. The second will be the general design of the program itself. I will flesh out all of the details about input/output, what variables will be used, whatever math will be involved in the next paper.
The third stage is the coding stage in which I will create a Visual Logic executable that runs the program. The fourth and fifth stage will be testing and maintenance. I suppose that I will actually test out the program by attempting to use the results that I get by creating a segmented wood blank. I will then put it on the lathe and include pictures in my final paper, as long as time permits. Turning can be a slow or fast process, and with segmented turning going fast is really not an option.
Taking a modular approach will be somewhat important in the context of this reject. By using modules to separate all of the math from the input and output, it should make the academicals Logic flow chart easier to understand. The math involved in determining the dimensions of each segment is not that complicated in reality, but to me it might as well be ancient Egyptian. Luckily, I have found multiple websites and even other programs to guide me in making this. The first thing the program will do is ask the user what it wants to do.
I saw that in the next paper we are required to use a selection statement, and I intend to use an if else, or maybe even a while loop to create a main menu for the program. From the desired diameter of the bowl in centimeters or they will choose to exit the program. The exact function of this menu is still up in the air, and as I move into more detailed design and math I will figure it out. The number of segments will be store in a variable. This variable will then be divided into 360, then divided by 2. This will give the angle to cut the pieces at.
In reality the user would have to understand to cut the segments at this angle on both ides facing inwards, but that may be another variable I can output. Next the user will input the desired diameter of the ring in centimeters, this will also be stored in a variable, which will then be multiplied by 3. 14. I will add a third variable called the fudge factor, this is relative to the thickness of the segments and gives the user some flexibility in design and cutting. This number will be added to the circumference of the ring, and then the circumference will be divided by the number of segments.
The final output will be the length of each segment, and the angle to cut at. Overall I hope to create a program that will aide in the math involved in this process, and one that I will be able to share with my friends. This type of woodworking is a lot of fun, but for those of us that are not so math inclined it can become frustrating. Accuracy is of the utmost importance, and hopefully this program will help me achieve it. I think this will be a lot of fun. References Segmented