Instructables

Wooden Feather Earings

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Picture of Wooden Feather Earings
People near and dear to me really like wearing earrings that are made from feathers.  I think feathers are very pretty, but so is wood.  This Instructable combines two of life's pleasures into one wearable beautiful item - wooden feather earrings.

The earrings are made from laminated veneers of maple, walnut and paduk.  Vector based illustrations of feathers that I found online were modified and then sent to a laser cutter.  The laser cutter then cuts the earring out of the wood veneer sheet.  Mount the wood to some earring hooks and Bob's your uncle.  

The earrings are lightweight for their size because the veneer is so thin, of course, they are not quite as light as feathers.
 
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Step 1: Acquire Wood Veneer

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Acquire wood veneers in varieties of your choosing.  Macbeath Hardwood in Berkeley sells a wide range of 1 sq. ft. veneers very cheaply at the front desk.  These small pieces of veneer are perfect for small projects like this when you don't want to spend money on a whole sheet.

There are many sources of veneer online and at other local plywood and lumber retailers.  The main thing to remember is to buy thin, paper-backed veneers.  Try to stay away from a phenolic backed veneer since it will show more of black line on it's edge.

Step 2: Glue Veneer Together

Picture of Glue Veneer Together
Cut sheets in half using an exacto knife.  Spread a thin and even coat of wood glue on the back of the two piece of veneer.

Sandwich the veneer together, wood facing out, and clamp together for 1 hour between two pieces of plywood. 

Step 3: Sand Smooth

Picture of Sand Smooth
Using a 180 grit and then 220 grit sand paper, sand the sheets of veneer smooth.  The layer of wood on the veneer is usually very thin - be careful not to sand too much.
sauwen1 year ago
Beautiful end product. Could you give us a recommendation of your thoughts for a decent yet affordable laser cutter? Thanks! :-)
noahw (author)  sauwen1 year ago
My recommendation depends largely on your budget and the size of the things that you'd like to cut. There are some more affordable models in the $2-3k range like the Full Spectrum Laser 40W Hobby Model (pictured in the Instructable above), but they take some hand holding to reach their full potential. At $7k the Epilog Zing is a more reliable machine because it has fixed reflecting mirrors which solves a lot of alignment issues that I've had in the past. Above $7k the laser just get bigger and more powerful. I'd be happy to discuss the finer points but first it's useful to know how much you were thinking about investing in the tool since the options are quite different depending on cost.

Thanks for your comment sauwen.
Can you send me the templates just as pictures? Send me a message if you can and I'll give you my email.
How would I do that cut in the middle? My dad doesn't have stuff like that, and I have to do the outside cuts in wood shop. Would maybe my dremel work?
nobe1 year ago
Thanks for the idea, I did this with a scroll saw and gave them out as christmas presents!
cart5621 year ago
I don't have a laser cutter and I don't know if I ever will, but I bet this is possible on a scroll saw which I am going to try.
misko131 year ago
What goreous earings!! Wish I had a laser cutter....
Ninzerbean1 year ago
beautiful!
These are so fancy! Love the way they look. :D