Well, lately some devices have become available to the common maker that can play the role of a time machine to some extent: laser cutters, CNC milling and 3D-printing.
The layered acrylic rings presented here are an example on how I use this. While ordering parts laser cut from acrylic sheet of different colours, I added ring sections to the design files. These "prefab" ring parts save a lot of time.
Gluing, sanding and polishing still involves some handwork, so the handmade gift statement is intact ;-)
With the parts cut to the right size it takes only about 20 minutes to make one finished ring (without power tools). And it doesn’t make much of a mess if you work in a basin or something like that.
Obviously the colour combination is chosen to fit the taste of the intended recipient. I find the best effect is reached with transparent colours (here the amber, brown and violet) and translucent colours (like the red here). But opaque colours (white, black) give nice results too. The pictures in the following steps are from the making of a black-and-red ring not shown in pictures above.
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Step 1: Materials
Three ring sections laser cut from 3mm thick acrylic sheet of the desired colours (see the next step for the design and sizing). I usually order from Formulor, the German Ponoko partner;
Glue for acrylic parts. I used Acryfix 1R 0192 from Evonik. It gives a good strong bond. Work in well ventilated conditions;
Waterproof sanding paper grit 320 and 1000 (800 probably works too);
Polishing compound for plastics or paint (I used a “renovating” compound for tarnished car paint, which combines a wax with some very fine polishing grit);
A soft cloth or a polishing wheel;
Some non-stick (baking) paper.