The art of woodworking may seem intimidating, but there are many beautiful projects you can create with just a few simple materials. Learning how to make a wood ring, for example, is easier than you might think. All you need is a piece of exotic wood veneer and a few basic tools. Get a step-by-step guide for how to make a wooden ring below.
What Tools Do You Need to Make a Wooden Ring?
You don’t need complex tools to create a wooden ring, but you will need a few basic materials. While the list is fairly long, you likely have some of these materials already.
- Wood veneer
- Loctite super glue
- Ring mandrel
- Ring gauges
- Cutting mat
- Metal ruler
- Craft knife
- Pan/water receptacle
- Paper towels
- Wet and dry sandpapers (240, 320, 400, 600, 1200)
- Micromesh sheets (2400, 4000, 8000, 12000)
- Surgical spirit or rubbing alcohol
- Paint brush
- Burnishing cream
To work safely, you should wear latex gloves, a respirator mask with chemical filters, a dust mask, and safety goggles.
How to Make a Wood Ring in 5 Steps
There are many different ways to make a wooden ring. This tutorial focuses on the bent wood method, in which you bend a piece of wood veneer around a former or socket. With this technique, you’ll make a strong but inexpensive ring with no breaking points.
Step 1: Prepare the Wood
Using your cutting mat, craft knife, and ruler, cut a strip of wood veneer 10 mm wide. (This will eventually create a 6mm wide ring.) Use sandpaper to taper one end of the strip down to a paper-thin point. To make the wood pliable, soak the strip in a pan of hot water for 30 minutes.
Step 2: Wrap and Dry
Take the wood out of the water and wrap it tightly around a large socket, securing the end with masking tape. (For this step, you can use a socket larger than your ring size; you will re-wrap using your ring size once it’s dry.) Leave the wood like this for 24 hours—this trains the wood to stay bent, rather than snapping back to its original straight form.
Once the wood is dry, cut it down to the correct size. For this step, use a socket that’s about one size larger than your ring size. Wrap the wood tightly around the socket until you have three layers of wood. Then cut off the excess and sand the new end down to a point.
Step 3: Glue
To secure the wood, wrap it around the socket again, using a toothpick to evenly spread super glue on the underside of the wood as you go. Be careful not to glue the wood to the socket. Work with small sections at a time to avoid using excess glue and keep the wrap tight. When you reach the end, use a toothpick to hold the edge in place, so it doesn’t stick to your glove.
Step 4: Shape
Once the ring is dry, lay a piece of sandpaper down on the table and sand the edges using a figure-eight motion until the ring is 6mm wide. Continue sanding using progressively finer sandpaper to blend the seams and achieve smooth, tapered edges. Clean away the sanding dust with rubbing alcohol.
Step 5: Finish and Polish
To protect the ring and enhance its durability, apply superglue as a finish. Squeeze a few drops of glue onto the ring, and use a toothpick to spread it evenly over every surface. For the best result, add eight layers of glue, allowing each layer to dry completely before adding the next.
Next, polish the ring using progressively finer grits of sandpaper and super fine abrasive sheets called micromesh. For example, you might use 320, 400, 600, and 1200 sandpaper and then 2400, 4000, 8000, and 12,000 grit micromesh. Aim to get the surface as even, smooth, and shiny as possible. More advanced woodworkers may choose to use a lathe for this, but the same result can be achieved by hand in about 40 minutes.
Finally, rub in some burnishing cream and buff it out with a paper towel.
Even with no specialized tools, you can learn how to make a ring out of wood. Once you master this piece, you can move on to more complex projects, like learning how to make a wood ring with inlay (or alternatively, how to make a metal ring with wood inlay) or even how to make a ring box out of wood to keep your ring safe.
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