Wood Bangles on the Lathe




About: I've built houses, decks, custom cabinets, furniture of all types. Ive done furniture repair and restoration, residential and commercial remodels, restaurant seating and tables and hotel furniture. Ive been ...

In this instructable I will show you how I make wood bangles on the lathe.
These little bracelets make beautiful gifts for friends and co-workers.


Step 1: Grab Some Wood

Go to your scrap bin and look for some good material. The size you need depends on how large of a bangle you are making. A.4-6" diameter disc or square should work. The thickness depends also upon your chuck jaw depth and the size you want. In this one I am using a chunk of Mulberry I harvested last fall the thinnest part was about 1" thick. I also made one with an unused sgmented ring I had glued up already. so you can make your own out of smaller scraps too. Go crazy!
I found one side that was somewhat flat, then marked a square and cross-cut the wood to get a square(ish) block of wood. then marked a rough center and drilled a hole large enough for a worm screw for your lathe chuck. then cut the corners off to make it a little easier and safer when you start roughing it to shape.

Step 2: Flatten and Rough Turn the Block of Wood

This is the easy part, simply rough turn it round and flat.

Step 3: Part Out the Inside

Now I need to rough cut the inside diameter. I did this with a freshly sharpened parting tool. Mark the radius on the block and make a circle to mark the inside diameter then using the parting tool, go about 3/4 of the depth of your block, remember to make relief cuts.
Once you are at the depth unscrew the block from the work screw and remove the screw from the lathe and flip it around.and insert the jaws into the new groove and tighten the piece in the chuck. Now mark the radius and circle and using the parting tool finish the cut to remove the inside of the bangle. Remember, The sharper the tool, the less sanding is needed.
But we still need to sand!
Sand the inside of the bangle but be careful of the chuck jaws. I just sanded the inside up to 220 grit.

Step 4: Finish Smooth the Outside

Now I finish smoothed the outside of my bangle and began the parting of the bracelet from the block.
I re-sharpened my parting tool then marked the width of the bangle on the outside (keep in mind the depth of the chuck jaws, you do not want to hit these.

Step 5: Finish the Bangle

Once the bracelet is parted off sand it by hand the rest of the way. I sanded from 150 thru 320 then buffed it with all three buffing stages. followed by wax.

These go great with the wood rings.
Thanks for looking.



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    18 Discussions


    5 years ago on Introduction

    are you stabilizing the wood prior to turning I think this would make it stronger on the lathe as well as down the road during use. Good work there.

    6 replies

    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    No, I haven't. That's not a bad idea. What would you suggest using?
    Sealer or tung oil dip?


    Reply 3 years ago

    I have a stabilizing setup that uses a vacuum pump to draw liquid resin into the wood. You've probably seen these before, and they can be made relatively inexpensively. The resin I use is Cactus Juice. You can add a pigment to it, and it will stain the wood throughout. Once the wood is soaked in resin, you pop it in the oven for 45 mins or so, which cures it to a rock-hard plastic. You can turn wood so punky that it is almost powder this way. The resulting product is waterproof, and polishes up beautifully!


    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    yeah, I have used sealer in places where I cant stop tearout. it works well to harden the spots and finish cut


    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    Minwax wood hardener under 75lbs pressure to push it into the pores. Or under vacuum to replace the air, then under pressure. I use both. It makes the wood very hard and easier to work as well as tougher to break.


    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    That sounds like a lot of added work for the bangles. I think the rings would bennifit more from this.


    4 years ago on Introduction

    Really punky wood can be stabilized with Cyanoacrylate, AKA superglue. Just get the thin stuff and soak it in. Once hardened it is harder than the original wood. Machines well too.

    1 reply

    Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks for the comment and yep, I do it often. I also mix it with sawdust, brass shavings or even glitter to fill a small crack here and there. The only problem using ca as a stabilizer is the cost... CA is pricey!