Mountain Ash Wood Wedding Rings

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Project by FrankLad posted 01-10-2010 10:20 PM 15752 views 4 times favorited 26 comments Add to Favorites Watch

These wooden wedding rings were made from a Mountain Ash tree limb, which was sent to us by a very nice Montana couple.

Contrast was achieved by using the Ash heartwood for the base and the lighter sapwood for the lining and inlay.

We received the following from the customer:

”It’s a mountain ash tree that has been in his yard his entire life and is incredibly large and healthy—it has always been a significant tree to us and the family. It’s so meaningful for us to have a connection to the actual place that we love the most through the rings that represent our love for one another. The rings will mean a lot to us, always, not only because of the significance of the wood itself, but also because of the care given in making them.”

-- Frank, Mississippi, Original Bentwood Rings -

26 comments so far

View TheViking's profile


4 posts in 4121 days

#1 posted 01-10-2010 11:36 PM

WOW! These rings are incredible. Now you’ve got my head spinning as to how something so beautiful and delicate can be made. I far cry from the large things I am used to building. Any insight into the process would be much appreciated. Great work, thank you for posting.

-- The Viking

View huff's profile


2828 posts in 4336 days

#2 posted 01-10-2010 11:45 PM

Frank, I’ve seen a number of rings done in wood before, but nothing that looks a elegant as yours. They are so stunning. Beautifully done! Thanks for sharing.

-- John @

View mesquite's profile


81 posts in 4219 days

#3 posted 01-11-2010 12:09 AM

they look very stunning , can you do some out of mesquite?

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 4126 days

#4 posted 01-11-2010 12:32 AM

These are beautiful!!

Actually, I have never seen a wooden ring before. I’ve made quite a few bangle bracelets but a ring is a whole new level of petite & delicate. I’m very curious about how you make these and I would appreciate any insight you can offer.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View cliffton's profile


117 posts in 4132 days

#5 posted 01-11-2010 01:36 AM

from the design it looks like cut exterior and a bent interior that are then glued together?

either way, absolutely beautiful

View Jim's profile


254 posts in 4696 days

#6 posted 01-11-2010 01:37 AM

They are gorgeous! I’ve done rings before on the lathe, you’ve encouraged me to try some new ideas. I would love to know about the technique you used?

-- Jim in Langley BC Canada ---

View FrankLad's profile


273 posts in 4361 days

#7 posted 01-11-2010 03:23 AM

Thanks a LOT, guys! Always nice to get feedback from you fellas. LJ’s are super encouraging! :)

Lining, inlay, and base are all bent. The lining is bent first and the base is bent around it.

With regards to the process…
The strips have to be cut very thin, and then taken down further with sandpaper (or at least that’s how I do it.) Always less than 1mm (something like .6, according to my digital calipers). The wood is either steamed (if a tough species) or soaked in water to become pliable.

I used to do the inlays by carefully cutting the strips (base + inlay + base) and laying them out on some masking tape, to keep the strips together, then bending the whole thing around, making sure things line up as I go, and removing the tape along the way. Currently I do the inlay by rotating the ring and cutting the groove while turning, keeping the knife fixed… then moving it on separate passes to make the channel accomodate the inlay strip going into it. Fairly slow process as I don’t use a lathe and prefer to make them by hand.

@mesquite: I’ve actually tried mesquite before. Even with soaking and steaming, I can’t get it to bend in a small diameter without breaking. A couple others I can’t bend: Padauk and Bloodwood

I’ve heard about the softeners (GF20 or similar) but I’d rather not mess with all that. ;)

Thanks again, guys!!!!

-- Frank, Mississippi, Original Bentwood Rings -

View Loucarb's profile


2388 posts in 4496 days

#8 posted 01-11-2010 04:51 AM

Ditto on the gorgeous. Well done.

View scrappy's profile


3507 posts in 4482 days

#9 posted 01-11-2010 08:41 AM

Frank, Your rings are allways the best i’ve seen. Your work and attention to detail is outstanding. The story that goes with these is an extra bonus.

Keep up the wonderfull work.


-- Scrap Wood's the best...the projects are smaller, and so is the mess!

View FrankLad's profile


273 posts in 4361 days

#10 posted 01-11-2010 11:06 PM

Many thanks, guys! :)

-- Frank, Mississippi, Original Bentwood Rings -

View bigstanley's profile


20 posts in 4123 days

#11 posted 01-15-2010 06:24 AM

Wow! I did mine by hand and used a piece of oak,then cherry and finally just a hunk of 2X4. lol! I made about 10 rings and 8 of them broke before,during or after staining,is there a trick to strengthen a ring?

-- Growing the scrap pile daily!

View Dez's profile


1172 posts in 5129 days

#12 posted 01-15-2010 07:44 AM

Very nice work.

-- Folly ever comes cloaked in opportunity!

View a1Jim's profile


118161 posts in 4628 days

#13 posted 01-15-2010 07:45 AM

View FrankLad's profile


273 posts in 4361 days

#14 posted 01-16-2010 03:38 AM

@bigstanley: The method I use involves orienting the grain around the ring’s circumference, which is about the strongest way I think a wooden ring can be made. However, cross-grain-laminated rings are more than suitable for regular wear and should hold up to finishing. Have a look here:

Thanks, Dez and a1Jim!!!

-- Frank, Mississippi, Original Bentwood Rings -

View WistysWoodWorkingWonders's profile


12825 posts in 4208 days

#15 posted 02-08-2010 10:47 PM

absolutely incredible…

-- New Project = New Tool... it's just the way it is, don't fight it... :)

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