Picture of How to make a wooden ring
A ring that I had from Vietnam recently broke, leaving an emptiness on my finger and soul, so I decided to fill that emptiness with a lil bit of craftiness.

Step 1: Materials and tools

A piece of wood preferably with an interesting grain pattern (I used wenge)
Some sort of finish
Hole saw
Forstner bit  
Drum sander
Belt Sander
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Atomicwaffle8 months ago
So I am trying to make a ring for my girlfriend because she really likes wooden jewelry, but I'm not sure which way to start this project. I've read up on many different ways to do it and came across this instructable and another one that advised using wooden strips wrapped tightly around a dowel rod. I need some help with which one to use because both ideas are great, but I might not have the best tooling for this one. Thanks!

I would recommend the second method, there's a good instructable here. Using this method the ring would be quite fragile, as the grain runs crosswise. the smallest of pressures and impacts would cause it to crack and break.

Thanks man! I owe you one big time.
KnockOnWood2 years ago
Great Instructable. I've made 3 rings so far. One comment I must share in regards to a while ago. To get a hardened, very durable finish, I used a general purpose 2 part epoxy to fill in wood grain, and then coat in enamel clear spray (lightly).

Also, for the wood always splitting. The tightest grain and most dense wood I've come across is Ebony Wood, Also known African Blackwood. This stuff is like wood steel, used for piano keys and gives off a liquorish odor when cut (don't know why). I've only found it online and in Woodcraft.

Again great info, in the process of cutting down time and making a jig for a standard lathe.

Hey KnockOnWood I was curious what 2 part epoxy you are talking about? Is that surfboard resin? Where did you pick some up? Thanks

jpwarzone1 year ago
I just made one out of redwood. by using hand tools, the process took me a whole day, but I imagine, with power tools, it would be much easier to create a wooden ring.
nerd122 years ago
well, this seems like a project worth doing :D <3 rings
i really never thought of making wood rings, only focusing on metal :/
i don't have any power tools but the drill, but i will definitely make this by hand :D
thanks for the inspiration!
Teddy972 years ago
what is the best wood to use for this?
respectfully, I think that you have steps 3 and 4 backwards.

Most hole saws have a pilot drill bit for keeping the hole cutting saw in one place while cutting. If you drill the inner hole first, there is no place to put the pilot bit in one place to do the outer diameter of the ring. Ever tried it with a hand drill? I'm not sure it can be done.

Yes, I do see the drill press. While I'm certain you have a vice of some kind to hold the work steady while the outer ring is done secondly,  those who DON'T have a drill press are going to have a rough time if they have to use a whole saw without the help of the pilot drill.

Doing it my way makes more sense . . . at least to me.

Good, interesting instructable.

Lush, tropical Grand Rapids, Michigan.

go half way with the outer ring then do the inner then finish the outer.
Here's the way I see it:

- If you drill the outer ring first, then it becomes much harder to hold the inner disc of wood while drilling the inner ring.
- If you drill the inner ring first, you can't see just where you're placing the bit for the outer hole, and you won't be able to center it precisely.
- As this instructable suggests, you can center the rings by "marking" the outer one first, then help hold everything in place by drilling inside then outside. It's really a compromise between the two methods.

That is why you do step 2.  You partially drill the outer "ring".  This is then your guide after removing the core.  This can be done easily even with a hand drill.
quomaya2 (author)  ForgetMyProfile5 years ago
From my experience, it's too hard to hold the piece of wood as you drill the inner hole with a forstner bit, but if you could get it to stay in place somehow, then your way would work just as well.
 y not laquer or poly?
btw laquer and poly are totally different finishes so poly is not "laquerish"
quomaya2 (author)  TheDevilsRubberDucky5 years ago
I think that the coat would go on too thick and then it might not fit on your finger, but it would probably work if you were careful.
Bard quomaya23 years ago
If its too thick couldn't you just re sand it down then try again?
quomaya2 (author)  Bard3 years ago
I have tried several different finishes for wood rings and have watched them as there used by people... poly and lacquer tend to chip and wear in not so good ways..... lint seed oil wears too fast unless its a mix of lint seed oil and varnish. This is a very good finish if you want a dull finish and it lasts.... Cyanoacrylate (CA glue / Superglue) gives the most durable high gloss finish but is really hard to get on properly. If you do it do it on a lath or in a drill and make sure you dont touch it with skin for at least 24 hours.... My favorite finish for rings right now is shellac... it dries very fast and still looks great even after is worn.
Ow dam!! Dad and I have tried EVERY POSSIBLE ON-HAND WOOD!!! I am still wondering if pine would be alright?? See, the prob is that the wood keeps on splitting...We also tried using hickory wood, split split split SPLIT!
Well you just need to do a lot more research on wood properties then...

Pine is a terrible choice for a ring, because it A) has a huge, loose grain and is full of things like knots, so getting a detailed shape out of it is going to be difficult without splitting, and B) it's really soft and inappropriate for being on your finger where it will get dented immediately, even if you could make it.

Hickory is pretty much the most difficult wood in the world to work with (with the possible exception of ebony). It splits like crazy and will jam router bits and break tools and all kinds of things.

You want a tight grained hardwood that is durable but easy to work. Like maple, cherry, or walnut. There's a reason finely detailed furniture is always made out of those woods, and never pine or hickory.
hatschel3 years ago
The ring will be broken befor or after.
Beliv it or not.
It´s importent to make the wood´n peace in te right direction vertikal like the tree grows
Or the better way glue 4 peaces of wood together and then make the ring.
I make mine on a lathe.
sry about my bad english
Two questions. One is can you use like ANY wood with a grain pattern? and would this be suitable for my girlfriend if done properly?? I love the look of them!
quomaya2 (author)  Instructable043 years ago
Can't help you much with the girlfriend problem. Maybe tell her it was done with love so it's worth more than any gold?

A hardwood would be the best to avoid splitting. I I like the look of the darker woods for these a lot.
Thanks quomaya2.
what does wengelicious mean?
It's when your wenge is too delicious to be expressed with multiple words.
Read: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portmanteau
ddbear4 years ago
I found this Instructable helpful when sanding my rings! It works on the wooden and metal ones! This is my picture of it which may be a bit more simple!
daemonfist4 years ago
Just made one of these this weekend using pretty much the exact same methods here (hadn't even looked online for instructions...LOL)...anyways, I found that a Rotary tool with a drum sander attachment will work nicely as well!
Jon3164 years ago
Thanks man this really helped, although i didnt have a hole saw, I still made an awesome ring.
Sorry, i'm kinda new to woodworking... what is a forstner bit? I'm sure we have one, i just don't know what it is...
quomaya2 (author)  tinstructable5 years ago
Forstner bit= http://www.collingwoodlighting.com/cnb/shop/collingwood?imageID=882&op=imgLib-viewImage
 This is great. I tried to make a wooden cryptex once, but didn't know this method to cutting rings. What type of lumber is that?
quomaya2 (author)  Weissensteinburg5 years ago
Are cryptex's those little number contraptions? And the wood's wenge.
Just a safety note on Wenge, WEAR A DUST MASK! The dust can be real nasty! It is a respiratory irritant and then there is what is known as the "Wenge trip" yep... it can cause mild sensory distortion...
quomaya2 (author)  Vespa O5 years ago
hahha, that's funny because I made a pipe with a wenge bowl, but I have yet to smoke out of it
I wouldn't if I were you.  I suspect that heat would probably intensify the chemical release from the wenge.   This is why certain woods are preferred (such as briar) for making pipes.
Tulipwood (Liriodendron tulipfera, NOT the rosewood (Dalbergia sp.) relative) was used as a carveable nontoxic and UNFLAVORED wood for making spoons by early pioneers.  Many central American and other tropical woods have some sort of toxin in them.  Most will not kill you, but could give you a disagreeable taste or rash.
you should always wear a dust mask regardless of the type of wood. goggles too for that matter.
I made a bunch of rings just like this with some scrap cocoboro that I had lying around. I made a bunch, b/c they kept splitting. They looked great though
zaniac775 years ago
This is cool. You know, I would think over time that your own body oils would shine it right up if you just put a light wax on it at first to get it going. :)
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