Let me start by saying I am neither a jewelry maker nor a woodworker. I've made jewelry before, and I've worked with wood before, but I definitely don't claim to know a whole lot about either. Anyway...
I made a couple of simple bands out of wood one day and decided to try and kick it up a notch and make something a little more complicated. While thinking about rings I remembered an instructable I've always wanted to do but didn't have the tools or supplies for: How to make a Green Lantern Ring
I've always been a comic fan, and I know more about Green Lantern than most people, but it's never been a series I kept up with. I still think the ring is super cool though so I decided it was perfect for my personal wooden ring challenge.
Here's what I did. Enjoy!
Step 1: Tools and Materials
Cheap wood carving set
Dremel tool with Workstation and flex extension
Multiple sizes of grinding and sanding bits
Sandpaper - coarse and fine
Wood (I buy wood bits by the pound from American Science and Surplus)
Green wood stain (got mine from Ikea)
Wood filler (if you're better at carving then me you won't need this)
Brushes (unless you use spay polyurethane)
Step 2: Ring Size
First I used a drill to make a center hole in my piece of wood. I used the biggest bit I had (1/2 in), then used a grinding wheel on my Dremel to make it larger. To get the right size I just kept testing it on my finger until it fit just a little tighter than I wanted. I did this so that it would end up just the right size after sanding.
Step 3: Basic Shaping
I used a pencil to draw on the Green Lantern design and the basic shape of the top of the ring.
I used the grinding wheel on the Dremel to remove the wood around the circle part of the logo.
Next I started grinding down the sides into the shape I had drawn around the logo.
Then I started on the profile, leaving the circle portion alone for now.
I decided to keep it relatively thick in both dimensions of the band because I was afraid that if it got to thin it would break easily. Maybe someone with more experience in wood could give me an idea of how thin I can go before it gets to weak. I also don't have any idea of what kind of wood it is, but it seems pretty light.
Step 4: Better Shaping of the Band
Pretty basic step, but probably the one I spent the most time on.
I used a fairly coarse sandpaper (don't know the grit) on a small sanding block to get the exact shape of the band that I wanted. I sanded and I sanded and I sanded, then I sanded some more. When I was all done I sanded some more.
At the same time I sanded down the circle so that it was flat on the top, and redrew the logo on top.
Step 5: Carving the Logo
I used a variety of blades to carve out the logo.
The first ones were flat, and I used them to "trace" the logo straight down into the wood. I think there's a name for this in woodworking but I don't know what it is. It cuts the grains so that as you carve the chips stop where you "traced" it. Then I used some curved blades to carve out around the logo.Unfortunately I also don't have pictures of this step so I hope my explanation helps.
Next i used a tiny grinding bit on my Dremel to remove extra material from the logo, and to flatten out the bottom. This I have pictures of, and I may have actually been able to skip that last bit and just done this for the whole thing.
Step 6: YAY! More Sanding!!
I gave the whole thing another once over with the sanding block, then again with a 600 grit.
There were two places on the logo, one in the circle part and one in the logo itself, where I took a piece out that should have stayed. I used a little bit of wood filler on a toothpick to fill them in, waited for it to dry, then sanded some more.
Step 7: Stain and Finish
I started by using a paint brush to coat the ring in stain, but ended up just dunking the whole thing in the can. I took it out and let it sit for a while, then wiped the whole thing off and did it again. It may have been the fourth or fifth repeat of doing this before it was green enough for me. I let it sit overnight to dry.
I gave it one more with the fine sandpaper.
Then I used a sponge brush and gave it a coat of Polyurethane.
I let that dry, sanded lightly and coated again.
When it was all said and done I didn't actually like the color that it turned out. That's not to say I wouldn't do the stain if I were to do it again, it gave a nice base color to work off of. I used two different colors of green acrylic paint, phthalocynine green and green gold I sanded the poly again to get a good painting surface and coated once with the darker green.
Next a did a dry brush with the green gold.
Step 8: Using the Ring
The first thing I did was use the ring to make a giant hand that I then used to pick up a bank robber and hang him from a light post until the police arrived. The next thing I did was realize I was watching Justice League cartoons and that my spandex were starting to get really uncomfortable. I'll stick to just the ring for now.