Picture of The Abacus Bracelet
Want to go retro with your calculator watch? No, not the 1980s. How about two millennia before that? We're going to make a bent wood bracelet with a miniature, working abacus built into it! 

These instructions are for a traditional Chinese Suanpan style abacus with a 5+2 bead configuration, but you could easily adapt them to a Japanase Soroban style with a 4+1 bead configuration. 

Step 1: Tools and Materials

Picture of Tools and Materials
  • Wood veneer
    You'll need five pieces approximately 1.5" wide by 8" long. The wood I used is bubinga from Rockler.
  • Wood glue
    I used Titebond III wood glue.
  • Superglue
  • Seed beads - size 8/0 (approximately 2.5mm diameter)
  • Head pins - 21 gauge silver, 2" long
  • Aluminum sheet cut from a soda can
  • Baking parchment
  • Clear gloss polyurethane wood finish
  • 2x4 lumber - 3" long
  • 2 hose clamps (minimum 2" diameter)
  • Screwdriver (to tighten the hose clamps)
  • Coping saw
  • Sandpaper, assorted grits
  • Metal ruler
  • Scissors
  • X-Acto knife
  • Tweezers
  • Wire cutters
  • Small brush to spread glue
  • Pin vise and a bit the same diameter as your head pins
  • Power drill and a bit wide enough for your coping saw blade to pass through
If you've got access to a band saw or jigsaw it'll make step 2 go a lot faster, but it isn't required.

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How do you keep veneer in braclet form? Becouse after I remove hose clamps it straightens.

scoochmaroo4 months ago

Congrats on the recent Make mention!


Have you opened an etsy shop for these yet?I'll take one!

KrisO24 months ago


aayande made it!8 months ago

Thank you for the instructable... Your pictures and clear instructions inspired me to give this a go and I made one for my partner. She's already had favourable comments about it.

Taytora1 year ago

Very cool! Roughly how much do the raw materials (minus tools) cost? How long roughly would you say it takes to make one? Thanks!

jimmysymo1 year ago
Well, and I thought that I was good .YOU are.really PERFECT. Good pic;s and Very good details. NICE is not enough ,beautiful I will try to make one.Thank you.
Oh my gosh!!! I thought this would be hard but it looks very easy! Thanks!
E Major2 years ago
Amazing. I am absolutely dumbfounded. Can't wait to make this for me!
astahim2 years ago
Awesome piece of art :)
Congratulations on winning First Prize!
Good luck with the judging tonight. You did a wonderful job!
babybayrs2 years ago
Beautiful and intelligent!
spylock2 years ago
It would come in good while shopping to make sure you dont go over budget.They should sell really well.
This is just beautiful! I'm considering making some for my daughters for Christmas this year.
oni1st2 years ago
Thank you so much. Instructions and photos so clear even I understood them. Wonderful job.
CobyUnger2 years ago
Your photos are fantastic. Great work. I have an instructable of almost the same bracelet without an abacus. Definitely considering trying this out. Thanks.
Arghus2 years ago
that something very original and unique, nice woork
DaKawa2 years ago
Very nice. Thanks for the tutorial and the idea. I will definitely try this. My wife will love it.

Totemika2 years ago
I totally love it!!!
agis682 years ago
So cool and brilliant too....voted
craftyv2 years ago
This is great, I love it's quirkiness. This would be perfect for my Grandaughter who has Aspergers Syndrome and needs to fiddle with her fingers all the time, it helps her stay grounded. I couldn't make it but I admire the skill.
Xibalbawax2 years ago
totally cool, awesome bracelet for an on the go old school tabulator.
This is SO COOL, and I'm thrilled that it isn't one of those 'bles that requires thousands of dollars of specialised equipment. It's totally doable and totally awesome! I'm excited to make a few!
chuckers2 years ago
Love This! Very succinct instructable; all my math nerd friends will be getting these! You got my vote!
Is there a way to buy this ? I really am not good with this type of crafting but love the bracelet
HaHaBird (author)  rosaesposito2 years ago
Thanks! I don't have any to sell, but might later in the year. Check my Etsy site or my blog (both the same as my username) for updates.
adbkwhitley2 years ago
Very well done, HaHaBird!! Excellent instructions, great photos, and some ideas that I'm going to work into some of the projects I have banging around in my head.
chabias2 years ago
This bracelet is ADORABLE!! Well done! Voted x 2
This is a great idea and a thorough and professional tutorial!
Thanks bunches!
otukatu2 years ago
wrist Excel ???
WoundedEgo2 years ago
Iconic! A perfect gift for a math major.
mr.frob2 years ago
Oh that is too cool!
alannaerm2 years ago
this is so neat! i love it when interesting everyday objects can be incorporated into a wearable form.
jbeaton2 years ago
Great job, good clean professional look! thanks for the post!
MU5ICI4N2 years ago
awesome! very crisp and professional looking
Can I buy this somewhere
dimdiode2 years ago
very nicely done
izzieposey2 years ago
Is there any way I can buy this instead?
BrittLiv2 years ago
I have seen this at your site a while back. Thank you so much for posting it here, too. This is just amazing!
I have added you here http://www.instructables.com/id/Unusual-DIY-Jewelry/ in my collection.

Totally loving it :). Thanks for sharing.
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