I was in a 3D Printing and Advance Construction Technology program at the Albany Vocational Program. The advanced construction part was machining (mills, lathes, drills, etc) towards the end of the year I figured I'd try to make myself a ring on the lathe. It was a bit difficult at first because of digging for the right tools. I turned my rings from regular round steel stock. After making my ring I posted about it on social media and actually got a response asking if I could make them one. So I did! Here is the recorded process of making the ring. I do not have any pictures for some of the steps. Sorry.
This is my first instructable so enjoy!
I'd appreciate it if you would like this instructable :)
Step 1: Before We Begin Lets Go Over a Few Things.
I'm going to assume that you're already familiar with using a lathe. If you are not his is NOT a tutorial on how to use a lathe. Please read up on, take some courses, and or watch videos on YouTube of how to use a lathe.
I WILL NOT be responsible for your safety. If you follow this instructable you're responsible for your safety and the safety of anyone around you. If you're not comfortable with a procedure in this how to, take a break and find some information on how to successfully complete an operation. Or find a different method of doing what I do.
Step 2: Mounting Your Stock
Mount your stock in the lathe chuck. I think I used a piece of stock about an inch in diameter and 8 inches long. Secure this in the chuck such that there is plenty of grip on the piece. But leave enough stock hanging out to be able to move your tool post around without causing damage to you or the lathe. Set your lathe speed to the proper speed for turning your specific material. Don't forget to take the chuck key out before starting the lathe! Ok let's get to the fun part.... Machining the ring!
Step 3: Center Drill and Initial Drilling
Insert a center drill into the tail stock chuck of the lathe. Go with a center drill size that makes sense with the bit you plan to use next. Turn the lathe on and slowly feed the center drill into the end of the stock. You can stop about 3/4 of the way up the taper part of the center drill. (Lubricant is not necessary but highly recommended to help save tool life. Use water in a spray bottle if you have too) Ok remove the center drill and insert that drill bit mentioned earlier on this step. Turn the lathe back on and drill about an inch or inch and a half into the stock. Remember to go slow and back out often to eject the chips.
Step 4: Bringing the Rings Internal Diameter to Size
If you have the time, gradually increase the drill bit size till you reach just under the final diameter. You can probably use 3-4 drills increasing in size speeding on what you started with. If you don't have the time you can probably get away with using two drills, just remember that this is putting more wear on the drills so be careful. If you don't have a bit that is just bigger than your target size, use a boring bore and finish up to the final diameter.
Step 5: Facing
Using the tool of your choice (sharpened HSS tool bit, or carbide insert bit) face off the part until it's nice and smooth. Add a slight chamfer to the inside diameter now to remove the sharp edge.
Step 6: Turning Outside Diameter to Size
Using another bit of your choice, turn the outside diameter down until the ring wall is roughly 1/8 thick (you can go with whatever you think will be comfortable though, either thinner or thicker, I wouldn't go much less than then 3/16)(especially if you aren't using a stiff material) take light passes as you near the final thickness for a nicer finish. Now add a chamfer to the outside diameter again to remove the sharp corner.
-Optionally you can add grooves in now if you wish. Don't go too deep! Or decorate how ever you want. Maybe some knurling? Put a live center in place if you wish to knurl your ring.
Step 7: Pre Sanding and Parting
Take some increasingly finer grit emery cloth and sand the metal as it spins in the lathe. Be careful here! Do the outside circumference, the face, inside circumference and knock down any sharp corners on the chamfers. Now Using a parting tool, choose the width of your ring. I believe mine is close to 1/4 wide. Be very careful with this step. Take your time. I understand parting can be really frustrating for some people. Hold a pencil in the ring to catch it when it breaks loose.
Step 8: Clean Up the Now Parted Ring
Take some plastic, maybe from a sandwich baggy, and cut a piece to fit around the ring. We don't want to damage it with the chuck jaws! Try to get it perfectly perpendicular to the floor. Turn the lathe on to check for wobble. Adjust the ring until it runs true. Take your facing tool and cleanup any metal bits left behind and then add two chamfers. We're almost done! Take the ring out and finish up any parts with emery cloth you missed until it's nice and shiny smooth. Get it good. We don't want any sharp burrs that will peel our finger skin back!
Step 9: Apply Any Finish You Want to It That Will Prevent Rusting If You Use Steel or Iron
I did not apply anything. Just keep it away from moisture and it should be fine. If you have to take the ring off and leave it in a jewelry box for any period of time, throw in a silica gel packet to absorb moisture.
Now you know how to make a ring on the lathe. Customize it to however you want! Try using different materials like brass or aluminum. Have fun and thanks for checking out my first instructable!