Introduction: Secret Wood Rings DIY

Picture of Secret Wood Rings DIY

I cannot count the number of requests I got for this project, but there were many of you who asked me. This is MY take on the secret wood rings that you all shared with me. I think that while many of the processes can be refined and improved upon, the basic steps are all here!

See the real rings sold here: (which are amazing works of art)

Step 1: Splintering the Wood

Picture of Splintering the Wood

The cornerstone of this project is that the rings are suppose to look like a miniature forest on your finger. That look is achieved with a piece of wood splintered in a way to give the illusion of trees.

I have to say, getting this look was the hardest part of the build. I used my planer and brought the wood down to 1/2" thick. I started with a piece of bloodwood, a piece of cherry and a piece of beech wood.

My first attempt was just to smash the cherry wood with a sledge hammer. The splinters were too large. Next attempt was when I put the bloodwood in my bench vise and tried to get a good break with simple leverage. I ripped my vise right off my bench!

The third attempt, with the beech board, was to add three blocks of maple to make a controlled break in the vise. It worked a lot better and I didn't end up with a metal vise on my foot!

I then ripped the board down to 3 1/2" in width so it fit snugly in my resin mold.

Step 2: Pouring the Night Sky

Picture of Pouring the Night Sky

The resin portion of this ring is suppose to mimic the night sky. Forest and sky together in once piece of jewelry. A very clever design. I can only guess how they make their rings but I think having the wood flat in the mold should be the easiest method for pouring the resin.

My thinking here was that the wood would dam up the mold and I could pour a small volume of resin to fill the open section. I used a piece of blue tape to insure the wood would remain flat.

I mixed up 2 oz. of West System resin (105 resin & 207 hardener). The reason I chose this brand was simple. I've always had trouble getting all the bubbles out when using it in the past. Since I wanted micro bubbles in this casting, it seemed the correct epoxy.

So, I mixed up the clear epoxy and added a couple drops of blue pigment. just a little bit goes a long way! I'm also pouring the resin nice and high, for even more micro-bubble-trapping effectiveness!

In order to get that night sky swirl I'm adding a second pour. 1oz of epoxy resin without any pigment, also poured high. Now we wait.

Step 3: Rough Shaping

Picture of Rough Shaping

24 hours later and the cast can come out of the mold. I'm already loving this look! I think I got exactly what I was aiming for. I couldn't be happier.

Next step is to drill hole for the ring. This should be right at the edge of the splinter/resin line. You'll want to size this hole accordingly for whomever will be wearing this. Here is a useful chart of ring sizes in both inches and mm.

Then I take the block over to the band saw and rough cut the shape of the ring. These are small rings and the band saw is sharp, so be super careful. You will need your fingers for wearing these....

I decided to use my belt sander for the shaping process, it removes wood and resin quickly. You can also do this with a Dremel tool. (it will just take longer) I ended up cutting out two rings and shaped them both on the belt sander in about 10 - 20 minutes. I added a number of facets to the resin, doing my best to mimic the original rings.

Once the rough shaping is done, it's off the sanding pads.

Step 4: Sanding and Polishing

Picture of Sanding and Polishing

When I said earlier that the splintering was the hardest part, what I didn't mention was the sanding was the LONGEST part.

Sanding sucks. it just does. This is my field of sandpaper and my cynical sanding mug. Get comfortable. The grits start at 120 and end at 800. From starting at 120 to finishing both rings at 800 grit I was invested in a total of 1 hour and 40 minutes.

After sanding all the sides and facets to 800 grit you end up with a decent looking rings and honestly the majority of the work is behind you. But we can make it even better!

What I use for polishing grits are called micro mesh polishing pads. They start at 1500 and go through 12000. This will bring the ring to an almost mirror shine! My only regret was that the foam pads ended up rounding over all my sharp facets. This problem is easily solved by buying the pads without the foam backing. Had I know that ahead of time, I would have done so.

When you're done with the micro mesh, it looks pretty good, but a little plastic polish can make it even better!

So, dab on a little plastic polish then use a buffing wheel on a Dremel tool! This takes the ring to eleven, and really makes it shine!

Step 5: Completed Rings

Picture of Completed Rings

Here are some beauty shots of the completed rings!

Thanks for looking!


PieterVerduijn made it! (author)2017-10-12

Thank you for this instructable! I just made my wife really happy!

kludge77 (author)PieterVerduijn2017-10-12

Nice work!

southbaysue (author)2017-10-03

WOW! Incredible and stunning. And FUN!

Thank you so much for posting.

whopoder (author)2017-10-02

Muito bonito! Beautiful!

adornments (author)2017-10-02

beautiful !

adornments (author)2017-10-02

beautiful !!

ΚΩΣΤΑΣΡ (author)2017-07-17

What do you mean (105 resin & 207 hardener)??? In which unit of measurement??OZ???thank you!!

That's how West System numbers it's products.

AnshulG19 (author)2017-07-07

Where can I find the resins?
They are really costly on Amazon
Any subsitiute?

9998566383 (author)2017-03-12

If you take the splintered wood and add a thin layer of white resin and ley dry. Then continue with a lighter resin as you did and add some coloured swirls it would be exactly the same ! Great job working it out :o)

Grall (author)2016-09-15

You can achieve that splintered look by sandblasting the end grain on some woods. It eats away at the softer grain.

cnaughtin (author)Grall2016-12-25

Good idea - I have done another version of what you are describing is to char the wood with a torch and then sandblasting or wire brushing away the burnt parts. It takes away the softer and/or burned wood - leaving the harder wood revealed and adding some contrast from the burning.

A combo of splintering / sand blasting / burning might be worth some experimenting.

Also, I have less experience with the next idea - using a product to partially dissolve some of the wood structure (lignin versus cellulose, I believe). You can get some really cool lacy / organic looks, and the epoxy would stabilize the delicate wood.

Benveghte (author)cnaughtin2017-02-14

What chemical would do that?

cnaughtin (author)Benveghte2017-02-16

Any strong base or acid, and a lot of other stuff. I think Boric Acid is used to dissolve stumps, for example.

I don't know enough to safely be more specific, but there is a LOT of information out there on partial and complete dissolution of wood - from slow, clean, and safe to fast, toxic, and dangerous.

TheFlorifant (author)Grall2016-09-19

That's genius

Ian JasperY (author)2017-01-24

What do you use to coat the ring to protect its wooden parts? Wood Varnish? Clear Coat Spray Paint?

zowi420 made it! (author)2017-01-21

This is just a first try, "practice ring". Thank you for this instructable!

jmadara (author)2016-12-25

Use a heat gun or torch (sparingly) to remove bubbles from the resin. Heating them causes them to rise to the top.

cnaughtin (author)jmadara2016-12-25

The author states in the description that bubbles are desirable in this instance. They add a nice detail to the result - a little like stars.

jmadara (author)cnaughtin2016-12-25

I read the article. Just sharing a tip for getting rid of bubbles.

toyowner (author)2016-12-25

sharp hatchet cuts

Drilled, then cross cut holes

Lots of different ideas.

L Ike his

I've made blocks from catylized automotive clearcoat bot it takes months for that to cure

The true discovery is in polishing

Neat project

TibiS made it! (author)2016-12-08

One with orange pebbles + graphite balls and the other plain green paint + glow in the dark green paint

HLightning11 (author)2016-11-22

Just an idea, using the same technique, you could probably make bracelets and necklaces too...

nenabay (author)2016-10-20

Amazingly breathtaking and mezmerizing!!!I give it a 10

apapercraft (author)2016-10-06

Congratulations on winning the contest! I've voted for you and you deserved it. Saw such ring on secretwood before & when someone actually post a DIY version it just blew my mind off!

Nate5b (author)2016-10-03

Awesome looking project. Thanks for sharing and congrats!

ThriftStore Hacker (author)2016-09-18

That is super cool. I may have to make one :)

sculptor985 (author)2016-09-17

Instead of all the sanding, spray the ring with a clear. I would use Polycrylic rattle can. The nicks and scrapes in the resin will be filled in from the clear. Super-secret tip. :)

Might be able to go from bandsaw to clear right away.

b0bman2012 (author)2016-09-16

these are awesome! i can't wait to try this myself!

RetBill (author)2016-09-15

All my projects have that splintered look, maybe I should take up painting.

JohnG220 (author)RetBill2016-09-16


Kiteman (author)2016-09-16

Oh... that is just gorgeous!


nureste (author)2016-09-15

Great instructable! Hard work, but the end result it just beautiful!! Do you have any experience with craked resin? Would love to see an instructable on how to make a wood and resin table like this :

lukewoodbury (author)nureste2016-09-16

Hello nureste, I know that resin cracks if you cast a large volume at once as it produces quite a bit of heat, so you would normally do layers to stop it from happening. These tables are pretty chunky, so maybe they just cast a lot in one go, I don't know if there are possibilities of it exploding if you do too much!! You can mess with the amount of hardener too and I think it affects the amount of heat produced. I should say, I'm no expert!

Alaskan Bev (author)2016-09-15

I probably won't make any, but I love the project. Those are unspeakably gorgeous. Oh, and yes, I definitely voted. Great job!

desertsniper (author)2016-09-13

Have you tried to cut "facets" into the clear resin? to give a gem like look to it? great tutorial!

kludge77 (author)desertsniper2016-09-14

You could. But you would still need to polish it out. the resin doesn't prodouce a clean edge when cut.

desertsniper (author)kludge772016-09-15

Yeah, resin does not cut clean, but you could sand the surfaces flat and then use some clear coat... just an idea

IvhanS (author)2016-09-15

That is a genius way to use scraps, now there's less waste!

xUNMERITEDx (author)2016-09-15

I love it!!!!

gabgra11 (author)2016-09-14

I just saw the video o your channel! Nice job!

deluges (author)2016-09-12

As soon as I saw the miniature picture I knew that project was yours, even though the original idea is someone else's :)

Great video and amazing sanding job ! They're superb, congrats man

kludge77 (author)deluges2016-09-12

Thank you! Yes, the original rings are amazing works of art, and worth every penny!

keebie81 (author)kludge772016-09-12

You can get them on alibaba way cheaper then the other seller though.

Olivia (author)keebie812016-09-13

Secret Wood recently posted they've been frustrated at links like that. They don't sell wholesale, they handmade each ring uniquely, which is why they aren't cheap. You are paying for craftsmanship!

keebie81 (author)Olivia2016-09-13

Or they are buying from there and not hand making them. I dont know who is correct. Maybe I will order one from there and see how it looks.

Also your guide was great.

push_reset (author)2016-09-13

These are very beautiful! Great job!

Penolopy Bulnick (author)2016-09-13

This is so cool! I think I've seen something like this before, but had no idea how they made it. Thanks for sharing this :D

Yonatan24 (author)2016-09-13

Beautiful! This project just blue my mind

(̶p̶u̶n̶ ̶n̶o̶t̶ ̶i̶n̶t̶e̶n̶d̶e̶d̶!)̶

Pzuzu (author)2016-09-12

I love 'one of a kind' anything ! And I like nice different jewelry too. Will be trying this for sure! No matter how many people do this, each piece is 'one of a kind'!

Awesome stuff! Keep em coming !

About This Instructable




Bio: Come spend some time in the shop. I'm a hobbyist woodworker and professional computer geek in Northern California. I guess my projects will vary ... More »
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