I have combined my knowledge and experience of metal casting with my access to a laser cutter to create a truly one of a kind engagement ring.
I am a metal worker at heart, and my fiancee is more of a wood person. I wanted to create a ring that would combine our two elements and have them connected seamlessly. Using pewter for its low melting point and walnut wood for its density to protect it against the heat, I was able to cast a full metal inlay directly into a wooden ring.
I understand that not everyone has access to a laser cutter. The same techniques shown here could all be done using a scroll saw and some carving tools; it would just take a little bit more work.
I have provided the Illustrator file of the ring casting box for free use. Adjust the file according to the ring size you need and cut all the pieces provided in the file. Please read the following steps before cutting.
Creating your ring: Use a ring sizer to figure out the ring size of your fiancee or whoever will be wearing the ring. There are lots of ways to do this without a ring sizer, you can find a handy guide here. Build a ring profile with the appropriate inner diameter and an outer diameter. I made the ring about .33" thick to allow for a deep etch. I cut the ring blank out of 1/4" walnut so I would have enough thickness to engrave.
Create a tightly fitting mold: Cut a matching casting box from the same type of wood as the ring to guarantee a matching fit.To compensate for the kerf of the laser I cut the ring first, then I measured it with a pair of calipers (in this case it ended up being .98" from a 1" ring), and then I adjusted the file size for the ring casting box accordingly.
Side panels: You can cut out the side panels or find some scrap wood that will fully cover both faces of the ring casting box.
You have completed your casting mold and ring blank!