This is 10 Helpful Tips on How to be a More Productive Ring Maker. Making wooden rings is a fun woodworking project, and great for any beginner. If you want to be more productive, and get more from your shop, this post will help.
Making Wooden Rings
Wooden rings are a lot of fun to make. There are also a lot of people making them. If you have the need to make more rings, and be more productive, then you can make a few small changes and it will be easy.
We are all very busy people. Woodworking as a hobby means that you only get to spend time in the shop when everything else is done. This means you might not have very much shop time at all.
You might also run into the problem of not having consistent shop time. Taking long breaks causes you to fall behind, and this means if you want to make more rings, you need to have ways that you can be the most productive in your shop.
Here are 10 ways, and they are all helpful. Some of them will resonate more with you than others, and those are a great place to start.
See Also: 35 Important Tips on How to Make a Ring
Make More Ring Blanks
One of the best ways to be more productive is to make more blanks. On gluing day, you are planting seeds. The more seeds you plant, the more plants you get. It’s really simple. A quick way to be more productive is to plant more seeds.
When you are making your ring blanks, and you already have out all of the clamps, glue, and wood, just make more of them. This starts with milling more wood for your lamination, and gluing up more pieces into stacks.
If you dedicate one shop sessions to doing nothing but making blanks, you will be surprised at how many you can create. The next time you are in the shop, you will have a lot more raw materials for making rings, and that will make you more productive.
See Also: How to Make a Laminated Wood Ring
Make Bigger Ring Blanks
Another way to produce more is to not just to plant more seeds, but plant bigger seeds. When you make bigger ring blanks, you get more rings from them. This gives you even more materials to work with, and reduces your down time.
On gluing day, make bigger blanks. The beauty of a bigger blank is that you don’t have to cut the wood as much, and you won’t spend that much more. If you already have the wood, just glue up the big blanks without cutting them down.
Planting bigger seeds in the beginning means harvesting bigger plants in the end. That big blank might produce two times the number of rings. Since you spent about the same time gluing it up as a normal blank, that second half is very efficient on time and effort.
See Also: The Best Glue for Making Wooden Rings
Have Your Wood Ready
Have all of your wood ready to work with in the beginning. This means do all of your milling in one session. When you get your wood home, mill it into ring making thicknesses, and glue day will be a snap.
This is a step back from gluing the blanks, and it’s how you make glue day even more productive, so ring making day can be even more productive. Mill your wood, and you will always have a full pile that you can take from.
When you are making your blanks, all you need to do is pull from the stack. Keep it all organized by size and species. This way, when you need to make a certain look, all you need to do is pull the pieces and glue them.
Draw Out a Drilling Pattern
Planning out your drilling pattern is another great way to be a more productive ring maker. Most of us just drill near the end of the board, and try to keep the waste down. In reality, you can get so much more from a blank by planing out your finger holes.
Unless you are making rings for football players, the average finger size is all about the same. If you plan out the blanks at an inch, that’s about the biggest finger opening that you would ever get under normal circumstances.
Also, plan for about 1/4 inch of waste material around the hole. This is enough that you can shape the ring, but not so much that you are being wasteful. If you make your rings on the lathe, you might get away with even less material around the finger opening.
Make Jigs to Speed up the Process
Another thing that you can do to be more productive making wooden rings is to make as many jigs and tools as you need. The way to find out if you need more is to just keep on making more until you have a very efficient process.
There are tools and jigs that make ring making easier. Any time you can do that, you will make the process better, and you will be more productive. Jigs are just helpful things that make processes more uniform and easier.
For example, you might design a jig that makes it easier to sand your rings round on the belt sander. You could also come up with a set of dowels wrapped in sandpaper that make it easier to sand inside the ring.
All of these tools and jigs are helpful, and they will make make the process easier. In the end, since you get more done with the right tools and jigs, you are going to be more productive.
Drill with a Backer
There are positive productivity tricks, and then there are tricks that reduce the negative. When you make your rings, decreasing the loss is as important as increasing the gain. Using this method, you can make less mistakes, and lose less ring blanks.
Make sure that when you drill, you do so with a backer board under the blank. Clamp the pieces together securely, and drill carefully. The drilling process might be a pinch slower, but you will blow out less ring blanks.
When you lose a ring blank to haste, or damage, this causes a loss of time too. After all, you had to build the blank, and you made it large for a reason. If you lose half of the rings to making mistakes, then you are not being productive.
Make sure that when you are drilling your rings, you are careful. Also, when you saw them from the bigger blank, be careful too. The more you can control loss, the more productive you will be as a ring maker.
Use a Lathe to Turn Your Rings
By far, the productivity king in the world of ring making is the lathe. There is no other tool that makes wooden rings faster, or as uniform. When you are making and selling rings, the faster and the better you can make them, the more money you can make.
If you are super serious about making wooden rings, and you want to take your productivity off the charts, then a lathe is for you. The good news is that you don’t even need a really big lathe, a small to medium will do.
The mid sized lathe is one of the most popular lathe sizes, and it’s more than enough to do any wooden ring you can dream up. Look online for tooling and chucks that make the process easier, and you will be amazed at the amount of rings that you can make in such a short time.
See Also: How to Make a Carbide Lathe Tool
Finish With a Buffing Wheel
Making the ring is only one side of the equation. The other is finishing. For a long time, the only options were slow drying, hand applied finishes. While these are great, you can finish your rings much faster on a buffing wheel.
The easiest way to get into buffing with a good system is the Beall Buffing System. You can buy the tool for use with a small electric motor, or you can buy one that goes on a lathe. Either way you go, the buffing method is the fastest and most productive way to finish multiple rings.
On top of the ease in buffing, the rings are ready to handle right off the wheel. There is no waiting for the finish to dry, and no wondering if the final look will be right. Literally everything happens right in front of you on the buffing wheel.
Another awesome thing about buffing is that you can turn out these finished rings in as little as thirty seconds. Since the buffing wheel polishes the wood surface, you only need to rotate the ring through the buff. Once it’s through, the surface is set, and you are done.
See Also: How to Buff Wood to a High Sheen
Make Shop Time a Priority
There is a saying among productivity experts that has to do with scheduling things. The essence of the statement is that if you don’t schedule it, it will not get done. In a busy world, sometimes scheduling things is the best way to ensure they are completed.
Making wooden rings is no different. If you really want to get them done, then schedule time for them, and stick to the schedule. Most people just pop into the shop whenever, and if you can produce like that, great. If you can’t, then scheduling can help.
Start with scheduling the time that you normally go into the shop. Make it a part of the day, and make it known to the people that it will impact that you will be in the shop in that time. This way, they know not to ask you to do something in that time period, because they know you are busy.
The reason the schedule works is because of a couple things. We are all used to being task oriented, because most of us have jobs, and we are used to doing things for someone else. When we tap into that training, we can do things for ourselves too.
The other part is in letting people around you know. If someone knows that you are planning on being in the shop from 3-5pm, they might still invite you out for a drink, but they will wait until after that time. It’s human nature to be accommodating, and your friends wont pull you away from the shop when they know you ave something to do.
Set Goals for the Day and the Week
Goal setting is a powerful way to accomplish anything. Making wooden rings is just another task that can be assigned a goal and made better. Maybe your goal is to produce more rings? Maybe your goal is to make a certain number of rings before a show?
Whatever your goal is, make sure that you set something reasonable, and something that you actually need. Making a hundred rings in a weekend is a waste of a goal if you don’t need them for something.
Instead, make a goal that you are going to produce a certain number of rings in a week, or in a month. Monitor that goal, and track it. Working up through the numbers, and eventually you can set a goal that would scare some new ring makers.
When you make goals in increments, you give yourself a better chance of accomplishing them. Start out small, still a challenge, but small. After you knock that one out, move on to the next one, and eventually you will be killing big goals.
See Also: Woodworking Resolution For the New Year
Your homework is to look through the list of productivity tricks and incorporate some of them into your process. Surely, within the 10 different tips here, there is at least one way that you can be a more productive ring maker.
Odds are that there are more, but in the beginning you can do just fine starting with one. If you can muster two, then I recommend making more blanks and making bigger blanks. Both of these feed into each other, and will keep you in materials a lot longer.
After that, start working on some of the higher end stuff. If you are not ready for a lathe, then try the buffing system. However, if you are going to spend money on the small motor to turn the buffs, you might as well buy a lathe because you can use the lathe mounted buffer and not waste money on the motor.
Besides, most motors are about a couple hundred dollars anyway. A new lathe might be about the same price or maybe a hundred dollars more. In that case, buy the lathe first, and then get the buffing setup after you have saved a bit.
Productive Wooden Ring Making Wrap-Up
We all only have so much time in the day. We are all busy, we have jobs, go to school, and spend time with our families. With all of those distractions and commitments, it can be easy to fall behind on your hobbies.
Instead of settling for less, think about ways that you can be more productive when you are making rings. Once you implement a few of these strategies, you will start to get more from the time that you do have in the shop.
After a while, you can add in more of the techniques, and you will continue to make your process better. After all, if you are going to spend time in the shop, you might as well make it count, and be as productive as possible.
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