Intro: Easy Hardwood Ear Spacers
Hey! so i'm a broke college kid who can't afford spacers right now, so i made some instead.
A few things before we start;
These are double flared spacers which means they're curved on the inside so no need for an o-ring. They are not suitable for spacing up and should only be worn if your ears are the size gauge you are making!!! and it is my personal recommendation you only wear them for 12 hours or less, as to limit body oil build up (they will start to smell and it's disgusting) and in case your ear starts to shrink around them. Please Be safe and if you experience discomfort take them out immediately!!! and if need be, seek out a piercing or medical professional.
Only use HARDWOOD, as it will not absorb oils as fast, so less bacteria will cultivate on them, which means your ears will not get infected. DO NOT SHOWER WITH THESE PLUGS IN, AND WAIT 10-30 MINUTES OR UNTIL EARS ARE DRY TO PUT THEM IN, if they get wet, they could deteriorate or mold could grow on them (gross).
These plugs look natural and great, but you need to be careful and understand your own piercing holes and how they will react. If you are in a position to purchase spacers, studs, or weights and would like to know where to purchase from, here are some excellent sights to check out.
i can be reached on instagram as well as here, my instagram is @Diastolixx
Step 1: What You Need
Non treated/painted hardwood a 1/2 inch thick: it's very important that you use hardwood so it doesn't absorb oil and become bacterial. Hopefully this is obvious but please remember: TREATED AND PAINTED WOOD IS SUPER BAD FOR YOU, LIKE COULD CAUSE INFECTION, OR EVEN CANCER. Please consult this list and make sure the wood you've chosen is hardwood that is clean and insect free: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_woods
A drill press, or hand drill strong enough to cut through hardwood.
Clamps and a vice grip.
some paper towel and painters tape.
A hole saw set (if you do not have a hole saw set, here is an instructable on making the cutouts with a ban or jig saw:https://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-Make-Handm... However if you are making a smaller gauge, 0g-1 inch please be extremely careful).
A steel file either rectangular or round, either works.
Sandpaper: both high and low grain and a belt sander, (however if you only have sandpaper, crack a beer, sit back and relax because you'll be at it for a while).
Safety glasses for power tools.
Step 2: Making the Plug.
So first figure out what size you are, i'm 5/8's of an inch so the 7/8's bit worked perfectly for making the raw plug, this gives you some extra wiggle room to sand bits off, drill it out (wear safety glasses please) and pop it out of the hole saw using something like a big drill bit (be careful when popping out the drill core, because even though it's hardwood you can still make marks), sand off any extra bits on the bottom and gently sand around the outside sides to make the sides smooth.
Step 3: File Er Up
Take your file, I used a rectangular one, and make a grove as close to the middle of the outside all the way around, do your best to make them as centred as you can, but if you have trouble don't worry because using the belt sander you'll be making your flare deeper.
If you don't have a belt sander, you can take a horizontal strip of sand paper, and put it over a pencil to make your double flare that way, this is very time consuming because your working with hardwood, but good luck and be persistent! Skip the next chapter if you decide to do this.
Step 4: Belt Sanding
First thing to note is even though this is hardwood THE BELT SANDER TAKES OFF MATERIAL VERY FAST, so practice first with a piece of scrap wood. don't worry if you screw up the first time because i did!! just re-do the first two steps, it'll be fine :)
Using the edge of the belt, slowly dig into grooves we made with the file to make the flare, but go around the plug alot with the sander make sure you can see how deep Your going because it is possible to sand to far into the middle meaning your spacers will fit weird, or break in half.
If you feel more comfortable using vice grips on the belt sander, wrap the vice grip teeth with painters tape and put paper towel between the tape and the spacer, this is to keep the spacer clean from whatever the vice grip was being used for before, (oil, paint, etc.).
Also, like i said, the sander takes off a lot of material very quickly, including skin, so be careful. While i was sanding one of the spacers, it flew out of my hand, and could have hit me in the eye, so please wear safety glasses.
Step 5: Final Prep
Once you're all done sanding the flare, use clean sandpaper to sand off any immediately visible sharp bits, now we're done in the workshop.
Go wash your hands at this point and wait for them to dry to the touch, so that no oil, glue, or other contaminants that could be dangerous get on your spacers.
Now we can prepare them for wearing. First get a medium to high sand sandpaper and give the inside and out a good sanding to make them smooth. now handle them in your (clean) hands for a few minutes, this will infuse them with a miniscule amount of oil, and work free any loose sawdust. at this point, it's up to you to decide if your happy with the spacers, the moment of truth, put them in your ear holes, try putting them in both ears and put them in forward and backwards, to make sure the flare isn't to wide.
If your not happy with them, either sand them to make them smaller/smoother or try making another pair (there's no shame in that, i had to try this process a few times).
When your happy with them (optimism) try getting a wood burner and putting a cool design in one or both sides, or you can glue something to the front of them, but make sure to use a glue that's safe for skin!
be creative and have fun, :) These spacers are for self expression and might help start a conversation.
Hope you enjoyed this! let me know if there's anything i could do better in the suggestions! and shoot me a follow on instagram @diastolixx