Introduction: Make a Ring From a Nut Version 2 - Smooth Ring


In a previous Instructable I made a ring from a nut that had a flat face. This time I will show you how I made a completely smooth ring, that will be a Christmas gift. This ring can be made using regular hand tools but I did use power tools because I have them and it makes life so much easier. The belt grinder is probably the tool that most people don't have but will makes making this ring super easy. If you don't have a belt grinder don't let that stop you, some files, sand paper and elbow grease you can probably make it work will work, it's totally possible. The only essential tool to make a perfectly round ring is the drill and sand paper, get creative.

This time I also used a stainless steel nut instead of a regular mild steel nut, as stainless steel is much less likely to corrode or react with skin. However using a regular nut will not rust as it is polished to a super high luster and I have been wearing mine for a few months with no issues.

I also made a nice exotic hardwood box for the ring for presentation, see that here:

Step 1: Watch the Video of the Whole Process

I encourage you to watch the video to see the whole process, i will do my best to explain with the pictures and written steps in the rest of the Instructables.

Step 2: Materials and Tools


  • A stainless steel or regular steel nut that is large enough for the ring

*Note stainless steel is harder to work than regular/mild steel but will not react with your skin.


  • Drill
  • Aluminum rod or wooden dowel
  • Masking Tape
  • *Belt grinder or disc sander or portable belt sander (this will make shaping the ring super easy)
  • Various grits of sandpaper (wet/dry, emery cloth) (60, 120, 220, 320, 400, 600, 800, 1000, 1500)
  • Metal Polish and buffing wheel
  • Files, round and flat
  • Die grinder or Dremel (rotary tool) with stone grinding bit or tungsten carbide bit
  • Vice or vice grips
  • Blow torch (optional)
  • Ring mandrel (optional)

Notes: Emery cloth instead of regular sand paper will last much longer when working on steel.

*Some other tools that can be used if you don't have a belt grinder is a portable belt sander, wood working stationary belt sanders or disc sanders, mini grinder (flap disc or grinding disc) or get a second drill and use a disc sanding adapter with some rough sand paper (this is probably the cheapest option).

Step 3: Sizing the Nut

The first step is size the inside of the nut so it fits the intended finger. In my case I know the person is between a size 7-8. It is better to size it smaller and then adjust once you test fit it on the finger. If you are not sure, extra small and then after you give it a gift you can always resize it.

Anneal the nut before working with it by heating it with a blow torch until red hot and let it cool. This step is optional but it will make working with the metal easier. Mount the ring in a vise or hold with vice grips.

To do the sizing I used a die grinder with a tungsten carbide bit, most people don't have this tool so a Dremel with a stone grinding bit will work as well, it will just take longer. Also using a round file will work if you don't have either one of those tools. Just start filing away and do a section at a time, I have done this before and it works, all it takes is time and elbow grease.

When using a die grinder or Dremel make sure to work in a circle, don't just stay in one spot and grind as you will end up with an uneven hole.

I have a ring mandrel that I used to check the size or you can use your finger if you know it is similar to the same size as the intended.

Step 4: Shape the Thickness of the Ring

The nut was too thick so it was ground down to a thinner thickness.

I marked the thickness of the ring with a fine point pen then removed the excess material with the belt grinder. If you don't have a belt grinder this can be done with a file or belt sander or disc sander. I used a coarse belt, 60 grit to grind the nut down to size.

I held the ring with a pair of vice grips as it will get very hot when you grind and it's safer than having your fingers close to a moving belt.

Step 5: Shaping the Ouside of the Ring

Since this ring is going to be smooth and perfectly round, I removed the points of the nuts. I first marked them and then grinded them down. The nut is starting to look more like a ring and less like a nut.

Step 6: Make a Ring Lathe

So this tool that I made is what will make the ring perfectly round and smooth. I made a "mini lathe" with an aluminum rod, drill and some masking tape, a wooden dowel would work too in place of the aluminum rod. The aluminum rod, had masking tape wrapped around it until matched the size of the ring. The ring is held on just with friction, add or remove tape to make the ring fit snug. Then the rod was held in the drill.

Step 7: Rough Grinding the Ring

Now with the ring lathe made from the previous step, it's time to shape the ring into it's final form. Go slow and take your time. Basically what you will be doing is spinning the drill and grinding it at the same time on the belt grinder. Again if you don't have a belt grinder you can use a disc sander or portable belt sander.

Just holding the nut while it is spinning on some coarse emery cloth/sand paper mounted to a piece of wood would work too, it will just take a super long time but it's totally possible. The reason for mounting it on a piece of wood is so the nut/ring has a flat surface to grind against, it will remove the most amount of material this way.

The ring will start getting rounder and more even as you grind and really take shape. Try to keep the ring even so it has a flat profile, in the next step I will grind in the bevels.

You determine the thickness at this step and grind until you reach how thick you want the ring. You can have a thin elegant ring or a thick beefy ring.

*Some other tools that can be used if you don't have a belt grinder is a portable belt sander, wood working stationary belt sanders or disc sanders, mini grinder (flap disc or grinding disc) or get a second drill and use a disc sanding adapter with some rough sand paper (this is probably the cheapest option).

Step 8: Beveling and Finishing

With the ring ground to the thickness you want, it's time to add the bevel. Adding a bevel will make the ring comfortable to wear, you could just round off the edge and have a chunky looking ring as well. In my case I want a elegant and comfortable ring.

Using some rough grit emery cloth I beveled the edges, again with ring mounted on the drill . The inside of the ring I did by hand, you want this nice and smooth so the edge doesn't dig into the finger. Once you have the ring in the shape you like, it's time to move to finer grits of sandpaper.

Progressively work your way up to finer and finer grits of paper. Each grit will remove the previous grits scratches, it should only take a minute or two for each grit. By the time you work up to 800-1000 grit the ring should start to shine.

At 1500 the ring will really be shiny and this is even before polishing.

Step 9: Polishing

The final step is polishing the ring, this will make the metal really pop.

Using a Dremal with a buffing wheel, add some metal polish to it and polish the ring, both the inside and outside.

I do this using a container to keep the splatter of the polish down.

It was hard to photograph a shiny ring but the ring has a mirror polish!

Step 10: Finished Ring and Ring Box

Here is the finished ring ready to be a Christmas gift.

The gift wasn't complete until the ring had a nice box to go along with it. I made the box from some exotic bocote hardwood, see that Instructable here:

If you like this Instructable, vote for me in the contest! Thanks!

Homemade Gifts Contest 2016

First Prize in the
Homemade Gifts Contest 2016