How do you make a wooden ring

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Forum topic by CanadaJeff posted 05-08-2009 12:44 AM 8851 views 2 times favorited 2 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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207 posts in 3874 days

05-08-2009 12:44 AM

Okay, so I’m super impressed and at the same time curious on the wooden rings that have been showing up on the LJ projects.

I have never tried this, but am very interested it giving it a shot. So can someone let me know how a wooden ring is made. Do you need a lathe? I don’t have one, but do have carving tools, sand paper and time on my hands!


2 replies so far

View Waldschrat's profile


505 posts in 3700 days

#1 posted 07-28-2009 10:20 AM


Its easy enough, but the only method where I have made a ring with is with the lathe, I am sure you could carve one, but I think it would take forever and probably put your fingers at risk trying to carve a small fragile object with sharp instruments.

I can imagine it can be done like you said by hand, but I have only attempted and used a lathe for this kind of work. so even though you do not have a lathe, I can still describe it to you, in case you buy one have a shot at one.

The process goes as follows (with the lathe)... first you need to plane out the material to the thickness you want it, this will appoximately the width of the ring. this is completly a taste question on how wide you want it to look, or how slender, but it can not be too thin because the thiner you make it the easier it can break when turning it.

Then you need to drill out the hole where the finger will go, this is a trial and error if you do not know your finger size, but you can measure circa what you need with an outside caliper. Use a forstner bit that is really sharp and problem solved… I usually drill more holes than necessary, because usually with thinner rings or just turning rings in general one breaks. You then cut out the rough shape around the hole with a band saw.

You need to have turned on the lathe before hand a counter “tennon” or “finger” “shaft” that you can press the ring on to, which is slightly thinner at on end than the other, you pretty much “jam” the ring on so you can turn it. This “tennon” piece, itself is jammed normally in a self centering metal holder, which is screwed on the machine/lathe.

The rest is simply turned down with normal turning tools and sand paper (for the last fine finish)

-- Nicholas, Cabinet/Furniture Maker, Blue Hill, Maine

View Durnik150's profile


647 posts in 3586 days

#2 posted 07-28-2009 10:34 AM


Maxx, another LJ, has made a couple rings without the use of a lathe. It was a little time consuming but not terribly so. I’ll point out this post to him and have him reply but I think these are the basics.

Laminate a sandwich of thin woods, almost veneer thickness. This is assuming you want layers as part of your design. The sandwich was only about 1 1/2” square and about 3/8” thick. He then used a forstner bit to cut the ring hole, approximating the size he needed. He then basically had a small, flat square of material with a hole in it. Using his band saw he then cut down the outside of the ring to a little over-thick. Essentially just taking off the corners to end up with a ring shape. After that he mounted the “ring” on his drill press and took the sandpaper to it until it was the correct thickness.

This was a simple attempt to experiment with the shapes and processes but the rings he has made have been pretty darned good. I’m sure there are more refined and comprehensive methods out there but this simple method worked for at least a simple round ring.

Good luck!

-- Behind the Bark is a lot of Heartwood----Charles, Centennial, CO

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