Creating Wood Rings Using The Bentwood Method | Mike Pickett | Skillshare

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Creating Wood Rings Using The Bentwood Method

teacher avatar Mike Pickett, Graphic & Web Designer with a passion for Vectors

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

9 Lessons (17m)
    • 1. 01 Lessons on creating bentwood rings - Intro

    • 2. 02 Tools & supplies

    • 3. 03 What is wood veneer?

    • 4. 04 Where to find and buy veneer

    • 5. 05 Measuring & cutting your veneer

    • 6. 06 Heating or soaking your veneer

    • 7. 07 Wrapping your veneer

    • 8. 08 Time to glue your veneer

    • 9. 09 Sanding & finish

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About This Class


Creating your own bentwood ring is not as difficult as you may think!

Through this course you will learn how to create a bentwood ring using some fairly basic tools - many of which you'll most likely already have. Students will learn what types of woods work best for this method, the most effective techniques to prepare wood for bending, the process of bending, how to glue up a ring, and final sanding and polishing options.

What We'll Cover In This Course

  • the type of veneer you should use for the best results
  • the best glues to use
  • how to layer your ring to make sanding, shaping and polishing easier

You'll also get a complete list of tips, tools and ideas for your projects.

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Mike Pickett

Graphic & Web Designer with a passion for Vectors


As graphic and web designer with over 20 years experience, I am passionate about everything design related and hope to pass some of my skills on to a new generation of designers.

I designed my first logo at the age of 19 and first website at the age of 20. Now 41 - I work on multiple platforms including Skillshare, YouTube and Creative Market - producing art, tutorials and other forms of media based around the graphic and web design fields.

I hope you find my classes informative and entertaining. Above all else I want you take something from each class and find a way to either incorporate it into your workflow to save time or alter it and make it your own - either way as long as you learned something I have achieved what I set out to accomplish with each class I create - t... See full profile

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1. 01 Lessons on creating bentwood rings - Intro: I am welcome to Wouldn't around My name's Mike. Pick it. This is my workshop. This is where I create the bentwood brings that I'm gonna show you how to make in this course. I'm gonna show you everything that you need to create these beautiful pieces of art from the very basic rings with just a single type of wood into multiple woods. The processes that you're gonna learn in this will give you the skills you need to move ahead and start creating your own types. I'm just gonna cover the basics and show you how to make a single type of veneer would ring . But once you know that the possibilities are endless. 2. 02 Tools & supplies: Let's take a minute and talk about some tools and supplies. First you need something sharp, like a utility or Exacto knife. Next, we're gonna need some glue. I use Sanoh Accolate, but any type of crazy glue will work for this next. Some sandpaper, a few different grades, glass and some water. We're going to get away to heat up that water now, hotplate. That'll work. But you could also use Ah Mykolaiv. And finally, we're gonna need some wood veneer. Now there's many different types of wood veneers out there, all different styles and lengths and would types. So let's take a second before we move on and actually talk about the various types of veneer and what's gonna work best. 3. 03 What is wood veneer? : So let's talk veneer just for a minute. Here. Now, what exactly is wood veneer? Wood veneer is a slice of wood that's been taken off. It's less than three millimeters thick. Thing is a good example of a veneer. Here. You can see it's flexible. It it's very thin, but it is more flexible side to side than it is top to bottom. So what we want to do is heat this up and make it more malleable from the top to the bottom . In that way, we can do our rap. No, here's another good example of a long grain. So this one's going again. Top to bottom Grain is the best type of veneer for what we're going to need or for the purpose that we're gonna be using it for today. There's woods out there that don't work so well. Four. Bending and they're known as Berle's. Now there's different types of boroughs. This is a lace would, and you can see the grain going to different ways. There's a horizontal, but then there's also a vertical green on this. That's what ends up causing breakage. Another example of a borough is get into a dark wood burl here and you can see the dark swirls through here Now, these air gorgeous woods, but just don't work so well for doing bentwood drinks. I'm still trying a few different things to see if I can get a veneer softener to make these better for bentwood rings because they would make some gorgeous rings. But for now, we're going to stick with some standard types of wood that have ah, horizontal re. 4. 04 Where to find and buy veneer: So next let's talk about where you can actually find and buy wood veneer many different places. You can get this. There is a lot of websites online if you do a search for marquetry, and I'll put that word in the notes so that you can just grab it into a quick search for it . On Google, the near is used for marquetry quite a bit, and I was able to pick up a sample pack for around $30. I think I got about 40 different pieces of a deer in there. They've lasted quite a while because you're cutting strips out of this to make each ring on , depending on the size of ringlets you're making in the width that you want. A piece of veneer, like what you see here can actually last quite a while and make quite a few rings. Now the other thing you could do is go to your local Home Depot or your local home improvement store, and they'll have banding that you'll use for like the front of countertops and things like that. This is still wood veneer. A lot of it is glue backed, so you'll want to heat that up. Soak it in some hot water or something to get the glue off first before you start using that for brings. 5. 05 Measuring & cutting your veneer: Now that we have our veneer selected and we know which type of wood we're gonna use, We want to do our measuring and cutting most of you veneers or around every one centimeters or about 12 inches long. So I usually use that as just a base and I'll use the whole strip and then just do a rap based on that is really what we're looking for is a whipped more than a length, depending I normally look at about a centimeter because again, we are gonna be sanding this down. So centimeter gives us a good width to start with, and we can then sand it down from there, depending on really what we want. A centimeter ring is gonna be great for most of the men out there for ladies. It's normally a little bit thinner. You're probably around 3/4 of a centimeter or less for here on marking this with a Sharpie , I wouldn't recommend it again. You are sanding, so it's not gonna matter. But if you don't take a lot off, there's a possibility you could still see some black marks. So I would recommend using a pencil. I just use this ruler. And again, it's just a plastic ruler. A steel ruler can work great. The nice thing about a steel ruler is that most of them have the court backing on them, so they're not going to slip on you like that. First thing we want to do is just make sure that you do a few passes. Don't try and cut through once, just to a few light passes over your veneer. There are size that you can get their veneer saws. Utility knife works just as well. After a few passes, we can go ahead and you'll be able to see kind of where it's still stuck. Just like to take my knife. Just run it over those spots just a couple more times really lightly, and you could see it pop off there, and there is the piece that we're going to need. So from here we're able to take it, Do are heating and then we can start rapping 6. 06 Heating or soaking your veneer: It is a few different methods you can use for heating or soaking your veneer. I'm gonna show you to here, let's get rid of this water and we're going to start with the towel method. What I'm gonna do this should be a wet towel. But for just the sake of demonstration, we're just gonna lay it out here in this one's dry. You gonna take your veneer into a wet towel and roll it up almost like you would sort of. Ah, pastry. What this is gonna do is make like a little wet noodle sort of thing. You take this after it's all rolled up and throw it into the microwave. I know it sounds weird, but the wet towel into the mike away for about three minutes. Once it comes out of the microwave, we're gonna be able to unroll it, and your veneer will have steamed inside of there. I would recommend leaving it for a few minutes before you want Roll it. The other method is to take your veneer, roll it up into a larger circle and squeeze it into some kind of container that just as warm water in it, get something wide enough as you can see here, trying to squeeze it into like a small glass. You're gonna have difficulties with it, and chances are you're probably going to end up snapping it while you're trying to push it in. This is exactly what we don't want to happen. It can be done if you take your time and you're careful with it. But I would recommend trying to find something that's wide enough, a boat, a four inch circle and then you want warm enough water, and it doesn't have to be scolding. It doesn't need to be boiling water because you're gonna leave this one for roughly about 1/2 hour or so and just let it soak. As long as it's soaked in hot water, You shouldn't have any issues bending it Now. There is another method that we can use, and it's the method that I actually use. I have a steam box. Depending on which type of what I'm using. I'll go back and forth between the various methods. Just make sure you clean up anything after you're done, and then let that sit for roughly about 30 minutes to an hour. 7. 07 Wrapping your veneer: Now that we have our Viniar ready, we want to start rapping. I recommend something metal non porous for doing your rapping. We don't want to wrap this around would or some kind of soft material. I prefer sockets. So we're gonna take our wet veneer, have are glued hand for our next step because once this is wrapped, we don't want to let it sit for too long. I find that letting the would sit overnight is actually too long and it becomes hard to do are wrapping for our final step in our glue up. Do you want to take our socket and just get a little piece wrapped around it? And then essentially, you're just going to roll it around the socket and just keeping it as tight as you possibly can, and then try and keep the edges straight the straighter. You can keep these edges easier. Your job is going to be once we get to the sanding stage. Now that we have it all wrapped around, you see a little lip way. Just want to be able to pull it off of the socket, which shouldn't be too difficult to do next. We're gonna want to take a rubber band and just give it a few wraps so that it's gonna hold its shape. And this is how we're actually gonna let it sit, depending on what you've got for a timeframe, This one that you're actually watching here. I only let it sit for probably about 15 minutes and then started to the glue up. So it's not like you have to set these out and let them sit for overnight or a couple of days or anything. This should be good enough. 8. 08 Time to glue your veneer: So now that we have are wrapped done, we're gonna go ahead just unwrapping you see, it unraveled here. This is what the end piece will look like when you're glue and we never socket again. We're gonna start doing the flu. The glue up is pretty simple to do. We're just gonna follow the same process that we did when we first wrapped. Are would we're gonna do a piece by piece instead of a full role this time in that way around kind of each rap, we could put a little bit of glue in and build it layer by layer until we have a full peace all glued up. So you see here I just put a little bit of glue in. Make sure to keep it lined up at a little bit of pressure. A few seconds for each piece of er for each dab of glue that you put in should be enough. I was going to speed this up here and walk through the rest the process so you can see a few times that I work this out just adding a little bit of pressure each time. And once we're done, we're gonna end up with a piece like this that's all wrapped up, its all glued, and we should be able to still just slide it off socket. If you get some glue or something on there and it gets stuck, just use a hammer really lightly and it should come off. So this is our final glued a piece and you can see a little bit of rubber glove that got stuck in there. That's fine. We're gonna send these off anyways. What I like to do is just take a little bit of glue on the edges on, run it right around and that way it kind of fills in. Any seems or sections that maybe didn't get some glue to make this a really strong rain so it will seep down into the little cracks and crevices around. And I'll do this on both sides. The key to this, you're gonna want to let it dry for a good probably our before you actually get to the sanding. Now, Zana cry a late. It dries pretty quick. So most of the Krazy Glues Doas Well, you don't have to leave it for an hour, but I would recommend it 9. 09 Sanding & finish: our next step is gonna be sanding are veneer and getting our ring kind of shaped and ready to go. So there's four different grades. I'll start with a 40 move up to a 60. I don't go to 100 normally finish with either 150 or 200 grit sandpaper. What you want to do is on each side I start out with my edges on, I'll usually go in a circular motion. And this isn't my largest grits. You wanna be careful on this one. You don't want to go too hard or too fast, and then you want to check it. You know, every 10 15 seconds or so that you're doing the sanding just to make sure that you're not taking too much, often ending up with next to nothing for a rate you can see here, we've got it down. It's it's starting to come together. I start doing the face and with the faces I'm always using, really lights on. I'm an 82 a 1 50 here, and we're just trying to clean up and smooth out the face of once the faces cleaned up. We'll end up with something that's really smooth. You'll be able to see some of the sheen come off. And that's how you know the ring is is ready on your good to move on to kind of your finish sanding now the finish Sanding is always again 1 50 to 200 grit sandpaper. I actually have a would lay The small crafters would lave in my workshop and I used that to do any my finish now So again, this is the process that I started with was doing the hand sanding But now that I'm actually producing more rings, I had to have something else. So this is what I used to use for sanding the insides of the ring is, of course, you've still got that wrapped and you want to make sure that you get the inside of the ring smoothed out as well. So I normally took a pencil or a thicker marker, wrapped a piece of sandpaper around, and then what you could do is you could smooth out the inside of the ring. You can just do this with your finger, but I find that it was a lot easier when I had felt or something and I could just hold it stationery and then spin the ring instead of having to try and spin my finger or something inside of it so you can see the process here for smoothing out the inside. It's a little more labour intensive doing it this way, as opposed to doing it with the wood Leith. But it can still get are very nice finish. You see, we've got a good fit here. Now, as faras finished goes is a few different options you can do. I use the scion of cry a late, so I still use the glue and I'll put four or five layers of glue on it. Tung oil is a good thing as well, and then you can also use just a would finish. Now, once you get your finish on, you want a polish it and to polish it, I normally use like a cotton rag and I'll take the ring, stick it through, and then I'll normally hold both ends of the rag kind of in between my knees and just run the ring back and forth as quick as I can and that'll actually, it'll get rid of any kind of a rough finish on there and polish the ring at the same time. This is the kind of polish that you can end up with that. So these air the finished rings. I hope you guys enjoyed this course. I'm so looking forward to seeing what you can come up with. I'm hoping that you can create something awesome for yourself. They're really fun to make. And as you can see, we can get into inlays and different things like that as you progress. And the newest rings that I'm doing now are stainless steel. So I got a stainless steel band and then an insert of would insert inside of that I hope you enjoyed you guys and I will be back with more courses in the future.