Introduction: Sterling Silver Ring With Koa Wood and Blue Opal

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…

I’m going to show you how to make one of these Sterling silver rings with Koa wood and a Blue Opal inlay. I actually uploaded this to Youtube and you can watch the full video in the link below:

Rings like these are available in my Etsy shop or you can find my work @Zebranowoodcraft on Instagram or everywhere else. If you like it and you wanna put a ring on it, hit me up!

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Check out a beautiful range of Opals from @TheOpalDealer:

Do you have questions? Leave them in the comments and I’ll have answers.

Step 1: Cutting the Silver Sheet

This ring started life as a 0.8mm thick sheet of 925 sterling silver. To figure out how much silver I needed to cut I used a simple mathematical equation:

Inner diameter of the ring size (mm) + Thickness of the metal (mm) x 3.14

So ...

Size 10

19.96mm inner diameter + 0.8mm x 3.14 = 65.186mm

With my length of silver sheet determined I used my calipers and a craft knife to mark a line and then cut the silver with a jewellers saw.

After cutting my metal I filed down the edge I had just sawn so it was nice and smooth and then I got the ring ready for soldering.

Step 2: Preparing to Solder

The first step before soldering was to bend the piece into a rough ring shape using a half round nose pliers.

All I did was get both edges to meet up in the middle to form a rough join.

To make the join as seamless as possible I ran a jewellers saw down the seam and did a bit of filing so that both of the edges connected up nicely.

Then on to soldering. Before soldering I bathed the ring in a pickling solution and bicarb of soda to clean off any oxidisation.

Step 3: Blowtorch Attack

I put a bit of flux onto the seam of the ring and a few pieces of easy silver solder.

Next I heated the ring evenly with my blowtorch until the flux melted away and then I focused the flame onto the solder until it ran into the seam.

I left the ring to cool and dunked it in the pickle/bicarb again before making it presentable!

Step 4: Getting the Right Width

I hammered the ring to shape. It was the right size but needed to be 8mm wide so it was time to chop it down.

A clever person would have used the correct width of silver sheet but that is not me! To get the right width I scored a line with a caliper and used the saw to cut a section off. This worked remarkably well and I had an offcut the make a small ring with!

Next I needed to clean up the inside and seam of the ring a bit so I used a very light grit on my rotary tool to sand away most of the lumpy soldered bits.

I zipped a few pieces of emery paper up the inside just to remove any scratches and make it nice and smooth so it would be comfortable to wear.

Step 5: Prepping the Wewd

To make the outside of the ring I used a “bent wood” method with a piece of Hawaiian Koa wood veneer.

All I did was use an Xacto knife to cut a 10mm wide slice of wood and then I sanded down the edge until it was as thin as paper which would make it easy to wrap around the silver ring.

To make the wood bendy I dunked it in some water for about 20 minutes and then taped it up around a socket with some masking tape and waited for it to dry.

When it dried I removed the masking tape which left me with a beautiful wooden swirl that would wrap around the outside of my silver ring.

I sanded down the other edge of the wood so that both edges were nice and paper thin and then I moved on to wrapping the wood around the silver ring.

Step 6: Glue Time

I applied a bit of superglue to the wood and started gluing it to the silver. I used a cocktail stick for this just applying small amounts of glue and then sticking down the wood a CM at a time, making sure it was wrapped nice and tight.

In the end I glued 2 layers of wood to the silver ring.

After the glue up I sanded down the edges of the ring with a few grits of sandpaper that was laid down on my desk and then I was left with quite a promising looking ring!

Step 7: Carving an Inlay Groove

The next stage was to move on to the inlay. For this I used a marking gauge to score a line down the center of the ring and then I carved out the inlay channel with a triangle file.

I repeated this step by creating two more channels either side of the center and then used a sharp craft knife to carve out a single, wider channel. I could have done this on the lathe but I was really enjoying listening to an audiobook so I did it by hand!

Step 8: Inlaying the Opal

I got this beautiful blue opal from and for this inlay I used larger chunks as well as a bit of blue pigment and some opal dust.

To inlay the opal all I did was applied a small amount of glue into the inlay channel and then sprinkled a bit of the powder into it.

I repeated this step with the larger chunks just making sure that the whole channel was filled with opal.

Step 9: Making the Inlay Presentable

Before applying a finish to the wood I mounted the ring onto a spindle. I used a diamond file and a few grits of sandpaper to grind the opal down and make the wood smooth ready for a finish.

Step 10: Finishing

Here’s a secret sauce finish for you: I used superglue or cyanoacrylate glue. I applied multiple layers to the outside and the edges of the ring.

In between every single coat I used an activator spray which stops the glue from bubbling or going white.

This results in a very nice, glassy, waterproof and shiny finish which accentuates the wood and gives excellent protection.

In the end I applied 8 coats to the outside of the ring and 8 coats to each edge. Before finishing the edges were dead flat so I could apply a few layers and in the polishing stage I could shape over the edges and give the inside a tapered more comfortable fit.

Step 11: Making It Shiny

After applying all the layers of superglue finish the ring was looking quite rough and ready so it was time to move on to polishing.

To polish the outside edges and a bit of the inside I mounted the ring into some pin jaws on my lathe and wet sanded them. I worked in the taper I mentioned earlier too.

I did pretty much the same for the outisde: I mounted the ring on a spindle and wored my way through 400, 600. 800, 1200 and 2000 grit until the surfaces was nice and smooth with no dinks or marks.

To bring out the final shine I used my new favourite product which is a burnishing cream from Chestnut products.

I turned the lathe up a little bit and rubbed the cream in. Wax on, wax off and voila, I was left with a shiny and sexy looking ring.

I sanded the inside of the ring with a bit of fine emery paper to remove any scratches and then whipped over it with Tripoli and Rouge polishing compounds on my rotary tool. This brought a really nice shine to the silver.

Step 12: Fin

So that’s the end of the tutorial. I am so pleased with the way this ring turned out, and I’m now a little bit obsessed with opals!

This was an awesome project and like I said more rings like this are coming to my shop so check that out on Etsy and go get those free months on Skillshare to learn some stuff!

See you in the next one!

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I am an affiliate so if you use my link, then you get some free stuff and you help me as I get a small reward to pay my bills with!


Check out a beautiful range of Opals from @TheOpalDealer:

Do you have questions? Leave them in the comments and I’ll have answers.