Introduction: Bent Wood Rings

Picture of Bent Wood Rings

Wood rings are beautiful.  They feel warm and have a lovely sheen when finished properly.  They tend not to be very durable, though.  Often they crack along the grain after continued wear.

Bent wood rings address this problem.  Made from very thin layers of wood wrapped with the grain running all the way around the ring (instead of across or through), these rings can stand up to quite a bit of pressure without cracking or breaking.

I gave Josh wood this past father's day.  Woodcraft sold various turning blanks of exotic hardwoods, and we had a lot of fun turning rings on his tiny micro lathe.  I still prefer the look of wood rings made from a solid piece of wood with the grain running through the ring.  Some exotic woods hold up quite well, but some do not.  We began looking into ways to make our rings more durable and read about bent wood rings.

There wasn't a whole lot of information out there as to how exactly to make the rings.  After a fair amount of experimentation, I've come up with a method that works for us.  We don't make wood rings any more (our passion for making them lasted about a month before our attention spans expired and we moved on to the next interest), but I wanted to share the method with others.

I also sometimes put a bent wood interior inside a solid wood ring to make it stronger.  It would be impossible to use some woods for rings (like figured satinwood) without some type of serious strengthening.  I haven't included directions for that in this instructable, but they're not too hard to figure out once you know the basics.

I'll also show you how to add a crushed stone inlay.

Some people are now choosing bent wood rings for wedding or engagement rings.  They can be pricey from some retailers.  They might take a little bit of practice if you want perfect rings, but the technique is simple and the materials are cheap.

Step 1: Form the Ring Shape

Picture of Form the Ring Shape

To make the rings, you'll need:

wood veneer
a straightedge
a thin, sharp blade
something to hold and boil water
something finger sized to wrap the wood around
masking tape, rubber band, or velcro cable tie to hold wrapped wood in place
various grits of sandpaper
dremel (optional)

If you're adding a crushed stone inlay, you'll also need:

stone to crush
a hammer and anvil or some other device for crushing stone
a toothpick or other small, disposable implement to mix and apply epoxy
a metal file

We bought a sample pack of wood veneer at the local woodworking supply store.  It cost $20 and contains more than 20 pieces of veneer, enough to make hundreds of rings.  Some types of veneer don't bend very well at all.  I had the most success with thin, tight-grained pieces of veneer with the grain running the long way.  I'm sure the more difficult woods could be used if they were sanded much thinner.  I didn't bother, though.  I can use that veneer for something else.

Using a straight edge as a guide, slice your piece of veneer into a long, thin strip.  I've found it works better if I use many light strokes instead of trying to cut through the veneer in one pass.  Sometimes the blade tries to veer away from the straight edge along the irregular grain.  Lighter strokes helps combat that.

Using a dremel with a sanding tip or regular sandpaper, sand down the ends of the strip.  You'll want them very thin.  If you don't sand them down, a kink will form in the wood as you wrap it.  It'll look out of place and will make it difficult to get a tight wrap.  It's also easier to hide the seam when the end is thinned down.

If you want to do a crushed stone inlay, slice two thin strips of veneer to fit over the base strip of veneer with enough space between the thin strips for the stone inlay.  On the ring in the picture, I simply sliced out the middle of a strip of veneer on one end of the strip, leaving the other end intact so I could wrap the base and overlay of the ring with just one piece.  I'm lazy like that.  Please look at the picture for reference.  I wanted the groove for the inlay deep enough, so I left the thinner strips longer than the base portion.

Some people steam their wood.  Some wrap it in wet paper towels and place it in the microwave.  Boiling the strips in a pot of water works best for me.  Different woods take different amounts of time to get flexible enough.  I boil mine for roughly 10 minutes.  They're usually bendable by then.

I've discovered that a copper pipe is roughly the right size to make rings for my middle or index fingers.  We have a stepped ring mandrel somewhere that I could use, but I can't find it.  I've also learned that a AA battery is the right size to make a ring for my 3 year old.

When the wood is sufficiently flexible, remove it from the boiling water using tongs.  It cools quickly, so it shouldn't burn you by the time you get back to the table.  Wrap it tightly around the round item of your choice and secure it with masking tape, a rubber band, or whatever you can find.

If you're making a ring with one color on the inside and one on the outside, only wrap the inner portion at this time.  Leave the veneer for the outside in the pot for now.  If you're making a ring with a stone inlay, make sure to wrap the base part of the ring (the solid portion of the strip) first if it's in once piece.  If the thin strips are separate pieces of veneer, leave those in the pot for now.

Step 2: Glue

Picture of Glue

Some retailers of bent wood rings claim that the ring strength comes solely from the direction of the grain.

That's not true, in my experience.  When these rings are properly made, they're impregnated with cyanoacrylate (also known as superglue).  The glue adds a lot to the strength.  There's a lot of information out there about cyanoacrylate and woodworking; it's frequently used to finish wood pens because it forms such a clear, shiny, and durable finish.

I was tired of sanding superglue off my fingertips when these photos were taken, which is why I'm wearing gloves.  I always end up with superglue on my fingers when I make bent wood rings.

After the ring has been sitting for 5 or so minute, gently peel away the masking tape and let it slowly unfurl.  The wood should now form a loose spiral.  Starting at the middle, begin wrapping it tightly around the tube again.  As soon as you have one loop formed, put a small amount of glue (less than a drop) on the strip of veneer right where the unwrapped part meets the wrapped part, spreading it a bit with the tip of the glue.  Press the veneer into place firmly.  Hold for a few seconds until it will hold together on its own.  Be very careful on the first applications of glue.  You don't want to glue the ring to the tube you're using.  If you're nervous about your skills, you could wrap parchment paper around your tube before wrapping it.  I usually slide the ring up and down the tube a couple times when I'm gluing the first layer to make sure it doesn't stick.  Keep adding small amounts of glue, spreading it, and pressing the veneer against the lower layer, holding firmly as you work outward in a spiral.  Don't skip any areas.  The ring is strong and looks best when there aren't any gaps or spots without glue.

Don't wait too long to begin gluing.  The water in the wood helps the glue set up quickly.  It also helps pull the glue into the wood fibers to hold everything securely together.  The wood is less flexible after it dries.  You don't want it to splinter on you, and that's very likely if you wait until it's dry before gluing.

It takes a little practice to determine how much glue you need.  Too much glue will leak out and stick to everything, including your fingers (ouch).  Too little glue will leave gaps in your ring.

If you're adding another layer of wood veneer to your ring, you can now fish the second piece out of the pot of boiling water.   Wrap it around the base of the ring and secure it with tape.  Wait a few minutes, then glue it to the base layer in the same manner described above.  If you're using two thin strips of veneer on the outer layers of the ring to create a channel for an inlay, you can wrap and glue them separately from each other.

I prefer to leave the very outside end of the veneer unglued at this point.  Cyanoacrylate likes to turn white when it's exposed to water.  If I glue it now, it'll likely leave a white residue when I go to sand the ring and finish it.  The residue will be impossible to remove because it impregnates the wood fibers.

When the ring is glued, slide it off the tube and let it sit out to dry.  It has to be completely dry before you begin sanding.  This can take several hours.

Step 3: Clean Up the Ring

Picture of Clean Up the Ring

This is when I glue down the outer edge of veneer.  Sand it down, slip a little glue under the edge, and press firmly.  Because the outer edge is thin, tapered veneer, I use an implement to hold it in place instead of my finger.  I'm really sick of superglue on my fingers.  The glue will take longer to set this time because the wood is no longer wet.  Some woods show the seam more than others.  The pearwood veneer I have gets darker edges in places coated with superglue, even if the ring is finished with that same superglue.  The lighter and darker woods I've used (like maple and walnut) don't seem to have that problem.  The seam doesn't bother me, but you might not want a visible seam, so you might want to experiment with which types of wood hide seams the best.  You could always do some creative cutting and sanding for the outer seam to really blend it with a wood that shows seams.  I don't bother to do much seam shaping; I usually can't even find the seam on my maple or walnut rings once they're finished.

I use the dremel to smooth the edges of the ring.  Even when I wrap the wood carefully, the edges aren't perfectly aligned.  I'm not a perfectly precise type of person.  I don't use the dremel for sanding the rest of the ring.  I'm probably just uncoordinated, but I end up with a lumpy ring if I use the dremel on the rest of it.

Use sandpaper to smooth down any sharp corners at the edges of the ring.  If you have trouble getting sandpaper inside the ring, you can use a small file.  Sand and smooth the edges of the groove if you're doing an inlay.

Proper sanding will make a huge difference in the finished ring.  Use a full range of sandpaper grits and don't skip any.  I use sanding blocks from 60 grit to 320, then switch to my micro mesh sanding sheets.  The micro mesh really matters if you want a smooth, glossy finish.  You only need to sand up to the 4000 grit in the micro mesh before finishing.  Sanding beyond that isn't necessary.  The finish needs a small amount of roughness to grip onto, and you'll be using the higher grits to sand the finish, anyway.

Step 4: Add Inlay (optional)

Picture of Add Inlay (optional)

If you don't want to bother with a stone inlay, skip to step 5.

If you want spots of crushed stone in your ring, take a grinding bit on a drill or dremel and drill holes into your ring.  Don't drill all the way through; just make cavities that you can fill with the crushed stone.

We bought some cheap rocks in various colors from the local rock shop.  None of them cost more than a dollar.

Use a hammer and anvil or whatever else to smash your chosen rock into powder.  Josh bought some plumbing fittings at the hardware store to smash the rock.  The larger metal cap contains the bits of rock so they don't fly all over the place when I'm smashing them.  Fold a piece of paper in half lengthwise.  Unfold and fold crosswise.  Unfold.  This will create valleys that make it easier to keep your powdered stone where you want it.  Dump your crushed stone in the center of the paper where the lines intersect.

On a separate small piece of paper, squirt equal portions of both parts of the epoxy.  Mix them thoroughly with your toothpick, trying to avoid adding a lot of air.  Pour on a little of the crushed stone and mix.  Add enough stone that you won't have empty clear spots in your epoxy when it's in the ring, but not so much that the epoxy can't hold everything together.

Press the stone mixture into the recesses of your ring with your toothpick.  Squash it in carefully and thoroughly.  After I used the toothpick, I put a little petrolatum on my fingertips to squash it in further.  Scrape off as much excess as you can while still keeping the stone mixture slightly above the surface wood in the ring.  You'll save a little time if you also scrape the epoxy off the surface wood as much as you can while it's wet.

My container of epoxy said 5 minutes.  It was misleading, in my mind.  I had 5 minutes of work time, but it wasn't hard enough for me to sand after that time.  The small print on the package stated that it took 8 hours before it was usable and 24 hours for the full cure.  I'm impatient.  I waited an hour or two.  You should probably wait longer... although I didn't have any problems with my rings.

It would take forever to sand down the excess stone mixture with sandpaper, especially if you use the types with a less durable grit.  I used a large metal file to get most of it, then refined it with sandpaper.

Work your way back up the grits of sandpaper.  Make sure the stone portion and the wood are now flush with each other.

Step 5: Finish the Ring

Picture of Finish the Ring

There are lots of different types of finishes.  I won't talk about most of them.

I've heard good things about layer upon layer of a drying oil, such as tung oil.  I've never tried it.

Josh is fond of shellac.  So am I; it's hard to go wrong with edible bug excretions.  (You don't believe me?  Check your candy labels for shellac, resinous glaze, or confectioner's glaze. )  Shellac doesn't leave a very durable finish on a ring, though.  It flakes/rubs off pretty quickly with continued wear.

Some people prefer to finish their wood rings with beeswax and olive oil.  The oil and wax should be reapplied regularly and won't be as glossy as other finishes.  They leave a really nice, "natural" feel to the wood, though.  I love using olive oil and beeswax to finish a ring made of solid olivewood.  Olive oil and beeswax do not fill the pores in wood.  Some wood has bigger pores than other wood.  When choosing a finish, consider the effect you want, including whether or not you want to fill all the pores to make the surface completely smooth.

My own personal opinion is that cyanoacrylate is the best finish for bent wood rings.  It's durable, water resistant, and it's already used throughout the ring.  It's sometimes a pain to work with.

Before you add any finish, look closely at your ring.  You might see some pale or dark streaks, depending on the color of your wood.  These are pores in the wood, and they're likely filled with fine sawdust from sanding your ring.  If you don't get rid of the dust, it'll get stuck in the finish and leave your ring dull and dirty looking.  Find a cotton swab, a buffing pad, or a very soft cloth.  Wipe your ring down, making sure to get as much dust out of the pores as you can.  Sometimes you need to use a cloth with very fine fibers to get all the pores cleaned out.  Sometimes you'll need to dampen the cloth a bit.  If you do use a little water, let the ring dry completely before you apply a finish.

Find a tweezers or some implement to hold the ring if you feel a bit clumsy like me and don't want glue on your fingers.  Carefully squirt out a small amount of superglue onto the ring (about a drop or less).  Spread it around as much as you can with the tip of the glue, or use a clean cotton swab.  Hold the ring away from your face and let it dry.  DO NOT blow on it.  The moisture from your breath can cause the glue to turn white.  If that happens, you'll have to sand it all off and start again.  If you touch it before it's dry, the moisture from your fingertips can also turn it white.  Once it's dry, add glue to another area of the ring.  Continue until the ring is all covered, inside and out.  The glue will look less shiny and smooth once it dries.  That's okay.  

It's now time to sand.  If the coating is particularly rough, I might go as low as my 320 grit sanding block and then work my way up with the micromesh.  If it looks relatively smooth, I'll usually just use my micro mesh to sand it all the way up to 12000 grit for a high gloss finish.  Inspect the ring carefully for things like white spots or dull spots where there is no glue.  Sand down and redo any white spots.  Add glue to any bare spots and sand smooth.

Some people add several layers of cyanoacrylate.  Some people layer it with boiled linseed oil.  I've never tried boiled linseed oil because I never think about getting any when I'm at a hardware store.

I used one layer of cyanoacrylate to finish my 3 year old's ring.  It's holding up really well so far, even after playing in the sand and washing his hands.  Wood rings will last longer if properly cared for.  Scratches should be sanded with fine sandpaper and refinished to protect the wood from moisture.  Ideally, they should be removed before swimming, showering, or washing dishes.

Thanks for reading!  I hope you try making your own.


Norad2000x made it! (author)2014-08-19

Many thanks to the original poster Supersoftdrink for this instructable! Over a week, I've frantically learned the craft and made an ebony engagement ring for my fiancée. She loved it.

I thought I'd share the lessons I've learned, mistakes I've made, and things that worked for me to better help you guy make awesome rings.

1. Supply: I got my veneer from veneersupplies. They came well packed and extremely attractive. The thickness was really good at 1/42"

2. Boiling: I tried boiling all kinds of veneer. Straight grain works best. Slightly wavy grain is doable. Crotch grain did not work for me. Soft woods disintegrated. Like Supersoftdrink's suggestion, repeated light cuts with a sharp blade work best when cutting strips. I learned that cutting strips wider (5-10mm) and then sanding them down after they're glued helps prevent the wood from cracking. I usually boil the wood for 5-10 minutes. I tried steaming once in a steamer- the wood strangely didn't bend as well for me.

3. Bending: As Calskin's suggestion, multiple bending iterations work very well! I mainly worked with mahogany and ebony, and if you tried (like me) to bend them to ring size in the first attempt, they frayed and snapped. So, bend them into a large loop, let dry, coil tighter, boil. The ebony took about 3 repeats, while the mahogany took about 2.

4. Glue: Follow Supersoftdrink's suggestions. In my first batch, I tried gorilla glue. It did NOT work for me. It filled in the cracks, but because it took some time to cure, I ended up with a lumpy ring with lumps of glue or gaps between strips. So, I then tried wrapping foil around the ring, then hose clamping it. It still resulted in rings where there are thin air gaps between strips. Very unattractive!

Super glue gel worked very well. Tried liquid super glue- too thin. The wood must be wet, or it doesn't work. I ended up boiling my strips right before gluing them. As Supersoftdrink suggested, USE GLOVES. I tried nitrile examination gloves- not good. Instead, the super thin plastic gloves you buy at the $1 store that comes in 50 pack works amazingly well! The super glue gel does not adhere to the plastic! What worked well with me is first glue the end, wait 10 seconds to dry. Generously dollop 1/2 turn of super glue gel, press down the strip, wait to dry. Repeat till I got to the end. Glue will squeeze out the sides, but that can be cleaned and sanded. The ring blanks that came from that are in most cases tightly wound with no gaps.

5. Sanding: I used a thin strip of painters tape to mark how thick the ring should be. I dremeled most of the excess off, then hand sand with a flat sanding surface. I tried making comfort-fit rings...I didn't have much success. It was really hard to get an even, curved bevel, and I didn't have the right tools. A microlathe would probably help.

6. Finishing: You can get high grit (600-2000) sandpaper at automotive stores. ACE/Miners sold single sheets of 1500 grit too. Dremel's fuzzy polish wheel works amazingly well too.

I used super glue gel as the finish. I first tried liquid super glue, but it resulted in uneven lumps as the glue pooled as it dried. What finally worked best for me is to don two plastic gloves (not latex/nitrile!) , dollop some super glue gel onto the clean ring, and just smear it all over with your gloved hands. Then, let it dry, sand lightly, then repeat. It resulted in a very even coat. I must have stripped off the coating 5-6 times before I got the process down. If you are waiting minutes between applications, USE NEW GLOVES. Otherwise you will get white flakes in your finish. It's not worth it.

Super glue will stain your woods slightly. The mahogany I used became a nice rich brown, while the ebony turned very sleek black.

Hope these suggestions help you!

KAnderl (author)Norad2000x2017-02-15

Hello there :)

I know it's already 2 years ago that you commented on this but I hope you're still looking here once a while...Our anniversary is coming up end of March and I really would like to attempt to make one of these rings and I am a total rookie when it comes to wood working....

1) Do you think that's a possible task for a beginner?

I was roaming through the web looking for the right veneer and went on the a website you mentioned. They have sample packs but they are approximately only 10 inches long - is that long enough for a "standard" size ring? And I am looking at "raw wood veneer" rather than paperback, correct? Was trying not to spend a fortune on something I am not sure I am capable of doing :)

When I go through the steps, everything seems logical to me...there are just a few little questions that pop into my head:

How do make the end piece disappear? Simply by sanding it down?

What can you use as base piece to wrap the veneer around? Wooden dowel or pipe? I hope I can find the right size....what's my allowed variation in size?

Thank you so much, really appreciate it


MikB made it! (author)2016-11-01

Tried both ways, as a test ...

1) Ash branch piece, left with natural edge, milled and sanded out the centre, sealed with nitrocellulose, like

2) Figured maple and teak veneers, sealed with cyanoacrylate, like here!

Definitely a bit fiddly the first time!

Shani Druker (author)2016-09-09

Hey! this is such a great instructable!

olivejuice (author)2014-11-06

im curious is it ok to use iron-on edging veneer or no?

JoshuaF81 (author)olivejuice2016-08-24

Yes. Boil for a couple minutes and then the glue strip will soften and can peeled off.

DavidO125 made it! (author)2016-06-01

I am having troubles with gaps appearing in my rings. Trying to figure out what I am doing wrong.

I know I am using too much glue, as everything sticks to everything when I make them. After re-reading this, I will try to reduce the amount. (My rubber glove was sticking to the last ring horribly!)

I am boiling the vainer for about half an hour to try to get it soft enough to bend easily. Even then it is kind of stiff. Is this normal, or is it possible my vainer is too thick?

Is there something else I am missing?

supersoftdrink (author)DavidO1252016-07-10

Your veneer does look very thick.

You can make it thinner by (very carefully) sanding it thinner. That's really time consuming, I know. The veneer packs I've gotten from Woodcraft have had veneers with varying thickness, and I've used the thinnest ones for anything that required bending

TadejK3 (author)DavidO1252016-06-11

Hey David,

I started making my rings by this tutorial and another one and they both tell us to wrap wet veneer around an object and wait for it to dry. But then I read somewhere that you can start the process right away, water will accelerate CA gluing.

You might want to leave the last piece to dry because moisture can turn CA into a lighter colour, but I didn't have any troubles so far.

Make sure that your veneer is really thin though, I use 0.6mm.

You also need to understand that it usually takes the time to get the feeling, my first really beautiful ring that I'm still proud of was in about 20th try. :)

sabihakber (author)2014-02-01

iv been boiling my veneer strips for the last half hour. they just wont get bendy :-(
i bought this pack of dyed colored veneer from Woodcutters near DC.

also, the water has drained most of the color from the dyed veneer strips.

any ideas??
Im thinking about pressure cooking them

What is woodcutters? I live near DC

They might be too thick to bend. Try to hold one of the strips (one that hasn't been boiled) in some steam and see how it bends. If it doesn't... you might be stuck making something flat with the dyed veneer (like micarta).

You could try sanding the dry veneer to make it thinner and more flexible, but I'm not sure how much the dye has penetrated the wood. I like the natural color of wood and haven't worked with dyed veneer, unfortunately. I suspect they might select less pliable wood for dyed veneer, since they expect people to laminate it together in flat layers (often to make a block that can be lathe turned).


yeah, the wood is really hard to work with.

SO a couple of question:
the glue im using is a liquid type and although it says its good for binding wood, its really not. what exact brand of wood glue do you use. is it a gel type because the liquid type just runs all over the place.

Secondly where do you buy you veneer and at what thickness?

Lastly, i REALLy am thinking of using a pressure cooker. what do you think might happen based on your experience if i did do something that crazy :-)

ConnorW13 (author)sabihakber2016-01-26

You can also buy veneer softeners to bend the wood without steam/heat!

mlager8 made it! (author)2015-11-23

This was such a great instructable. Made one of these for me and my fiance's 10 year anniversary. I was having trouble making a perfect bevel/comfort fit edge. A microlathe would be the perfect solution, but since I don't have one or want to spend the money to buy one, affixing the ring to a power drill seemed like the next best solution. To do this I 3d printed some tools I made. First is an expanding disk to hold a ring in place and attach it to a power drill for shaping. There's also a ring form and a but to hold the ring from the ouside for inner finishing and polishing. I put them up on thingiverse ( so you cant print them out if you want. I also printed a pretty sweet box to give her the ring in, you can see it in my pics below.

ZebranoWoodCraft made it! (author)2015-02-22

Thank you so much for posting this Instructable it really helped and inspired me! Here's a bent wood ring I made with Walnut, Sycamore & Abalone shell which would not have been possible if it wasn't for this tutorial!

emily_c (author)2015-01-20

Any tips on how to keep it from getting glued onto the form while you apply further sections of glue? I've successfully glued the ring to my mold twice now because I can't twist it fast enough. Do you think using a thicker glue would help?

Atomicwaffle (author)2014-12-17

Quick question: where on earth did you get the rocks? I've been looking everywhere and can't fine anything near as colorful as I'd like. I need help asap because I've gotta finish a project for my girlfriend. Thankful for any help I can get.

The mini Macgyver made it! (author)2014-12-07

It turned out great

The mini Macgyver (author)2014-12-06

Also how do I prevent the veneer from cracking? It has cracked the last few times when I try to wrap it. Thanks!

The mini Macgyver (author)2014-11-30

This is a great 'ible! I was just wondering whether thicker or thinner superglue is better? Thanks a bunch

dsluder13 (author)2014-10-16

Hey there - can you tell me what kind of gloves you used that the CA didn't stick to? I tried latex and that didn't work out to well. I'm seeing polyethylene listed online, but I just want to confirm that with you. Thanks!

Norad2000x (author)dsluder132014-11-12

Hi! I'm not sure what you call it- they look like grocery plastic bag material. I've found them in 50-100 packs at the dollar tree. Search for "scrub buddies disposable gloves" on google- those are what I used

CreativeChick8 (author)2014-02-23

How were you able to get that perfectly straight band to put the powder mixture in?

I cut out the middle of a strip of veneer, but only on one end of it. If the uncut end of veneer is wrapping evenly around the ring, the sliced borders are easier to wrap evenly. The third picture in step 1 and the first 4 pictures in step 2 show this technique (I suspect I'm doing a terrible job of explaining it). After the ring is wrapped and dried, use a small, flat, metal file to make sure the groove is even.

mbadavid (author)CreativeChick82014-10-13

Would love to get the answer to this. I have made many of these rings after finding your instructable. (It was wonderful. Thank you.) I find I still have trouble getting the groove straight and uniform for the inlay. I have tried both cutting a strip out before wrapping it and trying to cut the groove in afterwards - any suggestions. I do not have access to a lathe.

mbadavid (author)mbadavid2014-10-13


sabihakber made it! (author)2014-02-02

My first attempt.

thank you supersoftdrink. Running out to get all kinds of sand paper.

Only problem if had so far is the white streaks of the superglue peeking out here and there. how do I get rid of these?
Also, do you use any kind of polish to finish them up?

Lastly, can you suggest to me a glue that wont do these white streaks?

Superglue turns white when it hits water. I suggest either letting your ring dry a bit more before adding the superglue, or leaving the last few wraps unglued until the ring dries, securing it again with a rubber band or whatever, and then gluing down the outside, once there's less risk of the glue turning white. Make sure you don't breathe on the ring to speed up the drying process. The moisture from your breath is enough to make it white.

carl.waine.1 (author)2014-08-28

This has been very useful advice. I recently started a store (world tree artifacts), making hand crafted wooden jewellery and this will be a great way to expand my range :)

azgeogirl (author)2014-07-05

Just a heads-up about crushing stone: the dust of some stones can be toxic, ie malachite. Make sure to use a respirator when doing this step.

lizzard77 (author)2013-08-08

Such a great instructible, thanks a lot. My first walnut ring is just curing...

calskin (author)2012-01-09

Has anyone tried to use gorilla glue?

Also, I'm having a lot of trouble with my veneer. I bought mahogany and after boiling it, it's still splitting really bad. Like to the point I can't bend the ring. I was thinking about maybe bending a larger radius, letting it dry, then boiling again and bend it to a smaller radius gradually. Does anyone have thoughts on this?

I was using pine before for this project, and it bends really nice, however I'm worried about it not being durable. I like the look of mahogany an since it's a harder wood I thought it would be more durable. Maybe I should look for a softer wood?

supersoftdrink (author)calskin2012-01-21

Gorilla glue expands as it cures, so it wouldn't work very well.

Some woods like mahogany are a pain. If you find it splitting, you'll have to sand it down very very very very thin. Of course, if you do that, you'll need several long strips to wrap around to make a ring that's as thick as the others.

Even the softer woods end up being pretty durable in these; the cellular structure being wrapped in a spiral and impregnated with superglue really adds incredible strength to the rings.

calskin (author)supersoftdrink2012-01-30

Thanks for your reply.

I figured out a solution that I'm sure will work on any type of wood.

If the wood is splitting, boil it, then wrap it to a large radius. This might be the radius of a coffee mug if need be.

Use a large metal hose clamp as a clamp to keep it in place. Let it dry.

Once it's dry, it will hold the shape if taken out of the hose clamp.

Bend it to a smaller radius while dry, but don't force it too much or it will split (you'll know what the limit is.)

Tighten the clamp to the new radius and boil it again.

Repeat until you get the desired radius.

Once you get the radius down, roll tin foil very tightly to the size of the inside diameter (which should be slightly smaller than the finger) and roll the ring around it. Clamp it, and boil it again. This will make the ring have a uniform bend that you can't get with just the hose clamp.

I did this with the mahogany, and it worked awesome. The bend is more uniform than previous ones too. I know it's a lot more work, but I wanted to use a dark hard wood, and I like the holographic proporties of mahogany so for me, this is worth it.

gecko_girl3 (author)calskin2013-08-04

I know I'm finding this comment over a year after you posted it but I was wondering if you could post a picture of your mahogany ring? I'd really love to see it. Also, how has it held up over the past year? Compared to the softer woods, has it been more durable?

ArtisanEclectic (author)calskin2012-05-04

You can try adding a bit of fabric softener to the water when you boil it. I don't have personal experience here since I have not bent very much wood. But it's a tip I have read about from several sources. It's worth a try anyway.

Also a good source for veneers is Constantines. I happen to live near them and I bought an assortment of veneers for less than twenty bucks that will let you retire on wooden rings.

calskin (author)ArtisanEclectic2012-05-05

I hadn't heard of the fabric softener. Unfortunately I didn't see this comment till after I've bent the rings.

Anyway, I was successful making my wife's wedding ring using the method I mentioned above.

Gorilla glue worked really well too. It does expand, but if you have the ring wrapped around the aluminum foil on the inside, and then have a small wrap of foil around the outside, and then hose clamp that bad boy till it dries, all the glue squishes out the sides and it's brown so it makes a sort of wood filler. Then you just file and sand off the excess.

Yep, Gorilla Glue actually works really well BECAUSE of the foaming action. Especially on woods with large pores like oak, it totally impregnates the wood and makes the whole thing incredibly strong. I've always just used tape around it to hold it while the glue dries, but I guess a hose clamp might work better...

dirtsailor2003 (author)calskin2012-10-07

One of the reasons that most use CA glue, is that it is also used as the finish. When buffed down through the grits and then micro-meshed its on of the toughest around. As a wood turner I've been using CA and the CA-BLO method since the 90's. As far as bending Mahogany, its not the best for one of these rings. I'd turn one on the lathe before trying to bend it to a tight radius.

BLSTIC (author)2013-02-26

Just thought I'd say thanks for this instructable. I tried it myself and the first one turned out surprisingly... round... As far as I'm concerned the hardest part is getting the first two layers glued without sticking them to whatever your mold is.

Also, once you discover a nice coating of dry superglue on your fingers, nothing takes it off like 80-grit. You break it up with the paper (and instantly get the sensitivity back) then after an hour or so the micro-sized chunks have fallen off of their own accord.

P.S. Once glued these things stop resembling wood in terms of stiffness to weight. More like FRP. I imagine a bamboo ring (bamboo is already as good as some kinds of aluminium in this regard) would be simply incredible...

feelthepower1234 (author)2013-01-25

wow i am so conviceing my dad to let me make these

sabu.dawdy (author)2013-01-24

this is simply amazing

lux4x4 (author)2012-12-31

Il like it!!! I use the same techinque!!!!

nmvb (author)2012-12-08

What thickness of veneer did you use?

Jennwesxc (author)2012-12-08

I just signed up for an instructables account for the sole purpose of being able to leave you a comment saying THANK YOU for posting this! I used your instructions to make an engagement ring for my partner. I'm really happy with how it turned out and she loves it. I imagine it took you a long time to put these instructions together. I really appreciate that you took the time to do it - it really helped me out. So thank you very much!

builderkidj (author)2012-08-23

I should post pictures of my shield using this method :l

balisticsquirel (author)2012-07-24

You provided so much info so well. It just makes me want to share too.
I have an instructable on how i make brush applicators for cyanoacrylate bottles. Essentially it can turn the bottle into a paintbrush. I know you don't have large areas to cover on your rings, but you may still find it useful.

randy.n.julie (author)2010-09-19

These are gorgeous! My girls will *love* this. I've made a few rings for them out of solid wood, but they usually break before too long. Thanks for sharing!

Prop (author)randy.n.julie2010-09-19

I love the way you make these rings.... I also make and sell wood rings and I disagree with what you said about shellac.... I use shellac because it was one of the few hard finishes I have found that does not flake off like polyurethane or laqure.

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