Introduction: How to Make Wooden Rings With a Drill
I will now show you how to make a wooden ring out of a solid piece of wood. This does not require a lathe, expert woodworking or jewelry skills, or expensive tools. The ring featured here is made out of purple heart.
Step 1: Safety First
Be sure to wear a respirator, eye, and ear protection when working with anything. The respirator is especially important if you are working with exotic woods like bloodwood or koa, which can cause allergic reactions. The ear protection is for the constant drill noise while turning the ring, you probably want to be able to hear your grand kids call your name when you are old.
Step 2: Materials
Wood- most types of hardwood will work, any wood with a super tight grain will split apart. Pictured from left to right are blood wood, purple heart, and Peruvian walnut. The other wood is a mystery plank I got from my uncle. These are cut into ring width strips and then ripped on a table saw to 1/4 inch
The mandrel- Instead of a lathe I use a mandrel type jig. It is a bolt, two nuts and two washers. The first washer and bolt go on as pictured and the wood blank gets sandwiched in the middle
A dremel- you have to turn and polish the wood before carving out the middle, sanding bits work better than metal carving bits for me
A towel- In case any rings drop on the hard cement floor, they won't break
A hole saw- use this to cut the blanks, size the bolt to be the same diameter as the drill bit
A drill- Keep this in a clamp and tape the trigger down, this will be the makeshift lathe
Sandpaper- This is what you will use to shape the ring
Step 3: Shaping
After the wood blank is secured in the mandrel, tape the drill trigger down and make sure the drill is going counter clockwise if you are putting the sandpaper on the right side of it so the sandpaper doesn't get whipped at your shoes. Mark the diameter of the wearer's finger and check the size of the ring often. Use a rough grit for getting it down to the appropriate size and shape then progress onto finer grits of sandpaper, I use micro mesh which goes all the way up to 12000 grit. If using cloth backed paper turn the speed down on the drill or it will eat the grit away.
Step 4: Carving the Middle
Use the dremel to carve out the middle. Go in at an angle to make the hole big enough for the bit to go through. Make sure the hole is bigger than the bit or you run the risk of a piece of hardwood flying around at over 1000 rpm. That is not a fun party. After the hole has been bored, bevel the inside edge so that it slips onto someone's finger without a 90 degree edge catching them.
Step 5: Cry
Blood wood is not a ring wood. After a ring made out of your favorite wood disintegrates and cracks, find a quiet corner, play some sad music, and let the sorrow flow. The towel mentioned earlier can be used to mop up the tears.
Step 6: Finishing
Seal the ring with danish oil or a similar product. If you use the high grit sandpapers, you don't need to do a varnish or polyurethane finish.
Step 7: Bask in the Glory
After spending hours in the workshop your labors have paid off. You now have a ring to show your friends or to give to a significant other. The woods in the picture with the pencil from left to right: Purple heart, Cherry, Tiger wood, Mystery wood, Maple, Flame maple, and Peruvian walnut. The Purple heart almost glows when polished.
Lessons learned: Blood wood smoke lingers, walnut smoke smells sweet, any long grained woods like walnut or mahogany will turn into ovals if you press too hard when shaping, blood wood does not play nice with changing pressure, and anyone looks good with one of these.
Enjoy and please vote for this in the wood contest, thank you.