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The following is an instructable on making a wooden ring out of teak at Techshop RDU. These rings can be made out of any hardwood, but teak is both water resistant and strong enough to remain intact, even with a slender profile.
Take a look at the Etsy.com website I just put up:
I started with a 3/4" forstner bit. Pick out a size that is good for you. If it's a little too small, you can sand it open further in the production process.
Square up the bit and drill as close to the center of your piece as possible. It's not a bad idea to drill a few extra pieces while you're at it. Can't hurt.
Next, we head over to the bandsaw to do some rough cuts. Round out the edges somewhat before the next step. (Safety First: wear glasses and take your time on the bandsaw)
Here is an example of a ring roughed out and prepared for further sanding on the belt sander.
Belt sanding is broken down into two separate steps:
1) Even out the thickness of the ring on all sides. It doesn't have to be exact, as you'll come back later, but the closer you get it here the less hand sanding you have to do.
2) Tilt the ring slightly to the side, first one way and then the other, in order to round the edges off. After this step it'll begin to look less like a scrap piece and more like an actual ring. The rounding allows to to taper the profile while maintaining most of the rings structrual stability.
Next is the oscillating sander with the smallest available sanding pad (and something around 80 grit). If you dont have the machine you can also hand file, which takes longer but allows you more control. Take the ring out repeatedly at this point and try it on to make sure it hasn't loosened too far.
Next comes the hand sanding. I start with a 150 grit paper, then on to 220, and lastly 320 to polish it off. Begin by placing the sandpaper flat on the table and pushing the ring around. At the later grits hold the ring in your left hand and brush it with the paper in your right. Take your time so that you dont chip at the edges, which teak is prone to.
Take your time with the finer grits as well, and keep looking at the ring at different angles to reveal any blemishes or missed spots. There are a couple of options available to finish. If you have acces to a drill press or lathe, and can afix the ring to it securly, putting a small amount of super glue on the spinning ring will give a nice polish and some added strength. Alternatively, you can use a few (maybe 2 or 3) coats of fast-dry poly. This seems to give the best polish, and can be done with about 30 minutes between coats.
You can see in the pictures how the finer detail of the grain pattern begins to emerge as you move to finer grits. The poly coating increases the contrast between variations in color and gives a nice lustre.
Thanks for taking a look at my project, and I hope you enjoy. A ring like this makes for an interesting and durable gift, and it'll be sure to please whoever you make it for.
Make sure to check the Techshop Website at www.techshop.ws to see where I made this and other projects.