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Project Information

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."

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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.
 

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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.
 

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

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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.
 

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

either way, absolutely beautiful
 

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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?
 

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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!!!!
 

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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.

Scrappy
 

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Many thanks, guys! :)
 

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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?
 

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Very nice work.
 

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great job frank.
 

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@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:
http://lumberjocks.com/FrankLad/blog/8627

Thanks, Dez and a1Jim!!!
 

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Thank you very much!
 

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these are Beautiful , Frank'

i love that you're using a limb that was sent by the couple and has special meaning to them. i've done this with some of my pieces too,making a salad bowl or flute from a tree someone gave me etc…really great to think something ive made will become a family heirloom for them.
i was just asked to make a set of wedding rings,think i'll also ask them if they have a special wood at the house theyd like to use !

thanks for sharing, the bentwood style really seems the only way to go for a slim and strong wedding band.
 

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Hi Matthew!

Thanks for the comment! I completely agree about making rings from special wood.
Recently had a chance to make a ring from heart pine flooring for an older lady. The wood came from the home she grew up in, which was close to 100 years old. Makes the rings all the more special to the owners.

Be sure to post pictures of those wedding rings! :)
 

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Frank,

What type of glue do you use? And what kind of finish?

Steve.
 

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Hi Steve!

These are joined with CA glue. The finish is CA as well. (Thin viscosity for a bit of penetration and bring out the grain, then thicker viscosity. Usually 4 or 5 thin layers applied.)
 
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