Introduction: Wooden Ring

Picture of Wooden Ring

About 9 months ago I discovered an inexpensive, fun and easy hobby and want to share my craft with the good people of

Things you'll need:

1. Sandpaper: One sheet of 150, 220 and 400 grit

2. Dremel - with sanding drum 60 and 220 grit

3. Polyurethane and foam brush

4. Miter saw

5. Wood glue

6. Clamps or vise

7. Two 2x4s or 2x6s in one foot length

8. If you have a belt sander you've got a bonus tool!

Step 1: Pick Out Your Wood Types

Picture of Pick Out Your Wood Types

I buy my wood blocks at a wood craft shop here in town. I've also used small rounds about 4-6 inches in diameter. The wood in this instructable is zebra (outside layers) and Brazilian cherry (middle layer).

Step 2: Cut Thin Slices

Picture of Cut Thin Slices

Once you have your wood type, cut thin slices out of it. Even if you are making a ring with only one type of wood, gluing at least 2 pieces will strengthen the ring a great deal. I normally do 3 layered rings.

Step 3: Gluing Your Layers

Picture of Gluing Your Layers

Arrange your layers how you want them and use wood glue between each layer. I use the Titebond III. Then place the glued layers between a couple boards and use clamps or a vise to make sure you've got an even compression along the entire glued pieces. This is important because you don't want to waste any wood, I can get 2-3 rings out of these pieces. I put paper towels between the glued wood and the boards so they never stick together.

Let this sit for at least 24 hours.

Step 4: Cutting a Rough Ring From the Glued Wood

Picture of Cutting a Rough Ring From the Glued Wood

First clamp the glued pieces down to a small board. Using either a 1 1/4 to a 1 1/12 inch hole saw, make a shallow cut as pictured, but don't go too far. Now using a 5/8 bit (as pictured) drill all the way through the layers down the middle of the pilot hole. Then using your hole saw again, finish cutting through all the layers creating a ring.

Step 5: Sand Your Ring Down to Desired Width

Picture of Sand Your Ring Down to Desired Width

Using a belt sander (if you have one) or just sandpaper, sand your ring to the width you want it, turning it over every so often.

Step 6: Creating the Ring Size

Picture of Creating the Ring Size

Place a dremel in your vice like in the picture, then in a circular motion, sand it down to the size you need (leaving it a little tight because you'll be sanding it more later).

Use 60 grit sanding drum for this.

Step 7: Sanding the Face

Picture of Sanding the Face

Now use the same 60 grit drum and sand down the face until it looks like the second picture. Now change the sanding drum to the 220 and thin it out just a little more, removing the rough sanding marks. Do the same on the inside.

Step 8: Hand Sanding

Picture of Hand Sanding

Now using 220 grit sandpaper, start sanding your ring. Get any thick spots sanded down and get the ring smooth and edges slightly rounded. Do this inside and out. Then use 400 grit to really smooth it out.

Step 9: Protecting Coat

Picture of Protecting Coat

After wiping your ring down to get all the dust off, use a polyurethane and a foam brush to lightly coat the ring, hang on a screw or nail to let dry (30-60 minutes). Do three coats.

You're done! Enjoy your new ring!


arpegge.boschetto made it! (author)2015-01-11


I said I'd come back so, here I am! I made two rings however I just have one at hand currently. The woods I used were Pine and Mahogany.

Thank you very much for such friendly guidelines and for your advice when I asked. It was a very fun project to do, and as easy as you said it would be.

Have a very Happy 2015 and Thanks again!

That looks quite good! Well done well done. How difficult did you think it was? Available tools makes a different of course but I was just curious. Will you be making more?

Uhm, also if you ever have the opportunity to use a thin slice of pine and the working is not very fragile, I recommend that you use the face in which the grain is visible. When you look at it facing the sun (backlighting) the grain lines get a rather beautiful luminiscence.

In my rings, when I do that the yellowish part of the pine looks a bit luminiscent and the grain lines glow in a very beautiful shade of red. I never suspected that would happen when I was making the rings and when I found out I was very surprised and delighted.

That is the beauty of working with wood ... the surprises Mother Nature presents us with.

I found out that the most tedious part was sanding and the dremel because I had to learn from scratch how to use it. I also tried to improvise the size hole with a drill press (you know, 'cause I didn't know how to use a dremel) but I ended up breaking the ring so I had a friend teach me. When I decided to follow your instructions properly XD things became very easy again.

Uhm, I used a different coating, nitrocellulose varnish, because it was what I could get my hands on. It works pretty well but it has to be handled carefully, it's fumes are toxic and it does smell. I wore a bandana while coating the rings. Also, it has a little bit of a sticky feeling but I was reading in the comments that the polyurethane coating has it as well.

Uhm, I don't think I will be making more since I no longer have a hole saw available to me. It was part of my school's equipment and I already graduated so... I don't think I can make more rings.

Finally, thank you very much again. The other ring I made was for my Boyfriend and he LOVED them. :D 10/10 project. Totally!

Fair enough, but so glad to hear you successfully made them. I use a high performance thin poly, it's not sticky at all but I do brush super glue on it as a second water proofing. I JUST started to experiment with resin which I recently found a thin version of and hopefully that will last longer than super glue which will after a while start to chip away. Thanks again for the comments!

lions2005 (author)2016-07-21


i'm wondering if it's possible to engrave a name on the ring, and if it is possible how can i do it:)


P.S sorry if my english is not good:):):)

GPa Rich (author)2015-08-24

for sanding the inside I use a rubber stopper with a nail through the center with a bit of sandpaper glued on the outside, hold your ring with a padded pair of visegrips use the stopper in your drill set on slow, this gives you a even circle.

GPa Rich (author)2015-08-24 or have on line wood catalogs, also you can search using "pen blanks" it will give you small quantity exotic woods

ssenseney (author)2015-06-01

I looked at Lowes, Walmart, and Hobby Lobby and couldn't find any good pretty wood. Do you know anywhere else that might carry wood?

quangtien.pham.35 (author)2015-02-23


arpegge.boschetto made it! (author)2015-01-11


I said I'd come back so, here I am! I made two rings however I just have one at hand currently. The woods I used were Pine and Mahogany.

Thank you very much for such friendly guidelines and for your advice when I asked. It was a very fun project to do, and as easy as you said it would be.

Have a very Happy 2015 and Thanks again!

arpegge.boschetto (author)2014-10-22

Hi! I have a couple of questions.

1) How thin are those slices? (each?).
2) Do you think this is a very difficult project for a begginer?

Hopefully, I will be making these soon. Thanks!

1) They are about the width of the blade (about 1/8th of an inch)

2) I successfully made a ring first try....I'm NOT a wood worker by any stretch so yes, a beginner can do it.

Sorry it took so long to get back to you!


Thank you very much, your answers came just in time for me. If I manage to complete this project properly I will upload some pictures.

Thanks again. Have a nice day.

Mario2007 (author)2014-10-25

Hey this seems like a fun project, how safe is the poly coating when it's in contact with your finger all day?

boris1366 made it! (author)2014-10-18

I made these two out of Birch for my girlfriend and myself, they're fantastic!

jaroot made it! (author)2014-09-24

Fun project! I'll have to gather some other tools, like a hole saw, and try it again.

Roland S (author)2014-09-23

Nice ring my dad used to do woodworking I,ll have to try this I have made rings before and I will proably make more, but a wood ring is pretty cool.

jaroot (author)2014-09-21

Neat project! I voted!

gravityisweak (author)2014-09-19

Wow this is fantastic! I'm just curious, either to you or anyone else who may read this... what about using a epoxy or resin to finish the ring?

jason0333 (author)gravityisweak2014-09-19

I've never used either of those materials, I use Krazy Glue on my rings after I use the polyurethane. The Krazy glue I find doesn't do the ring justice on it's own. It also has strengthened the rings a great deal.

oddwon (author)2014-09-18

This was fun. I plan on making more. Great instructable.

jason0333 (author)oddwon2014-09-19

Wow, looks amazing! Easy to do huh?

gravityisweak (author)oddwon2014-09-19

Whoa! Are the black sections wood too?

oddwon (author)gravityisweak2014-09-19

Yes, I used ebony, purpleheart, and curly maple.

framistan (author)2014-09-17

This could also be used to make some really nice game pieces like for playing checkers... or possibly chess. Nicely made instructable.

MoundofMittens (author)2014-09-15

Very nice! I will definitely make one of my own! I really like the design you have!

jason0333 (author)MoundofMittens2014-09-16

So glad you like it, please let me know how it turns out!

Mielameri (author)2014-09-15

Just lovely. And so much room for improvisation!

jason0333 (author)Mielameri2014-09-16

The combinations are infinite! Shopping for the wood is tough though because I want to leave with all of it!

jimmitchell1943 (author)2014-09-16

good explained each step very well....going to try one...

Thank you, please let me know how it turns out.

BLR_RAVI (author)2014-09-15

very well done and nicely explained with pictures

lilchumy (author)2014-09-15

I voted

jason0333 (author)lilchumy2014-09-15

Thank you!!!!!

Danation13 (author)2014-09-15

Looks like a great start!

Having made many wood rings, I have a few suggestions:

1. Polyurethane tends to feel "slimy" and that can bother some people. I highly recommend finishing with CA (a.k.a "Super Glue" or "Krazy Glue".) You can get a nice shiny finish with CA without the slimy feel. You can also sand it and buff it without messing up the shine.

2. When you glue the layers together, also use CA. Any imperfection in the wood will leave small visible gaps, so clear glue is better than yellow wood glue.

3. If you can, use a lathe instead of a Dremel. If you need to use a Dremel, be extremely careful. It's very easy for the ring to bind on the sanding wheel and start spinning like crazy.

jason0333 (author)Danation132014-09-15

Thanks for the advice. I have really enjoyed making these rings and I seem to like each new ring more than the last. I partly agree with the finishing idea. I do use Krazy glue as my finish but for a first ring, I say focus on the ring. If I tried the crazy glue on my first one, I would have been really bummed to wreck it. The first time I tried it, I messed it up and it looked terrible. I've never experienced a "slimy" feel to any polyurethane I've tried, I just find that the finish breaks down faster, needing to be reapplied after a while. As for the wood glue, I really focus on the even compression and have never had an issue with seeing the yellow of the glue, but the next time I buy glue, I'll try out your suggestion. As for using the dremel.....if I had a lathe, I'd use it but this is only a hobby, I'm not a woodworker and couldn't justify buying a lathe and all the parts to go with it. I've had woodworkers at the local shop insist that I did use a lathe though. With practice a Dremel can be just as fast and just as good. Takes me about 5-10 minutes (depending on the ring size) to shape my ring on a Dremel. Thanks again for the advice, I'll look for that glue next time, I did question the glue at first and though I haven't had a problem, the first time I do I'll think of you.

lilchumy (author)2014-09-15

Nice, gonna try it

seamster (author)2014-09-15

Nicely done! I love the wood grains. They really pop!

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