This is 5 Great Practice Projects for New Wooden Ring Makers. In this post, you’ll learn about five helpful projects that can make you a better ring maker. Enjoy.
Practice Projects for Ring Makers
Making wooden rings by itself is not necessarily a difficult woodworking project, but like all projects, there are opportunities to practice. If you take these opportunities, you can develop some of the skills you’ll need before you need them.
On the surface it might not seem like very much is going on with a wooden ring. However, there are several different things you need to know in order to be successful at making them. It’s also nice to have a little practice too, because that will make it easier.
The following are five opportunities to practice the different skills that you’ll need in order to make outstanding looking wooden rings. If you set up a practice session for each one of these, you’ll be much stronger when it comes time to make a ring.
See Also: 35 Important Tips on How to Make a Ring
Practice Laminating Wood
The overwhelming majority of wooden ring designs are made from laminated wood. This is where you glue to gather several different colors of wood in thinner sheets, making a final blank that’s turned into a ring.
The beauty and the design come from the wood choice. It also comes from creating a joint between the pieces that is seamless. If you can laminate wood really well, you can make gorgeous looking rings from multiple wood species.
If you haven’t glued a lot of pieces of wood together before, this is a good opportunity to practice. Start with some smaller pieces and practice gluing together ring making blanks that have a nice look to them.
Glue together several small pieces of wood, just as if you were to make a ring. Then, after the glue dries, sand away the edges to reveal your blank. If you did the job well, there should be no gaps at all. If there are, continue to practice.
See Also: Laminated Wood Ring
Practice Drilling Perfect Holes
Another aspect of ring making that seems like an afterthought, but is really one of the most important parts is drilling the hole. After all, this one drill opening can be the cause of quite a few problems.
The first thing you want to practice is drilling a hole that’s perfectly perpendicular through your material. If you have a drill press, this is simply a matter of aligning your table top before you drill.
However, if you are drilling by hand, it’s a bit more difficult. This is where practicing with your hand drill until you can create a nice, perpendicular opening is worth your time. I recommend doing this on an inexpensive piece of scrap wood to save money.
Another thing that you want to do is make sure your holes are clean. If you use a Forstner bit, you can eliminate the problems that basic drills leave behind. Those include really rough scratches and torn out sections of wood.
The cleaner the hole, the less sanding you’ll have to do in order to make it comfortable.
See Also: Essential Wooden Ring Making Tools List
Practice Perfect Sanding with no Scratches
Speaking of sanding, it really doesn’t take that much more effort to get your ring from mostly good to really good. It’s usually about an extra 10% of your time. For such a low price, it’s amazing that so many woodworkers quit so close to the end.
Something you should practice is sanding a piece of wood until there are absolutely no visible scratches left on the surface. This is patience disguised as something else. If you can sand a piece of wood for no other reason than practicing, it will help you develop patience.
There’s absolutely no reason to send a ring out into the world with scratches and dings. You can easily remove these with sandpaper, all you need to do is make the choice to do the right thing, and have a little patience.
Practice with a ring that you make for no other purpose than practicing. Don’t stop until it’s flawless, and it will show you that there is light at the end of the tunnel.
See Also: 9 Great Ways to Make Better Wooden Rings
Practice the Fit With a Real Person
Fitting wooden rings is a little bit tricky, because it’s not quite as easy as fitting a metal ring. Most metal rings are very thin, so that makes the fitting process fairly universal. Wooden rings are not like that, so we can be a little bit more elaborate.
One of the easiest ways to do this is just find a couple friends and offer them a free ring in exchange for being fitted. This gives you an opportunity to actually measure their finger and learn some of the differences that sizing for an actual person can bring up.
It’s much different to make a ring for a specific person’s finger than it is just to make a bunch of rings in a few different diameters and have them choose. When you do a custom production, it has to fit one finger perfectly.
Offer to practice on some people, and your efforts will be rewarded with a lot of first-hand education on how to properly fit a ring. They will give you plenty of feedback, and you can use that knowledge as you build in the future.
Practice Buffing Wood
Finally, you should practice buffing before you actually have to do it on a real ring. Wooden rings are a perfect candidate to be buffed, and it’s one of the easiest finishes you will ever reply to a piece of work. That’s because you’re not actually applying anything.
Buffing is simply a process of sanding wood with very fine sanding grit, and bringing out a shine that makes it look like it has been finished with a traditional product. It’s a simple as applying compounds to a spinning wheel, and then buffing the ring.
If you plan on making a lot of rings, then you should definitely invest in a buffing setup. They are not super expensive, especially if you already have a lathe. Even so, a small electric motor is not super expensive if you have to go that route either.
Practice with the different compounds, and learn what they do. Open grain versus close grain wood shows differently under a buffing, so you need to learn about that from experience too. The more hands-on education you have, the better off you are when it comes time to finish your rings.
See Also: How to Buff Wood to a High Sheen
People Also Ask
What is the best way to get better at wooden ring making? The best way to get better at making wooden rings is to make more wooden rings. The more time you spend in the shop, and the more practice you have, the better you will become. The breakthrough happen while you are doing the work, so if you want to see yourself get better at making rings, make more rings.
Is it easy to make wooden rings? Wooden rings are very easy to make. If you can drill a hole, you have already mastered the hardest part of the process. If you are thinking about trying out wooden ring making, either take the shortcut and buy my book at the bottom of this post, or start reading my wooden ring making tips and tutorials right here on the site.
Is wooden ring making fun? Yes, wooden ring making is a lot of fun. The most fun part about making rings for me, especially coming from acoustic guitar making where every project takes weeks or months, is that you can complete a wooden ring in a day. If you are looking for a fun project that you can fly through quickly, and get that nice feeling of accomplishment, wooden ring making is a great place to start.
Do I need a lot of tools to make wooden rings? No, wooden rings can be made with very basic and inexpensive tools. The only real power tool that you would need is a drill, and you can get a cheap corded drill from a discount tool store for about the same as an average lunch at a restaurant. After that it’s a small saw, some files, some sandpaper, and a whole lot of patience.
Your Action Assignment
Now that you know these five practice activities you can do to make yourself a better wooden ring maker, it’s time to get out into the shop and take action. Wooden rings are a lot of fun to make, and with a little practice, you can do really well.
Start with whichever skill you’re lacking the most, and be safe while you practice the skill and develop your talent. Then, go to the next skill that you need help with and continue practicing until you have all the skills you need to make great-looking rings.
If you have any questions on these five practice ideas for ring makers, contact me and I’ll be happy to answer them. 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
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