NFC Bentwood Ring




About: I'm a content creator. I make open source projects and videos for said projects. My goal is to create free and open knowledge for everyone.

There are lots of videos on how to make really cool(and easy) bentwood rings. Lets take it to the digital age and add an NFC/RFID Tag that will allow you to do anything a normal NFC tag could do. Unlock a door, your phone, computer, anything you can think of!

Step 1: Watch the Video!

Check out the video!

Step 2: What You Need! - Tools/Parts

  1. Thin Wood Veneers - Various Type of Wood
  2. Micro NFC Tag from Adafruit -
  3. Something to read the Tag - I used this -
  4. CA Glue
  5. Exacto Blade
  6. Sand Paper
  7. Painters Tape or Masking Tape
  8. Round Dowel or Pipe - Similar Size to your finger.
  9. Pot of Water on Stove
  10. Dremel (optional)

Step 3: Cut Strips of Veneer

Here you will want to cut the veneers into small strips that are capable of wrapping around your desired finger at least 4 times. The strips need to be cut a few mm wider than the width of the NFC tag to allow for sanding after.

Step 4: Boil Veneers in Water and Then Wrap

You should boil the veneers for about 10-15 minutes. This will make them bendable enough to wrap them around a pipe or dowel and then secure them with an elastic band and allow to completely dry. The wrapping at this point doesn't need to be perfect or overly tight, just round enough to let the wood become round when dry.

Step 5: Trim Veeners to Length, Sand.

Now that you have your coil of veneer that is very well dry, determine the proper length they need to be. If they are longer than you need then trim them to proper length. Take each end of the veneer and sand the end so that they taper off to a finer point. This will help hide the ends when you glue them together.

Step 6: Roll and Glue Veneers

At this point you can begin rolling your veneer around the dowel or pipe you're using. Apply a bit of tape around the round piece, you can also add more tape if you want to make it slightly larger. Glue every bit as you go along. Try not to glue your fingers to it - really try hard! Don't be stingy on the glue, the more you use, the stronger the ring will be, just try not to get it everywhere, and try not to glue to the tape. If you do you can sand it off later.

Only roll 2.5 rolls at this point and stop gluing!

Step 7: Cut Slot for NFC Tag and Glue It In.

Now that its partially rolled and you have giving a bit of time to dry. Trace around the NFC tag on the inside of the wooden ring close to the glued roll. Use the exacto to very carefully cut out this section of wood to allow the NFC tag to sit in. Take your time or you could ruin your ring at this point if you cut it in half or something.

Ones the slot is cut continue gluing the ring as before but stop after the slot is glued down. Now it is time to add the NFC tag in the slot you just cut. apply the flat side of the tag down.

Step 8: Finish the Gluing

After the NFC tag is in, finish the gluing as you were before making sure there are no gaps or holes in the final wraps. The end is the hardest to not glue your fingers to. Wait for it to dry.

Step 9: Check That It Works!

At this point you want to make sure you didn't damage the NFC tag installing it or else this would all be a waste of time. Make sure it can still be read by your reader(phone? arduino?)

Step 10: Time to Sand!

The fun part. Now that the ring is dry and set, sand down the sides of the ring to your desired width. You may want to mark where the NFC tag is in pencil on the outside so you know how close you can get to is while sanding. Sound the inside until it fits your finger. This is why there is more space on the inside than the outside. You want to be able to make it larger from the inside while not sanding into the NFC tag. The outside only has 1 layer covering the NFC tag so keep that in mind.

If you have a demel available, I like to add a bunch of tape to a sanding piece wide enough to jam the ring on. This allows me to sand the ring much faster using the rotation of the demel motor. Makes it really even too. You could use a drill or drill press also.

Step 11: Seal the Ring - Wax/Oil/Glue?

There are a number of ways you can protect the ring, but the one most people do is just wipe it down with the same CA glue you used to make it. If done correctly it will protect the ring from water and all those things you don't want getting on your wood.

Step 12: Finished!

You now have your very own custom NFC Ring! All for the cost of about $10? Maybe not even if you had glue and sandpaper laying around. Now only that but its way cooler than the ones you can get online because you made it yourself!

Merging wood and technology. Love it.



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    9 Discussions


    2 years ago

    What are some good ideas that you guys have come up with to use this other than using it to unlock a computer?

    1 reply

    Reply 2 years ago

    Unlock a phone, store your contact info/business website, unlock house/garage/car... Mostly unlocking things or storing a small amount of data.


    Reply 2 years ago

    Specifically in the video I used the SAMD21 sparkfun dev board. It has USB which can mimic a Keyboard to login. The Leonardo can do this also.

    I've also used the NFC reader on a UNO as well.


    Reply 2 years ago

    I got the NFC tags from Adafruit, there is a link in Step 2.