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Things Nobody Tells You About Ring Making
There are a lot of things that you learn about ring making once you actually get into the habit yourself. Until you start doing things in your own shop, you don’t really know what parts you’re missing out on.
In this post I’m going to show you some of the things that nobody really told me before I got started in ring making, and that I had to discover on my own. You may resonate with some of these already if you are currently making wooden rings yourself.
If you’re not making rings, and you are thinking about giving it a try, the answers to these questions can help you make the best decision possible. I hope you give ring making a try, because I really think you’ll enjoy it.
See Also: 35 Important Tips on How to Make a Ring
You Don’t Need a Lathe to Make Wooden Rings
The biggest misconception about making wooden rings is that you need to have a lathe. While it’s really nice to have a lathe, you absolutely don’t need one. It’s certainly a cool piece of equipment, but not a necessary one.
This misconception probably comes from the fact that so many tutorials and pictures of ring makers are using this specific tool. There’s a very good reason for it, and that’s because it’s probably the best tool you can buy when it comes to making wooden rings.
However, you don’t actually need it. Making a ring on the lathe is a lot faster of course, but you can absolutely make a fantastic wooden ring with just hand tools.
So, if you have been reluctant to try wooden ring making because you don’t have a lathe in your shop, you definitely don’t have to worry about that anymore.
See Also: How to Make Wooden Rings Without a Lathe
You Don’t Need a Lot of Tools for Wood Rings
Another thing that I learned along the way as I started making wooden rings is that you really don’t need to have a lot of tools either. In fact, with just a few basic tools, you can make lots of different wood rings.
In reality, just about the only power tool that you need to make a ring is an electric drill. You don’t even need to have a drill press or anything fancy like that. In a pinch, or even for beginners, a basic corded electric drill will do the trick.
After that, an inexpensive saw, some files, some sandpaper, and a layer of finish is all you need to finish out the job. When it comes down to it, that’s a very small selection of tools to make an extremely large selection of rings.
Of course you can add more tools down the line, and different tools that make certain processes easier, but that would be the same for any other woodworking project. In the beginning, you can make a ring with just a few common tools, and that’s fantastic.
See Also: Essential Wooden Ring Making Tools List
The Wood is Not Expensive for Ring Making
Something else that I found out on my own, and which was really awesome to discover is that the wood you need to make a wooden ring is actually not very expensive. Even at the most expensive pieces of wood in the world are not very costly when it comes to making rings.
The reason exotic pieces of wood are inexpensive for a ring makers is that you only need a tiny piece of wood to make a wooden ring. Even if the species that you’re looking at is very expensive, a tiny sliver of the wood won’t be.
Compared to many other projects, you’re basically using a scrap. There’s a good tip right there too, because if you visit the scrap bin in your local hardwood store, you’re likely to find wood that’s normally pretty expensive but that’s perfect size for making wooden rings.
That’s actually one of my favorite techniques when it comes to buying wood. Most of the cut off‘s that are in the scrap bin are too small for nearly anything else, but you can actually get sometimes 10 or 15 ring blanks from them.
If that’s not part of your strategy right now, you should check out the scrap bin next time you go to your local hardwood store. Sometimes you can get nice pieces for as little as $.10.
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Wooden Rings are Actually Pretty Durable
Something else that nobody really told me and I had to discover on my own is that wooden rings are actually pretty durable. You would think that a piece of wood by itself is not very strong, but it actually is.
Obviously when you compare wood to metal, a piece of wood is never going to be a strong as a similarly sized piece of metal. However, there are several different things you can do to make your wooden ring stronger.
Once you know these basic steps, you’ll be making rings that are very good at surviving every day use, and even light abuse. You won’t be able to hammer it of course, but you wouldn’t treat a metal ring like that, so you shouldn’t have that expectation about a wooden ring either.
See Also: How to Make Your Wooden Rings Stronger
Buffing is the Easiest Wood Ring Finish Ever
Finally, and saving the best for last, nobody told me that I could buff a finish on my wooden rings and have them look absolutely extraordinary in a matter of seconds. It’s literally the smoothest surface you’ll ever create, and it only takes seconds to produce.
Buffing is a process where abrasive compounds are applied to a spinning cloth wheel, and then your wooden ring is touched to the spinning wheel. It almost acts like sandpaper at that point, polishing the surface.
Just a few seconds under each grit can produce a look that is so shiny it looks like it has a film finish on the surface. However, there is actually no finish at all, it’s just the way that the wood naturally shines.
If you decide to get into ring making for the long-haul, and you plan on making them to sell or in large quantities, getting a buffing system into your shop should be a top priority. You’ll be able to finish each ring in under a minute, and you’ll also be able to handle them immediately afterwards.
This is basically the easy button when it comes to finishing, and once you start buffing your rings, you’ll start buffing nearly all of your other small woodworking projects too.
See Also: How to Buff Wood to a High Sheen
Your Action Assignment
Now that you’ve learned these five aspects of ring making that nobody really talks about, it’s time to get out into the shop and take action.
If you’ve been thinking about making a wooden ring for a while, hopefully these questions have helped push you in the right direction. I really hope you decide to give it a try, because it’s a lot easier than you think, and you don’t need a lot of tools.
If you have any questions about the five things that nobody told me about making wooden rings before I started, please post a question and I’ll be glad to answer them. Happy building.
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