Maple rings with walnut center.

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Project by scottb posted 06-05-2009 03:44 AM 2249 views 2 times favorited 15 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I don’t know why I made these today, I’d meant to get around to them sooner or later. I guess subconsciously I knew it was my parents anniversary, wonder if that’s why I made a “his and hers” set. Sure, I had glued up enough wood for two rings made from this “sandwich” of walnut between two slices of maple, as well as another pair from the reverse. Walnut “bread” and a maple filling. This just seems to be a classic wood combination that can’t go wrong. Not just a combination of wood, or color, but also in food…

What I’ve learned from this process, turning something as small as a pinky ring, one teeny tiny errant move with your chisel, and the ring is gonzo. You can make a nick in a bowl and either sand it out, or turn it down a bit smaller. In wood jewelry making at this scale, there isn’t room for a hair smaller. A tad nerve wracking, (yes I “lost” the other two rings I attempted) but fun to make, and see the reaction of people picking one up, trying it on.

The grain orientation of the walnut is perpendicular to the maple for strength. In fact, in the tutorial I was going by, the author tried to crack one of his rings in his hand like he was trying to crack a nut and couldn’t. So despite the diminutive size, and relative thinness of these rings, I’m confident they can handle the rigors of “normal” wear with ease.

The larger of the two is about a size 10 1/2 (21 mm inside diameter), the smaller is about 18mm inside. as for me, the big is a tad big for my middle finger, and the smaller fits my pinky, a hair too snug.

They are sanded super smooth, are lightweight and very comfortable to wear. They are finished with walnut oil of course. (the only food oil that will polymerize into a protective finish, and will not go rancid) With wear the rings should develop a nice patina, or the oil finish ran easily be renewed. [edit… these are finished with a couple applications of bowling alley wax, on the lathe.) the tutorial had the finish with pure carnuaba wax (the primary ingredient, plus solvents in the hard wearing floor wax), but after seeing Franks rings, I see that going back to oil is just fine – and easier to reapply should I sell one, and it leaves my care.)

Oh, my wife’s reaction, after looking at, and trying them on all her fingers for the best fit., just a simple, matter of fact. “I want one.”

This is the 4th project in my 30 projects in 30 days challenge

cross posted on Facebook: B C Woodworking
other projects, (will these be included?) for sale on Etsy: B C Woodworking

-- I am always doing what I cannot do yet, in order to learn how to do it. - Van Gogh -- --

15 comments so far

View Dan'um Style's profile

Dan'um Style

14181 posts in 4490 days

#1 posted 06-05-2009 04:16 AM

really cool and thoughtful project. fun to read too….

-- keeping myself entertained ... Humor and fun lubricate the brain

View FrankLad's profile


273 posts in 3816 days

#2 posted 06-05-2009 04:41 AM

These are nice, Scott!

Which Walnut oil did you use?

I’ve been experimenting with Mike Mahoney’s and really like it, as well as Land Ark. Big fan of natural penetrating oils on wooden rings, due to the feel. However, I find most custmers go for high gloss <sigh>.
I’ve started buffing Black Bison on all of my rings as an extra barrier, plus it lends a bit of shine to the ones finished in oil.

Thanks for sharing!

-- Frank, Mississippi, Original Bentwood Rings -

View RobH's profile


465 posts in 4556 days

#3 posted 06-05-2009 04:56 AM

Great looking rings. If I ever get done with my big stuff I am going to have to try these.

-- -- Rob Hix, King George, VA

View Grant Davis's profile

Grant Davis

810 posts in 4415 days

#4 posted 06-05-2009 05:18 AM

Very nice looking pair

-- Grant...."GO BUCKEYES"

View scottb's profile


3648 posts in 4834 days

#5 posted 06-05-2009 05:33 AM

Frank, I just use a can I picked up at Trader Joes. I’ll use it for bottle stoppers, and things that’ll come into contact with food, or things I don’t want to apply a film finish on. Should I try bathing these in Walnut oil as you do the Land Ark, or is that a different oil/process?
I don’t really know that much about finishing with oils.
There is a spoonmaker in NH that hand carves his wooden spoons, then cooks them in a restaurant style fryer. I”m sure at low temp. and swears by it with never a split. We have one of his spoons, super smooth to the touch, has held up over the years (granted we take extra special care of the artisan treenware)

-- I am always doing what I cannot do yet, in order to learn how to do it. - Van Gogh -- --

View Karson's profile


35201 posts in 4907 days

#6 posted 06-05-2009 05:40 AM

Very nice Scott.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia [email protected]

View mtnwild's profile


3474 posts in 4034 days

#7 posted 06-05-2009 06:06 AM

Good projects. Fun stuff. Everyone will enjoy. Thanks…..........

-- mtnwild (Jack), It's not what you see, it's how you see it.

View a1Jim's profile


117722 posts in 4084 days

#8 posted 06-05-2009 07:40 AM

cool rings

View Russel's profile


2199 posts in 4446 days

#9 posted 06-05-2009 11:43 AM

Very impressive. It’s the small stuff that often takes the greatest skill. Fine work, Scott.

-- Working at Woodworking

View darryl's profile


1795 posts in 4833 days

#10 posted 06-05-2009 01:16 PM

Those look really cool, I’m sure your parents will love them!

View Dick, & Barb Cain's profile

Dick, & Barb Cain

8693 posts in 4806 days

#11 posted 06-05-2009 02:05 PM

Very nice Scott, you’re getting really proficient with the lathe.

-- -** You are never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream ****************** Dick, & Barb Cain, Hibbing, MN.

View jockmike2's profile


10635 posts in 4753 days

#12 posted 06-05-2009 05:32 PM

Very cool looking rings Scott. Nice lathe work.

-- (You just have to please the man in the Mirror) Mike from Michigan -

View FrankLad's profile


273 posts in 3816 days

#13 posted 06-07-2009 12:31 AM

Scott: I use the Walnut oil the same as I do with the Land Ark: I let the items soak in a small cup of it for a while. Usually a couple hours or so.

Again, great job on those!

-- Frank, Mississippi, Original Bentwood Rings -

View FrankLad's profile


273 posts in 3816 days

#14 posted 06-07-2009 12:32 AM

...and that is interesting about the spoons! I’ve never heard of that method.

-- Frank, Mississippi, Original Bentwood Rings -

View scottb's profile


3648 posts in 4834 days

#15 posted 06-07-2009 05:10 AM

yeah, I saw it on PBS. I’ve actually met the guy at the Sunapee craft fair. About the time he did an interview for one of their Craft in America series – or some such. and I was surprised to see my wife and I in the show – just browsing along at the tail end.)
I’m hoping to catch it again, so I can take notes on the process. I think he learned it from someone doing it before he started making spoons, which has been a few decades now if I’m not mistaken.

-- I am always doing what I cannot do yet, in order to learn how to do it. - Van Gogh -- --

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