Introduction: Bent Wood Ring With Guitar Strings and Abalone Inlays

About: I specialise in creating wooden rings and jewellery for customers all over the world as a professional Etsy seller. I also make videos sometimes, come check out my shop at: Fin…

My name is Dan Rees from In this video I'll show you the process I used to make a guitar inspired bent wood ring.

I used two types of wood veneer: Birdseye maple and Macassar Ebony. These are just standard thickness wood veneers that are about 0.6mm.

For the inlays I used abalone laminate sheet, and an old guitar string.

This ring is available to order from my Etsy shop!

Use promo code GAMEOFTONES to get 15% off* at the checkout! Here's the link:

*This offer is valid until the 18th of February 2018.

Please share this video and leave a comment with any questions! If you'd like to see more tutorials or your interested in a deep delving course on making bent wood rings then please sign up to my email newsletter via my website:

Thank you for watching as always!

Step 1: Tools and Materials

I've included links to tools and materials that I used to make this ring below. They are all links to Ebay where you can find pretty much all of the things you need to make bent wood rings.

I'm sure I've left a few things out and I'll keep adding to this list as I remember them!

Wood lathe
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Ebay UK:

Wood veneer
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Ebay USA:

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Guitar Strings

Ebay USA:

Ebay UK:

Metal Ruler
Ebay USA:

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Craft Knife

Ebay USA:

Ebay UK:

Super Glue

Ebay USA:

Ebay UK:

Socket Set

Ebay USA:

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Micro Mesh
Ebay USA:

Ebay UK:

Please note I am a member of the Ebay Partner Network so if you use one of my links to visit Ebay and make a purchase within 24 hours II receive a small financial reward. It does not effect the amount you pay at all and just helps me to keep grinding!

Step 2: Preparing the Wood Veneer

To begin I used a sharp craft knife to cut 10mm wide strips of the maple and ebony veneers and sanded down one end of each strip until it was paper thin.

To make the wood nice and plyable I soaked the strips in hot water for around 30 minutes.

Then I wrapped my strips of wood around a wide socket, secured them with masking tape and left them to dry thoroughly. This makes the wood nice and bendy ready to make bent wood ring.

Step 3: The First Layer of the Bent Wood Ring

When the wood was dry it was time to start forming the ring. I wanted the inside layer to be birdseye maple with ebony around the outside.

I started by dry wrapping the maple veneer around my former one time and added around a CM of extra wood. I snipped off the excess with a scissors and this left me with enough wood to for one layer of the ring.

I sanded down the edge I'd just cut until it was paper thin. To glue my first layer of wood, I wrapped it tightly around my former, added a small amount of CA glue and rolled it together.

I sanded the seam flat and that was my first layer done!

Step 4: Forming the Outside of the Ring

I wanted the outside to be made of Macassar Ebony and I used a similar process as before but wrapped enough wood to form two layers.

The glue up was a bit trickier as I needed to make sure the wood lined up correctly but I've had plenty of practice at doing this and it was no problem at all!

Step 5: Preparing to Inlay

I sanded down the outer edges until they were flat and the ring was the right width. I did this on a piece of sand paper and used a figure of 8 motion to help keep the edges even.

When the basic ring blank was the right size and the right width I was ready to start the inlay process.

To get my inlays precise I used my trusty marking gauge to score three lines around the circumference of the ring. These lines gave me a good guide and allowed me to carve my inlay channels with precision.

Step 6: Cutting Grooves for the Strings

I mounted the ring on a simple spindle and used a set of files to carve inlay channels where I'd scored my lines. I made sure the channels were deep enough to accommodate the guitar strings.

Time to set the guitar string inlays. I began by test wrapping the string into the inlay so I could find roughly how much I would need to go around the whole circumference of the ring.

I used a wire snipper to cut the string and then a half round nose pliers to make the string more ring shaped. Without this step the string will keep wanting to revert back to a straight shape which makes the glue up impossible!

Step 7: Setting the Guitar String Inlays

I made adjustments to the string with a flat file to make sure the fit was tight and the seam where the edges joined would be minimal.

When I was happy with the fit, it was time to start gluing the guitar string into the channel!

The seams of the strings were lined up with the seam or join in the wood - we'll call this the “back of the ring”. I began gluing from the “front of the ring” and this made lining everything up a little easier.

I dabbed a little bit of CA glue into the channel and then pressed the string in and waited for the glue to cure. I worked my way from the front, dabbing in a little glue and pulling the string tight.

I repeated these steps with my second string and did a good job with lining up the seams. Before moving on to my third inlay I sanded down the strings with a few grits of sand paper to give them an attractive “ground down” look.

Step 8: Abalone Inlay

With my strings in I started carving my center inlay channel in much the same way as before using a series of files. I did this with the ring mounted on a spindle.

I cut a strip from the abalone laminate sheet that was roughly the same width as the inlay channel (approximately 2mm wide).

To set the inlay I dabbed a little bit of CA glue into the carved channel, and placed a section of abalone into the glue. After waiting a few seconds I rolled the shell into the inlay.

I worked my way around the ring, trying to make the abalone inlay as seamless as possible. Where a piece broke off, I glued the next piece in so that it blended nicely.

Step 9: Finish Him

When the final inlay was complete I began finishing.

To do this I gave every surface of the ring a generous coating of CA glue to really make the details pop and add protection from the elements.

I do this using a cocktail stick, but I've seen it done with kitchen roll or a paint brush.

To stop the glue from blooming/bubbling/going weird I spray a light misting of activator spray in between coats.

I applied a bunch of layers of CA glue to the ring (the inside and the outside) and moved on to the tedious part: polishing!

Step 10: Polishing for Days

I always take my time with polishing to give the final ring a shiny and smooth feel. For the inside and outer edges I used progressively finer grits of sandpaper and micro mesh to hand sand the ring until there were no bumps, marks or dips in the finish.

To polish the outside I mounted the ring back on my spindle and wet sanded through the grits to get an even and shiny surface. When the sanding was complete I rubbed in a bit of burnishing cream to bring out the full lustre of the finish.

Step 11: Time for Photos!

Thank you for watching, that was an awesome project!

Want one of these rings but don't want to make one??

I'm so happy with the way this turned out, these rings are available to order from my Etsy shop - use promo code GAMEOFTONES to get 15% off* at the checkout! Here's the link:

*This offer is valid until the 18th of February 2018.

Thank you s much for watching, check out more videos, subscribe to my channel if you want to see more ring making tutorials. Be sure to go over to my website, where you'll see a sign up form to my email list so come and get involved and join the team.

Thank you so much for watching, hope to see you in the next one!