I'm getting back into more gymnastics-styled fitness and decided to fabricate some training equipment. After searching on here for rings tutorials I was only able to find the "quick-and-dirty" PVC rings. While they're inexpensive and easy to make, I wanted to appease my nostalgia for authentic wooden rings. Note: This was my first attempt at wood-working. It's more of a test of patience than skill due to all the sanding required.
An adequately sharpened pencil
Wood stain (I chose Minwax golden oak)
Clamps (A minimum of four, eight to work with both rings simultaneously)
Sanding device (I used a Metabo Compact sander with a rough sanding stone and 800 grit sandpaper)
Four 9 1/4" x 9 1/4" squares of 3/4" thick plywood (I got one 24"x24" sheet from Home Depot for ~$6)
Cargo straps (Search HarborFreight.com for cheap ones ~$1.49)
Since I already had all the tools I needed except for the wood stain, this instructable cost me <$10, and these rings normally sell for ~$90.
Note: All measurements were obtained from this tutorial (http://shootingboard.net/fitness/rings/). I am not responsible for any bodily harm including dismemberment, brain damage, stomach aches, mild disappointment, or third degree burns that result from performing the outlined steps or while using the resulting rings. Play safe.
P.S. I've also finished making parallette bars out of PVC and a wooden "mushroom" pommel horse trainer, which I'll be adding instrucables for next.
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Step 1: Cut and Glue Plywood Squares
1. Cut the pieces of plywood into four 9 1/4" squares.
2. Glue two pieces of plywood together using generous amounts of epoxy or wood glue.
3. Apply four clamps to four corners of glued plywood while it dries.
4. Repeat step 2 with two remaining pieces of plywood.
5. Wait at least four hours before proceeding.
Step 2: Rough Shape Rings
1. Get out yer trusty compass and draw two circles. The outer circle should have a radius of 4 5/8" and the inner circle should have a radius of 3 7/16".
2. Use a jigsaw to cut out the rings. For the inner circle I first drilled a few holes so I had a place to start the jigsaw.
3. Since I do not own a router I used a Metabo sander by hand to do all of the shaping. First, clamp your rings to a bench and work with a rough stone on a 45-degree angle to create a beveled edge on the outside and inside of each ring. That will be the basis for later light sanding.
4. Continue sanding with the stone until the bevels are as close to a circle as you can get. I found the best way to work them was to clamp them horizontally, hanging off the edge of the bench.
Step 3: Finesse Those Rings
Now, switch from the rough stone to sanding pads, preferably 800 grit and go back-and-forth over the inner and outer parts of the rings to smooth out any imperfections and get them as close to perfect as desired.
This part is where it becomes a labor of love. I spent about 2 hours sanding both rings until I was happy.
Step 4: Damage Control (if Necessary)
Your rings may have suffered a few chips while using the jigsaw or sanding tools, so here's where I went back and filled in any unsightly holes with epoxy, let dry and then resanded. I chose epoxy over wood filler because I know that when epoxy dries it becomes rock-solid, given how much weight the rings are going to withstand I figured the wood filler would've been more of a cosmetic fix than a structural one.
Step 5: Stain!
The icing on the cake is when you're all done sanding and apply two coats of wood stain. I was really impressed and anxious to use them once the stain was applied.
Step 6: Play and Share
I know this wasn't the most thorough instructable, but it's also not the most complicated. It may take some trial-and-error, but if you do finish a set and end up using them, please upload your results.
Sharing is caring!
If you're looking for exercises check out gymnasticbodies.com, they also have a youtube account with tons of creative ways to workout.