Wood has a special appeal to me, it's a living thing with a personality. There are so many colors and textures. It's incredible that something growing in the back yard or hiding in the wood pile can unleash such beauty when you cut into it. Wood is all around us, you can buy it, recycle it, or, best of all you can harvest and discover it.
You can check out these earrings and my other work at my shop
Step 1: What You Need
What do you need to make a pair of wood earrings....
wood, of course. you'll need glue, I use wood glue.
you'll also need something to give the wood a nice finish and protection. I use a mixture of mineral
oil and bees wax, you might use that, or laquer, shellac or urethane, whatever appeals to you.
You'll want some clear packing tape.
You'll need sandpaper...220, 400 and 600 grit.
A drill with a drill a 3/`6"bit.
6mm jump rings
4mm jump rings
And a saw. I use a scroll saw and a bandsaw. You can use a hand saw if you have one with a thin kerf,a jewelers saw with a scroll saw blade will work, just keep the blade perpendicular to your work. That's hard and takes practice.
You'll need wood, I like wood with a little contrast and some personality. Here, I'm using redheart,
maple and walnut. The walnut and redheart are 3/4 x 3/4 x 1 1/2. The maple is vaneer.
The earrings are made in three sections, two solid outside sections and a middle of vaneer. Now is
when I start to think about design. Here, I want the two outside sections to be redheart and walnut,
the middle section will maple. First, cut all your wood to size. Cut the vaneer oversized, you'll want 4 pieces, 7/8 x 2 should do
Step 3: Design, Cut and Glue
Now is the time to decide on a design. On one of the outside pieces, draw the curve that you want the
vaneer to take. Now stack them with the curve you've drawn on top and tape them together with clear placking tape. Now to the scroll saw. I use a NO. 9 blade, that leaves a kerf wide enough for 2 sheets of vaneer.
Now, carefully cut along the curve you drew earlier. Remove the tape, you've got 4 pieces, Take 2
pieces, one walnut and the other redheart that fit together, we'll work with those. Put the others
aside for later, you can make earrings with them too.
Apply glue to the inside curved faces of the outside pieces and both sides of both vaneer pieces. Now
line them up. Don't worry about the vaneer being straight, we'll fix that, just make sure everything
is lined up well. Now, using bar clamps or C-clamps, now bring the pieces together. The vaneer will
bend to conform to the curve. Clamp it tight and let it sit overnight. The next day, you can finish them. Trim the excess vaneer and then sand all sides smooth. Take a
piece of 220 sandpaper and lay it flat on your table. Take the piece and lay it on the sandpaper.
Holding it carefully with your fingertips, rub it back and forth on the sandpaper. Keep an even
pressure on all sides so that you don't sand a slope, we want it as even as possible.
Step 4: Slice, Drill and Sand
Before you start, a word about the bandsaw. It will cut your finger off and not even notice, it cuts
wood and metal easily. KEEP YOUR FINGERS AWAY FROM THE BLADE. I use two push sticks. One to push the
work tightly against the fence and the other to push the work past the blade. Don't go near the blade
until it stops moving.
We've been working on one piece, now it's time for that piece to become two earrings. Set the fence
of the bandsaw to the thickness you want the earrings. Remember, you'll be sanding so give yourserlf
some extra thickness. I use about 3/16".
Now you can run the piece through the saw for the first earring, then again for the second. This way
your shaving material off both pieces, this makes both sides parallel. If you don't make the second
cut the thickness of the second piece will be uneven. Now drill both pieces for the jump rings. I
make a 3/16" hole about 1/8" from the top, in the center of the earring.
Step 5: Finish
the earrings are smooth on 5 sides and not so much where you just sawed them. Back to the old 220
sandpaper, flat on the table. Now it's a lot harder, they've gotten pretty thin, sand the rough side.
Now trade the 220 for 400 grit sandpaper and sand all 6 sides. Then on to 600 grit, Sand all 6 sides
and then gently take the sharpness off the edges and corners. Wipe all of the dust off, and apply whatever finish suits you. I use a mixture of oil and beeswax. I
wipe it on and let it sit for a few minutes then wipe it off. Then I rub it with a soft cloth to
bring out a soft luster.
I put the jump rings on next. Using two pairs of pliers, I twist a 6mm jump ring open and put it
through the hole in the earring. Close it. Now I take a 4mm jump ring and using 2 pairs of pliers, I
twist it open. I thread it through the 6mm jump ring and the loop of the earwire, close it up, repeat
with the other one and there are your finished earrings
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