Finding great inlay materials for ring making is as easy as looking online. There are many places that sell rough gem stones, and even finished gem stones. These make great inlay materials, because they are inexpensive, and can be ground down and used to create beautiful looks in wooden rings. They are also useful for other woodworking that requires inlay.
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Inlaying Wooden Rings with Stones
Look on Amazon for gem stones. These come rough, or polished, and in every color under the sun. The picture to the left shows a pile of Opal chips. Opal makes a great looking inlay. The fluorescent property of the opal means that shades of color appear as the white stones are rotated. An Opal inlay looks great, especially when examined closely.
Other stones that inlay well are Amethyst, Agate, and Turquoise. These are all available online, but the secret is to find them at a low price.
To find the lowest price on gem stones to make into inlay materials, don’t buy big stones. Look for smaller stones, and chips. These are borderline useless to people that craft with gem stones, but they are a huge value for inlay materials. It does not matter that size the stone is for inlays, because it will be ground up anyway. Stone inlay involves crushing the material into a mixture. The mix contains powder, fine particles, and larger particles. This matrix is mixed with epoxy, and poured into the cavity.
Remember, inlay materials for woodworkers are going to be crushed before they are used. Buying a gigantic gem stone and buying small chips will have the same effect on the inlay, but the big stone will cost ten times more.
If you are interested in a pre-made mixture rather than crushing your own stone, my article on Inlace for Inlays shows an easier method. However, crushing stones to create a custom mix is not difficult. It also allows you to use any color combination you desire.
Buying necklaces made from chips is another way to get great inlay materials without spending a fortune. These necklaces and bracelets are made from the pieces that fall to the floor when cutting larger stones. They have a low value to the cutters, but a high value to those looking for inlay materials. Search around online, and you will see a huge price range on gem stones. Finding the deals on the smaller pieces means more inlay materials to use, and lower costs.
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My book, Wooden Rings: How To Make Wooden Rings By Hand explains how to make wooden rings, and also covers inlays. I give step by step examples of over 50 rings, and show you the process for making them. There are other inlay types covered as well that look great, and are very inexpensive.
If you are making wooden rings on a lathe, my article on How to Make a Carbide Lathe Tool shows you how to make this tool for a fraction of the price of the store bought version. A carbide lathe tool is great to have when turning rings on the lathe, and it cuts through wood like a light saber.
Once you make your rings, they need to be finished. My 10 Step Guide to Wood Finishing makes an expert finisher out of anyone. These instructions make it easy for anyone to create a beautiful hand applied finish. No fancy equipment required.
If you have any questions on making Inlay Materials for Ring Making, please leave a comment and I will answer them. Happy building.
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