This is 11 Easy Tips on How to Texture Your Wooden Rings. Texture is a fun and easy way to add variation to your ring designs. There are a lot of ways to do it, and some best practices to stick to at first. I’ll show you everything you need to know. Enjoy.
Applying Texture to a Wooden Ring
Most wooden rings are smooth on the outside, which is extremely common for the style. In a world full of smooth rings, you can really differentiate your own designs by adding texture in several different creative ways.
Texture simply refers to creating a surface on the ring that is not smooth. This can be anything from wavy surface imperfections, tool cuts, lines, scratches, dimples, or anything in between. The point is that the surface is no longer smooth.
There are a lot of easy ways to apply texture to a ring, and I’ll show you several of them coming up later in the post so that way you can get started. Each of these methods can be used in a wide variety of ways to apply many different looks.
As you practice, think about creating certain looks, and creating other distressing patterns that are your own unique signature. This is a lot easier to do than it sounds, especially once you see how versatile the different distressing options are.
In a marketplace full of smooth rings, rings that have texture will immediately stand out and gain attention. Try some of these texturing options on some of your production rings and see the difference they make when you go to your next show.
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Keep Your Texture Natural
Wooden rings are a natural product, and as such they resonate well with a very natural look.
As you add texture to the surface, think about that natural look as you go. It’s important to maintain a look on the wood that seems like it could’ve been created by nature. If the texture is too modern looking, or looks too uniform, it may not work the way you hope.
Even so, there is room for rule breakers everywhere. If you find a texture that you like, and that resonates with your audience, it really doesn’t matter what it looks like at that point. However, most textures will look better at least in the beginning with a natural appearance.
One way to ensure that you have a natural look is to look in nature. Wood it in its natural state has bark, is rough, and takes different shapes. Anytime you can mimic some of these looks in your texture, you’re doing the right thing and keeping it looking natural.
Experiment With Different Methods
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The more you play around with different tools, techniques, and ideas, the better you will become.
Many people they do distressing and texturing on wood have secret methods that they keep to themselves for creating their signature looks.
They consider it a point of pride to have a top-secret method that creates their own specific texture.
One place to look to steal ideas is the tobacco pipe making community. Rustication is the term used in tobacco pipe making to refer to adding texture to wood. Look at a few different methods for tobacco pipe makers and you will find lots of inspiration.
Wherever you find your methods, it’s important to experiment with them. Try them on several different species of wood, and see what they do. Then, try it with different pressures, different angles, and manipulate every variable you possibly can as you experiment.
You may find out that certain species of wood takes a type of texturing really well, while they take others very poorly. You may also discover that a little difference in pressure can make a huge difference in the final look of the texture.
All of these little victories add up, and they help you broaden in your skill set when it comes to texturing and distressing. Over time, you can build up quite a bit of knowledge, and be able to apply a very natural looking rough texture to your wooden rings.
Texturing with a Dremel Tool
In the beginning, the Dremel tool is one of the absolute best investments you can make in texturing your wooden rings.
This is a rotary tool, and it accepts a large number of different spinning bits that you can use to create texture.
It’s really easy to get into texturing with a tool like this, because the tool itself does the best majority of the work.
All you really need to do is come up with your design and your idea, and the tool will guide you through the rest.
There is also a lot to be said about the number of different bits that can also be their own source of inspiration for different textures. There are now so many cutting bits that just looking through a catalog will inspire you immediately.
Take a look at all those different bits, and imagine what type of change to the surface you would create by touching that bit to one of your wooden rings. Then imagine touching it with a different pattern, different pressure, and from a different angle.
All of these are possibilities when it comes to using the Dremel tool. If you are brand new to texturing, and you want a very efficient way of applying a beautiful texture, as well as nearly unlimited inspiration, then I recommend buying a Dremel tool.
See Also: Essential Wooden Ring Making Tools List
Texturing With a Wire Wheel
This is one of my absolute favorite methods of applying a texture to a wooden ring. The wire wheel is simply a spinning wheel with wire bristles that you can chuck in a lathe, a drill press, or even a handrail. The spinning bristles apply the texture.
Literally all you have to do is bring the wooden ring into contact with the spinning bristles, and rotate it against them. You will notice that changes in pressure and duration will create a natural pattern on the surface that similar to bark on a tree.
The longer you hold the piece against the bristles, the deeper the pattern. Also, the more pressure you apply the deeper the pattern. As you experiment with the wheel, you will get a feeling for the right amount of time and pressure to make the perfect look.
If you already have a drill press, and lathe, or a power drill, then pick up a wire wheel and start here for your rustication. You can do quite a bit with this wheel, and you’ll be surprised at the different luooks that you can create with this one tool.
The other nice thing about a wire wheel is that it’s inexpensive. The Dremel tool is not overly expensive for what you are buying, but it’s definitely more pricey than a simple wire wheel. In the beginning of price is an issue, simply get the wheel.
Practice On Scraps in the Beginning
One of the best ways to improve your skills in the beginning is to practice on scraps. There is no reason to ruin several wooden rings that might otherwise be just fine by practicing your textures until you get a little better at it.
Instead of ruining product, simply create those same textures on scraps of the same species that you would use on your wooden rings. Cut some smaller pieces of larger scrap, and begin applying texture in the same way that you would on the actual ring itself.
Don’t skip any steps, and don’t apply the texture halfheartedly just because it’s not on an actual ring. The more you do to this scrap, and the more realistically you treat this task, the better you will be when it comes to applying it to an actual wooden ring.
The beauty of practicing on scraps is that they are free, and they are also free of consequence. In the beginning, it can be frightening to work on a live project with a new technique.
This way, you get all of the practice with none of the consequences, and that makes it easier.
Make sure when you were practicing on your scraps that you use a lot of different wood species. The different types of wood react to texturing differently, and even something as simple as the color of the wood can affect how the texture is perceived.
The more variation that you work with, the better. As you finish texturing all these little scraps, you will build up quite a bit of knowledge in a very fast manner. This is great, and your rings will look even better for it.
Different Woods Will Texture Differently
Different types of wood will take a texture differently. This sounds obvious, but once you actually start working with the different texturing methods first hand you will see just how much of a difference it truly is.
There are some types of wood that look beautiful, but they just don’t take a texture very well. It’s kind of a letdown, because in most cases adding a texture brings out even more beauty than the wood by itself.
In cases like this, you will notice that the natural look of the piece of wood when it is smooth is actually better looking then when it has a texture. That’s OK though, because there are tons of different wood species that you can work with that do texture well.
In the beginning the only way to really know this is through experimentation, and through actually putting in the time in the shop to work with the tools. Take your time, and work with a lot of different woods as you experiment and learn in your workshop.
Make it Look like Distressing or Age
Of all things that create a rustic luck, age is one of the most beautiful and one of the most difficult to reproduce.
Age is a very natural process, so simulating age requires a steady hands, and the ability to tell yourself to stop. In most cases, you can really overdo an aged to look because you go too far in the amount of distressing that you apply.
If you want a fun challenge, try to make a piece of wood look like it is 100 years older than it actually is using different texturing and distressing techniques. This is not easy at all, so don’t feel bad if you don’t get it right away.
Of all the things that you will do with texture, simulating age is one of the most bold and beautiful that you can possibly undertake. It’s also one of the most challenging, so be open to learning different things along the way as your practice.
Use Contrast Staining Techniques
In conjunction with texture, wood stain and color can also help play a role in how the texture is perceived by the final user. For example, contrast staining highlights the difference between high and low areas on a textured ring.
This highlight increases the contrast between the two areas, and makes the texture look deeper than it actually is. It also creates a more finished look to the ring itself, and that alone can be a tremendous source of beauty.
It’s actually pretty easy to apply a contrast stain to a textured ring, and all you have to do is apply a stain, then sand it off of certain areas once it’s dry. Apply a finish afterward, and you create a difference in color as well as texture.
The best stains that you can use for this process are dye stains. These are made with alcohol or water, and they stay in the wood at a very deep level. These are not like traditional stains, and they require a little practice to understand.
Also, dye stains will color your hands for nearly a week or more if you are not careful. They are not like traditional stains that come off after a couple of hand washings. Make sure to wear gloves, otherwise you may have purple hands for a week.
See Also: Using My New Fiebings Dye Stains
Texture Only a Section of the Ring
People tend to like texture on a wooden ring because of the contrast. Most wooden rings are smooth so texture is a welcome and different feeling. You can preserve the contrast on your rings by simply texturing only one section.
Pick a section to texture, and leave the rest smooth. This can be a face of the ring, part of the outside diameter, or any other section that you choose. Apply your texture using any of your favorite techniques to this area only, and leave the rest of the ring smooth.
Another thing that you can do is texture the entire ring, and then use a lathe to turn one section flat and smooth again. There are a lot of different ways to incorporate a smooth texture and a rough texture, and all you need to do is have a little fun with your designs.
Done well, the combination of rough and smooth, textured and not textured can be a very interesting part of a beautiful wooden ring. Again, all you need to do is experiment, have fun, and play around with her designs.
Combine Different Texturing Methods
Another thing that you should pay attention to is all of the different texturing methods and techniques that you come up with. Though each of them by themselves is a good method, there is added beauty in combining these methods on the same piece.
For example, you might use the Dremel tool to create some dimples all over your ring, and then use the wire wheel to rough them up. Combining these two methods of adding distress and texture you create a custom look.
You might also combine sandblasting with another method, and use the blaster to gently erode away surface material. This combination can be used on one area of the ring or several, and through the combination of two methods you create another custom look.
Since there are so many different ways to combine rustication methods, you really just have to work with them and keep an eye out for what goes together really well. Over time, and through making different rings with texture, you will come up with your own favorites.
See Also: Top 10 Wooden Ring Making Posts
Sand Any Overly Rough Areas
Texture is nice, but one thing that you do you need to watch out for is that you don’t create a ring that is overly rough. In the end, a beautiful ring it will never be worn by its owner if it’s uncomfortable. A rough or pointy ring is definitely uncomfortable.
After you were done applying a texture, feel the ring and identify any parts that need to be addressed in order to be a little smoother. Make it a point to sand these areas and remove any very rough spots before proceeding to your finish.
In general, the most textures can benefit from at least a little bit of sanding before you apply your finish. This will help break any really sharp areas, remove any burs, and in general make the ring feel more comfortable to wear.
See Also: 35 Important Tips on How to Make a Ring
Your Action Assignment
Now that you seen all of these tips on how to texture a wooden ring, head out into the shop and see what you can do yourself. Even if you don’t have a Dremel tool or wire wheel, there are plenty of tools in your shop that you can use to add texture.
You probably already have some sort of bits or burs that you can turn with some method, and that might be all you need to get started. Be careful working around these tools obviously, and make sure to wear the right protective equipment.
Start with scraps, because they will be the easiest to work with. They are also consequence free if you destroy them, so you can practice without worry. Try combining a couple of different methods of adding texture, and see what they look like.
Once you stumble upon something that makes you happy, try to duplicate it a couple times on a few more pieces of wood. If you’re able to make the texture repeatable, and you’re comfortable with the technique, then you might be ready to apply it to an actual ring.
When you do, use the very same methods, and you’ll be happy with the results. Happy building.
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