Introduction: Solid Wooden Sunglasses

About: Hi, I'm Alex Harris, Engineering student and "YouTube woodworker". For more about me, visit my website:

Mid last year I made these sunglasses and I thought I would share them here. Check out the video above to see how I made them! Thanks to my beautiful baby sister for kindly modelling these! It's much better than seeing them on me.

Step 1: The Lenses

First up, we'll need some lenses. I ripped some out a plastic pair of sunglasses I got free!

Step 2: The Templates

Using the original sunglasses I produced some 1:1 cutting templates. If you are using similar sized lenses you can download the ones I used from my website:

Step 3: Attaching the Templates

Next, the templates are stuck to the rough blank with a little wood glue.

Step 4: Cutting Out the Frames

Using the scrollsaw the frames are cut roughly to shape, If you don't have a scrollsaw you can do this by hand, it's just going to take a while!

Step 5: Cutting the Frames 2

To cut the opening for the lenses drill through the blank and thread through the blade. Leave the cavity slightly over-sized at this point.

Step 6: Cutting the Temples

The temples (or arms) are cut out in the same way.

Step 7: Fitting the Lenses

Align each lens properly and trace around them with a pencil. Sand close to the marked line, leaving a small rim just under 1mm (IMPORTANT) I used a drum sanding attachment at the drill press to do this.

Step 8: Shaping

The final shape cannot be achieved on the scrollsaw, so using a small handsaw cut away the remaining material and use a hand-file to shape. The original sunglasses serve as a good reference when doing this.

Step 9: Shaping 2

Using sanding attachments, sand to the final shape. (If you don't have these some careful filing and sandpaper should work.)

Step 10: Fitting the Lenses 2

Now to cut the rim for the lenses. Using a rotary cutting disk mounted in the drill press for ease, I cut a shallow groove around the edge of the lens cavity, for the lens to slot in to. This will take some care and a bit of trial and error, but should work if you are careful.

Step 11: The Hinges

Next is the hinges. I could have made some tiny wooden hinges, but it was far easier to cut them off of an old pair of cheap plastic ones!

Step 12: Fitting the Hinges

To attach the hinges mark the position and cut a small cavity on both the front and temples of the glasses. (I used a small drill bit to do this.)

Step 13: Gluing the Hinges

The hinges were glued into the cavities with some quick-set epoxy.

Step 14: Applying the Finish

Finally a finish can be applied to the glasses, before the lenses are pressed into place. For a finish I used mineral oil just to be safe, but I am sure that some spray lacquer would be fine too!