Damascus Steel Ring With Wood Inlay

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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: www.ZebranoWoodcraft.etsy.com F...

Intro: Damascus Steel Ring With Wood Inlay

Inthis video I'm going to show you how I made this Damascus steel and Walnut Burl bent wood ring.

This is made with a stainless Damascus steel from Damasteel labs and I believe the pattern is called “Heimskringla”. It is actually as dense as a black hole.

I also used a beautiful piece of Walnut Burl to make this ring and I must say it is one of my favourite projects to have made of all time.

To see more of my work you can either ...

Find my Rings On Etsy

The rings are for sale in my Etsy shop and you can find them here:

Damascus Steel Rings

...or

Subscribe to my Youtube channel

Zebrano Wood Craft on Youtube

Step 1: Drilling the Damascus Steel Blank

The first task was to mount the chunk of steel in the chuck jaws and gradually drill a hole through it.

Damasteel is dense and this process takes ages! The trick here seems to be to take your time, use progressively larger drill bits and use plenty of lubrication (huh huh).

Thankfully the drill bits brought the ring to the right size so you didn't have to witness any boring.

Step 2: Shaping the Ring

Next I mounted the ring onto a metal ring mandrel to shape the outside and generally clean up the faces.

I used a cutting bit to shape the outside of the ring, just taking lots of light passes and cleaning off any curly shavings as I went.

When the outside diameter of the ring was sorted I mounted it into the chuck jaws to shave down the edges.

When the ring was 8mm wide I used another cutting tool to taper the inside edges.

Step 3: Cutting an Inlay Groove

The final step of shaping the steel was to cut an inlay groove in the ring. I marked out where I needed to cut the groove and used a sharp tool to rough away some material.

I then used a parting/grooving tool to square up the edges of the inlay channel.

Step 4: Preparing the Wood

With the ring made (the inlay channel cut, the edges tapered) it was time to inlay some wood.

I used a craft knife to cut a 5mm wide slice of Walnut veneer and sanded down one end of the piece of wood until it was as thin as paper.

I checked to see if the Walnut would fit into the inlay groove in the metal ring – thankfully it did so I test wrapped it in and cut off any excess until it made 1 full wrap around the ring.

Step 5: Gluing in the Wood

Next I gradually glued the piece of wood into the metal ring using super glue. I used a cocktail stick to dab a little bit of glue in, then pressed the wood down firmly with a tweezers until the glue cured.

When the wood was all glued in I took a few thin strips of sand paper and sanded the inlay until it was smooth and seamless.

Step 6: C.A Finish

I applied thin layers of glue using a cocktail stick until I had completely covered the wood and filled the remaining space in the inlay channel.

This took a while and to stop the glue from blooming/bubbling or curing all nasty I sprayed a light misting of activator spray between coats.

Step 7: Polishing

Don't judge it too harshly yet – it looks pretty rough but not for long!

I scraped the excess glue from the edges with a sharp craft knife, polished up the inside through a few grits of sandpaper working from a 120-1200 grit. I made sure there were no tooling marks left and the surface was smooth and even.

To polish the outside I used progressively finer grits of sandpaper working from 400 grit to 12,000 grit micromesh. This made the finish over the wood shiny, even and smooth as well as bringing out a nice shine on the metal edges.

Then I worked over the metal parts of the ring with my rotary tool, using red and green polishing compounds to bring it to a mirror like shine.

Step 8: Etching the Damascus Steel

When the ring was stupidly shiny and smooth I cleaned it off and lowered it in to a Ferric Chloride acid bath to etch it. I left it in for around 30 minutes and then neutralised the acid by dunking it into a baking soda solution.

After etching, you can see that it's a little discoloured and patterns come popping out.

The most exciting bit of working with Damascus steel is that you're working blind right up until you get that etch and then you can see all those patterns emerging. It's really cool!

I whipped the polishing compounds over the ring one last time and then the ring was complete!

That is how I make a Damascus Steel ring with a wood inlay.

Step 9: More of My Work

Thank you for watching/reading this Instructable. You can find more of my work on Etsy, follow me daily on Instagram (@Zebranowoodcraft) or subscribe to my Youtube channel for my videos.

Find my Rings On Etsy

The rings are for sale in my Etsy shop and you can find them here: Damascus Steel Rings

Subscribe to my Youtube channel

Zebrano Wood Craft on Youtube

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    7 Discussions

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    JeffS42

    2 months ago

    Very nice job! Love it! What kind of lathe are you using to cut the metal?

    1 reply
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    ZebranoWoodCraftJeffS42

    Reply 2 months ago

    Thank you! I’m using a Clarke metalworker lathe with indexable cutting tools.

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    CameronS90

    2 months ago

    There is no way that that is as dense as a black hole (which are arguably infinitely dense at the center, ie, a mountain the size of a spoon), but the ring looks amazing and you have done a beautiful job on it. Great job!

    1 reply