How to Make a Wooden Ring




A ring that I had from Vietnam recently broke, leaving an emptiness on my finger and soul, so I decided to fill that emptiness with a lil bit of craftiness.

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Step 1: Materials and Tools

A piece of wood preferably with an interesting grain pattern (I used wenge)
Some sort of finish
Hole saw
Forstner bit  
Drum sander
Belt Sander

Step 2: Drill the Outer Hole Partially

Guesstimate what the outer diameter of the ring should be, depending on the size of your finger and choose a hole saw accordingly. Using a drill press, drill part of the way through your piece of wood, making sure that the piece of wood being drilled stays intact with the board.

Step 3: Drill the Inner Hole Fully

Put a forstner bit a little smaller than your finger into the drill press and drill a hole through the center of the outline you've already drilled.

Step 4: Finish Drilling the Outer Hole

Put the hole-saw back in and finish drilling the outer hole. Pull the ring-shaped piece of wood out of the hole-saw.

Step 5: Sanding Galore

Use a small drum sander attachment to sand the inside of the ring to the appropriate width. I used a larger drum sander attachment to sand away the machine marks on the outside, but you can use whatever method you want.

Step 6: Getting It Down to the Right Size

I was afraid of cutting myself, so instead of cutting the ring down to the correct with, I just sanded it a bunch with a belt sander.

Step 7: Final Sanding and Finishing

I suggest hand sanding after you've got it down to the size you want. You also might want to round out the edges. I used paste wax to finish it. Some type of oil would probably also work well. I'd be careful using anything like lacquer or polyurethane because the coat might go on too thick and then it wouldn't fit your finger. Now, you should either have a beautiful ring or a useless, mangled piece of crap. If you should have a useless, mangled piece of crap, repeat steps 1-6.

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    65 Discussions


    6 months ago

    Great Instructables! In the few I have made, I have used butcher block conditioner. Consisting of beeswax and orange oil.


    1 year ago

    "If you should have a useless, mangled piece of crap, repeat steps 1-6." Man that's just rude.


    3 years ago

    I posted an article on how I go about making a simple wooden ring here: Might be worth a look for anyone needing a detailed walkthrough.


    5 years ago

    So I am trying to make a ring for my girlfriend because she really likes wooden jewelry, but I'm not sure which way to start this project. I've read up on many different ways to do it and came across this instructable and another one that advised using wooden strips wrapped tightly around a dowel rod. I need some help with which one to use because both ideas are great, but I might not have the best tooling for this one. Thanks!

    2 replies

    Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

    I would recommend the second method, there's a good instructable here. Using this method the ring would be quite fragile, as the grain runs crosswise. the smallest of pressures and impacts would cause it to crack and break.


    6 years ago on Introduction

    Great Instructable. I've made 3 rings so far. One comment I must share in regards to a while ago. To get a hardened, very durable finish, I used a general purpose 2 part epoxy to fill in wood grain, and then coat in enamel clear spray (lightly).

    Also, for the wood always splitting. The tightest grain and most dense wood I've come across is Ebony Wood, Also known African Blackwood. This stuff is like wood steel, used for piano keys and gives off a liquorish odor when cut (don't know why). I've only found it online and in Woodcraft.

    Again great info, in the process of cutting down time and making a jig for a standard lathe.

    1 reply

    Hey KnockOnWood I was curious what 2 part epoxy you are talking about? Is that surfboard resin? Where did you pick some up? Thanks


    6 years ago on Introduction

    I just made one out of redwood. by using hand tools, the process took me a whole day, but I imagine, with power tools, it would be much easier to create a wooden ring.

    well, this seems like a project worth doing :D <3 rings
    i really never thought of making wood rings, only focusing on metal :/
    i don't have any power tools but the drill, but i will definitely make this by hand :D
    thanks for the inspiration!

    respectfully, I think that you have steps 3 and 4 backwards.

    Most hole saws have a pilot drill bit for keeping the hole cutting saw in one place while cutting. If you drill the inner hole first, there is no place to put the pilot bit in one place to do the outer diameter of the ring. Ever tried it with a hand drill? I'm not sure it can be done.

    Yes, I do see the drill press. While I'm certain you have a vice of some kind to hold the work steady while the outer ring is done secondly,  those who DON'T have a drill press are going to have a rough time if they have to use a whole saw without the help of the pilot drill.

    Doing it my way makes more sense . . . at least to me.

    Good, interesting instructable.

    Lush, tropical Grand Rapids, Michigan.

    4 replies

    Here's the way I see it:

    - If you drill the outer ring first, then it becomes much harder to hold the inner disc of wood while drilling the inner ring.
    - If you drill the inner ring first, you can't see just where you're placing the bit for the outer hole, and you won't be able to center it precisely.
    - As this instructable suggests, you can center the rings by "marking" the outer one first, then help hold everything in place by drilling inside then outside. It's really a compromise between the two methods.

    That is why you do step 2.  You partially drill the outer "ring".  This is then your guide after removing the core.  This can be done easily even with a hand drill.

    From my experience, it's too hard to hold the piece of wood as you drill the inner hole with a forstner bit, but if you could get it to stay in place somehow, then your way would work just as well.

    I think that the coat would go on too thick and then it might not fit on your finger, but it would probably work if you were careful.


    Reply 7 years ago on Step 7

    If its too thick couldn't you just re sand it down then try again?