Introduction: Bentwood Ring - Two Toned -natural Color
This rings are simple to make and extremely comfortable to wear. They are also incredibly durable. Their strength comes from the wood being bent and all the grains are running in the same direction.
Wooden rings are great for people you have metal allergies but still want to rock some awesome finger jewelry.
For those who may not know, veneer is the name of of the really really thin sheets of wood.
Follow this link to find your appropriate ring size.
Step 1: Soak the Veneer in Warm Water
Let's get started. You'll need to cut the veneer into this strips (roughly 10mm). Use the lowest setting on your stovetop to warm up enough water to submerge the wood strips. Don't boil the water! Allow the wooden strips to soak for at least one hour.
You can use two different colored strips of wood to achieve a result similar what is shown in the photos. You may also make this ring with a single strip of wood and you'll end up with a ring that is one solid color.
Step 2: Shape and Dry the Wood
After soaking the veneer, carefully take the wood out of the hot water. Wipe away the excess water with a paper towel then wrap the veneer around a round object similar or larger than then your desired end shape. I used a mandrel (a ring sizing tool). You can use anything from a dowel, bottle cap, thick marker or highlighter, etc. Once you've wrapped it around your mold, use a piece of masking tape to hold it within that position and remove it from your template. The veneer needs to dry in this shape for about 8-12 hours.
Allowing the wood the naturally is best. If you attempt to use a hair drier, or a similar product, to dry the wood quicker, you may face problems in future steps.
Step 3: Sanding the Inside End
Using a low grit sandpaper, sand the inside end of your wooden strip. Sand it so that it tapers to nothing. The ideal grit sandpapers for this task would be between 60-100. This allows the inside seam to be less noticeable, even "invisible". The finer your get that end, the better.
Step 4: The Glue Up
Let's start putting this ring together, shall we? First lets find a round object to use as your template. If what you used in the earlier step will make your ring size, great! If not, get on that and find something. You're slacking.
Get your CA glue ready. (cyanoacrylates, super glue).
Begin with the lighter colored wood. Start by wrapping the inside edge, the one you sanded, around your template. Apply glue right at the tapered end and start wrapping the wood around itself. Once you've wrapped one time around, cut off the extra. Now, continue with the darker colored veneer and the same process of gluing and wrapping. Being careful not to glue the ring to the template. Once you add a dab of glue, wrap the wood around itself and hold it for 10-20 seconds. This time allows the glue to bond the wood. Continue this until your desired thickness is achieved then cut off the extra. I wrapped around 4 times.
Step 5: Sanding and Shaping
Get your sandpaper out!
You'll need several grits for this step. The ideal grits are 60, 80, 100, 120, 180, 200, and 220.
Lay the sandpaper on the flat surface of your workstation. If you're using sandpaper with an adhesive backing, congrats you get a gold star! Stick that sandpaper right down on your desktop. If you don't have adhesive-backed sandpaper, no worries, you can just hold that bad boy down. Begin with the lowest grit, 60. Move your ring, on its side, in a circular motion on the sandpaper. Getting a rough shape for your ring. Complete this action on both sides of the ring while moving up within the sandpaper grits. 60 then 80 then 100 etc. You can go as high as you'd like. The higher the number on your sandpaper, the smoother your ring will be.
It's also important the sand the inside and round over the edges. You may do this be ripping a small piece of sandpaper which would be easier to work with. If you have a dremel, get that sanding bit on there and carefully sand the inside and the edges.
Be sure to sand the end of the wood, where your cut off the extra. Sand enough to make this seam invisible like the inside seam.
Step 6: Lather 'er Up!
Time to add a finish. You have countless options for this step. You can add an oil finish, polyurethane, lacker, shellac, etc. I used boiled linseed oil, which you can find in your local hardware store. If you go with this option, you may dip the ring within the oil and use a cloth to wipe off the excess. Then allow the wood to soak up the oil (30-60 minutes) and repeat as many times as you'd like. I like to do this three times and I'm left with a beautiful finish. You can hang the wood to dry or lay in on its side.
If you choose to finish your ring with the other goods mentioned above, they usually come in a spray can. This would allow for easy application. Simply spray your ring, allow your finish to dry, and repeat. Don't forget to give a light sanding between coats. Tip: hang the ring from a bent nail/paperclip, or string so the blast from the spray doesn't blow it off your table.
Step 7: You're All Done!
Throw that ring on your finger, show off your hard work, and spread the knowledge!