This it the 5 Best Tips for Drilling Wooden Rings. In this post, you’ll learn how to drill the finger opening in your wooden ring safely, accurately, and easily.
If You Like My Posts, You'll Love My Books
Drilling Wooden Rings
One of the most important parts about making a wooden ring is drilling the finger opening, which is how the end-user will wear the ring.
This seems like a pretty straightforward process, and in many ways it is. However, there are a few things to pay attention to in order to get it right.
For example, not only do you have to drill the hole really well, you also have to create the opening at the perfect size, and also have it be nice and smooth on the inside.
It’s a lot to do for a simple hole, and I’ll show you everything you need to know.
See Also: Essential Wooden Ring Making Tools List
Get the Size Perfect
One of the most important things you can do with your wooden rings is get the size of the finger opening perfect. This is how you make a comfortable ring that doesn’t fit too snuggly, but also doesn’t wiggle off your finger.
The most beautiful rings in the world will never be worn if the fit is awful. For that reason, you definitely want to make sure that if you are giving away a size 10 ring that it actually fits and wears like any other size 10 ring.
The best way to do this is just to look at a ring sizing chart, and then find a comparable drill bit for making the hole. There are fractional drill bits that you can find on the specialty market, but you can also drill to the nearest size that you have and then expand the hole with sandpaper.
It’s definitely a lot easier to drill to the correct size on the first round, so I recommend starting with the drill sizes that you use the most, and then adding more to your kit over time.
See Also: Sizing A Wooden Ring
Pick the Right Drill
Once you know the size, you then need to pick out the best drill bit. Without a doubt, one of the best bits that you can buy for drilling wooden rings is called a Forster bit. These are shafted bits with a puck shaped head, and they drill nice, smooth holes.
You can find these in different fractional sizes down to a 16th of an inch, and in some cases down to a 32nd of an inch. This is plenty fine enough for any ring maker, and they will make the drilling process very easy.
Again, I recommend that you start with a small set of drills in the most common sizes that you plan on making. If this is a personal project, then start out with a drill that fits your ring size, and you can add more later on as you need to make other sizes.
When given the opportunity, invest in a set. Typically, two or three Forstner bits cost about the same individually as a set of 8 to 10. You’ll end up using those extra bits for other purposes, so definitely don’t shy away from buying them.
See Also: The Ultimate Guide to Using Forstner Bits
Clamp Your Ring Making Blank
A big safety tip for drilling wooden rings is to clamp your plank down rather than hold it by hand as you drill. No matter how strong you are, you are not stronger than your drill press if it catches the blank and picks it up.
Not only can you hurt yourself, you will most likely destroy the blank in the process, and you may end up out of the shop for several weeks while you heal. It’s just not worth it, especially over a couple clamps.
When you make your blanks, it’s important to make them big enough so that way you have room to clamp the blank while you drill. Just making a blank large enough for two rings is the perfect solution.
Not only do you get two rings from your blank, but you can clamp on one side of the blank while you drill on the other, this makes the process hands-free, and you don’t have to worry about your fingers being too close to the action.
If You Like My Posts, You'll Love My Books
See Also: 6 Classic Wooden Ring Designs
Use a Scrap Below the Ring Blank
In order to have a nice looking wooden ring, you can’t have splinters and chunks missing from either one of the sides around the ring. On most drills, when you exit the bottom of the material, will tend to push away pieces of wood.
To prevent this, all you need to do is put a scrap beneath your wooden ring blank, and clamp both of them tightly together against the drill press table. If you don’t have a drill press, you can clamp them down to your workbench and drill by hand.
As the drill exits the first piece and enters the second, the transition will be barely noticeable by the bit, and the fibers will be held in place, which means there will be a lot less breaking in splintering as you exit the ring blank.
See Also: 11 Easy Tips on How to Texture Your Wooden Rings
Let the Drill do the Work
Finally, let the drill do the work. There’s no reason to pull on your drill press like you’re trying to climb a mountain, or lean over your hand drill with your entire weight. The bit is sharp enough and good enough all by itself, it doesn’t need your help.
When you drive a bit too hard through a piece of material, you encourage it to slow down and catch the fibers instead of cut them. This causes breakage, and in general will make your hole rough to the touch.
Instead, operate the drill at a higher speed, and advance the bit only as fast as it will allow, while still clearing material. This will create a very smooth opening, and you won’t have to worry about as many problems as when you force the bit through the piece.
See Also: 5 Important Measuring Tools You Need as a Woodworker
Your Action Assignment
Now that you know all about drilling wooden rings, it’s time to get out into your shop and take action on what you’ve learned. If you have been thinking about making a wooden ring, you are now one step closer to making that a reality.
Wooden rings are a fantastic woodworking project, and even if you are a complete beginner, you can make an excellent looking ring on your very first try. All you need to do is be safe, be patient, and make the best ring that you possibly can.
Be extra careful when you’re drilling, and use the tips that you just learned to make a smooth hole with clean edges. This will make the sanding and shaping process a lot easier later on, and you will have a better looking ring in the end.
If you have any questions about drilling a wooden ring, please post a question and I’ll be happy to answer it. Happy building.
- More than 20 Years Woodworking Experience
- 7 Woodworking Books Available on Amazon
- Over 1 Million Words Published About Woodworking
- Bachelor of Arts Degree from Arizona State University
I receive Commissions for Purchases Made Through the Links in This Post. Join My Woodworking Facebook Group