Introduction: Solid Wooden Sunglasses

Mid last year I made these sunglasses and I thought I would share them here. Check out the video above to see how I made them! Thanks to my beautiful baby sister for kindly modelling these! It's much better than seeing them on me.

Step 1: The Lenses

Picture of The Lenses

First up, we'll need some lenses. I ripped some out a plastic pair of sunglasses I got free!

Step 2: The Templates

Picture of The Templates

Using the original sunglasses I produced some 1:1 cutting templates. If you are using similar sized lenses you can download the ones I used from my website:

Step 3: Attaching the Templates

Picture of Attaching the Templates

Next, the templates are stuck to the rough blank with a little wood glue.

Step 4: Cutting Out the Frames

Picture of Cutting Out the Frames

Using the scrollsaw the frames are cut roughly to shape, If you don't have a scrollsaw you can do this by hand, it's just going to take a while!

Step 5: Cutting the Frames 2

Picture of Cutting the Frames 2

To cut the opening for the lenses drill through the blank and thread through the blade. Leave the cavity slightly over-sized at this point.

Step 6: Cutting the Temples

Picture of Cutting the Temples

The temples (or arms) are cut out in the same way.

Step 7: Fitting the Lenses

Picture of Fitting the Lenses

Align each lens properly and trace around them with a pencil. Sand close to the marked line, leaving a small rim just under 1mm (IMPORTANT) I used a drum sanding attachment at the drill press to do this.

Step 8: Shaping

Picture of  Shaping

The final shape cannot be achieved on the scrollsaw, so using a small handsaw cut away the remaining material and use a hand-file to shape. The original sunglasses serve as a good reference when doing this.

Step 9: Shaping 2

Picture of Shaping 2

Using sanding attachments, sand to the final shape. (If you don't have these some careful filing and sandpaper should work.)

Step 10: Fitting the Lenses 2

Picture of Fitting the Lenses 2

Now to cut the rim for the lenses. Using a rotary cutting disk mounted in the drill press for ease, I cut a shallow groove around the edge of the lens cavity, for the lens to slot in to. This will take some care and a bit of trial and error, but should work if you are careful.

Step 11: The Hinges

Picture of The Hinges

Next is the hinges. I could have made some tiny wooden hinges, but it was far easier to cut them off of an old pair of cheap plastic ones!

Step 12: Fitting the Hinges

Picture of Fitting the Hinges

To attach the hinges mark the position and cut a small cavity on both the front and temples of the glasses. (I used a small drill bit to do this.)

Step 13: Gluing the Hinges

Picture of Gluing the Hinges

The hinges were glued into the cavities with some quick-set epoxy.

Step 14: Applying the Finish

Picture of Applying the Finish

Finally a finish can be applied to the glasses, before the lenses are pressed into place. For a finish I used mineral oil just to be safe, but I am sure that some spray lacquer would be fine too!


farraha (author)2016-01-04


jrow00 (author)2015-09-29

what kind of wood did you use and where do you recommend we get it?

Marker1024 (author)2015-03-10

Well done! You should treat yourself and those frames to a nice pare of polarized lenses! Its a disgrace to use the cheep ones in when you've crafted the rest of the sunglass so nicely! Great cheep project though.

BenMercier (author)Marker10242015-08-05

Do you know where to buy the polarized lenses for this style of glasses? I can't find any for under $30

buck2217 (author)2015-06-30

They are great but knowing me I would either leave them in the pub or sit on them -- cue heart broken!!

kdorais (author)2015-05-31

Definitely gonna try to make these this summer, but with actual lenses since I have terrible vision :P These are so cool!

sabladask (author)2015-03-12

You glasses looks grate:) i like that they are crafted by hand ( no cnc).

HarshanaS (author)2015-03-08

Could you do these with regular glasses?

Spokehedz (author)HarshanaS2015-03-08

Yes. Same principal, just be far more careful with the real lenses.

mjackson-1 (author)Spokehedz2015-03-12

Just don't forget that prescription lenses factor in pupilary distance and have a focal point... there's a lot more precision required than for non-corrective lenses.

HarshanaS (author)Spokehedz2015-03-08


Containerschiff (author)2015-03-10

Wow they look awesome! You've got some nice skills! You make the sunglasses yourself while others buy them for a lot of mony at a (desing) shop!!

keep your work up - i'm looking forward to seeing new projects

onemoroni1 (author)2015-03-09

Very cool. Nothing like hand crafted.

acaig (author)2015-03-08

That takes proper skills nothing I could do they look lovely I imagine you could sell a few of those
I was always annoyed at school the boys got to do woodwork and girls had to do home economics it was so unfair from a very early age I used to stare longingly in to the workshop classrooms and my brothers told me id do them for at 11 lying watsits

dirizary (author)2015-03-08


fixfireleo (author)2015-03-08

wow, beautiful work by a beautiful artist!

Dandie (author)2015-03-08

This is great, admirable.Very nice work, congratulations!!

kodiwoedee (author)2015-03-08

Awesome! People love hand made items. Do u sell any on Etsy?

CK101 (author)2015-03-07

How do you attach the lens at the end

ThisWoodwork (author)CK1012015-03-07

Apologies, looks like I missed that! They are just pressed into the rim cut on the inside edge of the frame. It is easy to see what happens in the video.

bigpig (author)2015-03-07

Very cool, but WAY beyond this old man's capability.

paganwonder (author)2015-03-06

Cool beyond words...

ThisWoodwork (author)paganwonder2015-03-07

That's very kind, thank you!

yankee81 (author)2015-03-07

Wow those look really amazing, great job! Now I need make myself a pair. Thank you so much for sharing.

ThisWoodwork (author)yankee812015-03-07

I'm glad you like them! Best of luck!

emilyvanleemput (author)2015-03-07

They look amazing!

Thank you!

tomatoskins (author)2015-03-06

These look so good! Thanks for sharing with the community!

ThisWoodwork (author)tomatoskins2015-03-07


world of woodcraft (author)2015-03-07

awesome work. an great youtube channle

Thank you so much!

About This Instructable




Bio: Hi, I'm Alex Harris, Engineering student and "YouTube woodworker". For more about me, visit my website:
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