Introduction: Bent Wood Bangle Cuff Tutorial
My name is Danial Rees from www.ZebranoWoodCraft.com and in this tutorial I will be making a Bent Wood Bangle Cuff Bracelet.
In my opinion this was a tricky project and if you want to take it on you'll need some basic wood working skills and to be comfortable working with super glue!
Feel free to watch the YouTube video or read through the individual steps and be sure to Subscribe to my channel for more small wood working and jewellery projects!
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Step 1: Create a Former to Bend the Wood Around
I based my bangle design on an old metal cuff but there are many printable templates online if you don't have an existing bangle like this.
The design is a basic oval which is approximately 6.5cm at it's widest and 5.5cm at it's thinnest.
I traced the design onto a piece of scrap wood, cut the shape out and cleaned up the edges a little with sandpaper and the former was good to go!
Step 2: Cutting and Preparing the Wood
By measuring the
circumference of the former you can estimate how long to cut your strips of wood for bending.
I cut 5x strips of standard thickness walnut veneer into sections that were 3.5cm x 22cm.
To prepare the wood for bending I sanded the edges of each strip of wood down so they were paper thin.
Time to soak the wood to make it plyable for bending. I simply filled a pan with boiling water and submerged my strips of walnut in it for about 30 minutes.
Some other species may require soaking over night but this wood was already quite plyable so it didn't take much time at all.
Step 3: Wrapping & Drying the Wood
I removed each strip of wood from the pan and wrapped it carefully around the former with a little masking tape.
After wrapping up all of the strips I left them for 24 hours to dry. This step will also get the wood used to being held in an oval shape and will make the glue up easy.
Take your time on this step and don't rush anything!
Step 4: Gluing Up the Wood Layers
With the wood dry I was ready to glue up my bangle.
I began by testing how the first wrap would fit around the former and to see where the seam would be.
As I wanted the seam to be in the middle I needed to trim the section of wood down and sand it's edges paper thin.
I applied a small amount of super glue to the section where the walnut overlapped and wrapped the wood carefully around the former.
Layer one was complete!
For all of the subsequent layers I wanted the seams to align roughly to the center of the bangle so I could cut them out later - this required me to trim and sand each strip as I went.
I continued to glue each layer together, applying small amounts of the super glue, spreading it evenly with a cocktail stick and then wrapping the wood onto the previous layer.
Each layer of wood was wrapped tightly so there were no gaps and I did my best to wrap them as straight as possible.
Step 5: Removing From the Former
After gluing up all 5 layers I made marks for where I would cut out a section at the back of the bracelet.
On this design the gap was about 2.5cm wide and I made two extra marks inside of where those cuts needed to be made. I did this so if I made any nasty mistakes when removing the wood from the former I could just cut them away later.
I cut out the small section at the back and proceeded to peel the wood away from the former with a chisel, being careful not to damage the blank.
A bit of the walnut got stuck to the former but fortunately I was going to trim a few cm off the width anyway and was able to cut off the damaged area.
You could avoid this from happening by being more clever than me and making your former out of something that glue doesn't stick too (like HDPE), being more conservative with the super glue or wrapping wider strips around the former.
Step 6: Shaping & Sanding the Bangle
After liberating my bangle blank I trimmed off the remaining sections at the back and moved over to sanding.
I smoothed off every surface of the bangle with a fine grit on the bench sander, and to get to the inside I wrapped a piece of sandpaper around a dowel and spun it on the lathe.
To finish off I hand sanded the piece up to a 600grit to get it nice and smooth.
Step 7: Finishing the Bent Wood Bangle
The finish I chose for this project was Tru Oil Gun Stock Finish.
To begin this process I cleaned the bangle with a bit of white spirit and applied a small amount of Tru Oil with my fingers.
Each coat takes 24 hours to cure and in between coats I cleaned up each surface of the bangle with fine wire wool.
In the end I applied 7 coats the piece. After sanding the final layer with wire wool I rubbed in a little bit of polishing compound to bring out the shine and buffed the bangle with Renaissance Wax for added protection.
And there we have it – a bent wood bangle cuff made with American Black Walnut!
Step 8: Enjoy & Watch More of My Videos!
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Step 9: Tools & Materials
If you would like to make a bent wood bangle of your own then I've included links below to some of the tools and materials I used.
These are links to Ebay and if you click through one of my links and make a purchase then I receive a small reward - this will not effect the price you pay in any way and just helps me to make more Instructables!
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Ebay UK: http://ebay.to/2l7yMY3
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Ebay UK: http://ebay.to/2jKqbO1
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Ebay UK: http://ebay.to/2jVA32A
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Ebay UK: http://ebay.to/2jVvNjF
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Ebay UK: http://ebay.to/2jVwCxA