Sizing a wooden ring is the process of getting the finger opening to a certain diameter, which matches the ring size of the customer. A ring mandrel, dial caliper, and a selection of Forstner bits are all you need to create wooden rings that fit very well.
Ring Sizing Chart and Drill Equivalents
This chart is from my book, Wooden Rings: How To Make Wooden Rings By Hand, and it details the drill size equivalents for standard ring sizes. It can be difficult to find very specific drills like this. However, there is a way.
With a set of Forstner bits that are graduated in 1/8″ increments, all of these sizes can be made. The trick is to drill the ring slightly under size (the closest drill to the needed size) then sand to the final size. A dremel and a small sanding drum is perfect for this. Also, sandpaper wrapped around a dowel works well, though it is a little slower process.
If you have a mid size lathe, you can chuck a forstner bit or a paddle pit in the tail stock. This allows you to carve out the center opening to any size you like. I typically punch out the hole as close as possible, then send the bit through again, allowing it to ride along one side of the wood. This scrapes off a little wood as it passes through. Check the opening with a dial caliper, and keep shaving until the desired size is reached.
Sizing a wooden ring is easier than it sounds. Use Forstner bits, because they drill cleaner, walk less, and leave smooth holes behind.
Below is my video on sizing a wooden ring. This shows the tools and the techniques for getting a perfectly sized finger opening. Getting this right makes a big difference. If you create rings that fit well, customers will wear them more often. It does not matter how great a wooden ring looks. If it fits poorly, the customer will not wear it, or the recipient of the gift will not fully enjoy it.
Pick up a simple ring mandrel. This way you can accurately create the finger openings for all your rings. Nobody knows their ring size in 64ths, but they know the number typically. All you need to do is get the size, measure the mandrel with a dial caliper, then create a matching opening.
If you have any questions on Sizing a Wooden Ring, please leave a comment and I will be glad to answer them. Also, please share my work. It helps me reach more woodworkers and teach them about ring making. Happy building.
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