Introduction: Walnut and Oak Bracelet
I decided to make a bracelet out of wood recently and quite liked the look of metal watch straps so was inspired by this look. I went for a couple of contrasting woods and found some nice size strips of walnut and brown oak offcuts which I thought would look nice together.
Router table (optional)
Step 1: Preparing the Wood
I started by roughly chopping the wood on a bandsaw and planned them to a uniform thickness (around 5mm / 1/5in). I then ran each side of one face though the router table with a chamfer bit followed by some hand sanding to smooth over the chamfers.
Step 2: Chopping to Size
I used the bandsaw to chop each individual bit to the same size. I used a homemade coping sled to run the cuts parallel to the blade and used a block clamped to a fence to reference the width of the cut.
The middle sections were about twice as wide as the side sections and measured around 10mm and 5mm respectively.
Step 3: Drilling Holes
I used a drill press to drill the holes in each of the small parts. To get the holes in the same places I used a fence and a stop that I clamped to the drill table. The holes for the middle sections go all the way through and the holes for the end sections go around 3/4 of the way through.
Step 4: Creating the Joints
I used some bamboo skewers that I found in my kitchen as I knew these would be fairly uniform in diameter and I wouldn't need to manufacture any of my own small dowelling.
I used a bench hook and a saw to chop the skewers to the correct length and the sanded each of the ends.
I then dry fit all the pieces with the skewers and made sure that all the joints could articulate. This part of the process took the most time as I found that my holes weren't quite as close to the edges as they should have been, however I don't think that as many pieces would have made it past drilling without breaking, if I did drill closer to the edge, as the holes were relatively large compared to the width of each piece.
I needed to sand wood from each end and create a roundover to the bottom as well. Once they all fit and moved how I wanted them to I prepared to glue.
Before gluing I sanded each part to 400 grit and applied a couple of layers of hardwax oil.
To fit together only the walnut bits needed the skewers to be glued in to the holes. I used the sharp end of a skewer to 'place' the glue in to the holes. I didn't clamp anything as the fit was fairly tight....this also meant that I could move all the pieces while it was drying so it didn't all stick together.
Step 5: End Pin
I wasn't entirely sure how I was going to do this part and just left the thinking until the last minute. I did start looking at a screw type of system and got quite far though that until I realised that it would be just to difficult to screw something in to a bracelet while wearing it.
In the end I came up with a simple push to fit solution. In the last walnut end I drilled the hole completely though and found a skewer that was thick enough to give a nice tight fit, so it is held in by friction.
I drilled a hole in to a bit of oak and glued the end of the skewer in. Once it was dry I trimmed to size and made sure it all worked.
Step 6: Finished
Once it was all together I checked that all bits were oiled and popped it on my wrist.
I must say I quite like it and has a surfer kind of look to it.
Thanks for reading!!!
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