Briar Wedding Ring

briar wedding ringWhen it came time for me to select a wedding ring, I knew that I wanted a wooden ring.  The only objection I had was that wooden rings are more delicate than metal rings, and over the lifetime that I hope to be married a lot can happen to a ring.

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My solution to the problem was to use both metal and wood to create a ring that would be both beautiful and stand the test of time.

Having a combination of both materials is what gives you the beauty and strength that you need for a long lasting ring. The wood on the outside is the look, and the metal inside is the lasting power. Other people will only see the wood when you wear a ring like this.

Briar Wood for My Wedding Ring

briarI started out with Briar, which is used by Tobacco Pipe makers.  They make their stummels from well aged Briar.  This wood is very durable, and works through changes in wetness really well.

Moisture is something that can become a factor on a ring that will on occasion get wet.

You don’t want to have a ring that can’t take a little sweat from time to time. Even if you remove the ring for hand washing and things like that, the sweat from daily activities will get your ring wet. This is something to think about when making a wooden ring.

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Briar also stains very well, and is especially good at taking a method called contrast staining. This is where the grain is stained one color and then the flake is stained another.  Essentially the whole ring is stained a dark brown or black, then most of it is sanded off.  The grain soaks up the color deeper, so it retains the color when sanded.

Briar and titanium ringThe titanium band had to be turned down on the lathe to flatten the outside area before the Briar could be epoxied to the ring.

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Once a nice fit was established, the two were bonded with two part epoxy and then turned on the lathe until smooth.

After that, the stain was applied, and the ring was buffed on a wheel with compounds and carnauba wax. The compounds polish the surface, and the wax adds a really nice shine to the ring. This is the same process that tobacco pipe makers use.

I am very happy with the ring, and hope to wear it for the rest of my life.  There are instructions for how to make this ring step by step in my book, Wooden Rings: How To Make Wooden Rings By Hand, as well as instructions for over 50 styles of ring.  There is a ton to choose from. Even a complete beginner will be able to make a ring they are proud to wear. They can also be given as gifts.

Making a Birar Wedding Ring is easy if you have a little patience and give it a try.  Anyone with a little woodworking experience can create something that will last forever, and will draw curiosity anywhere you go.

If you have any questions about My Wedding Ring, please leave a comment and I will be glad to answer them. Happy building.

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7 thoughts on “Briar Wedding Ring”

  1. You mention that you turn the metal ring blank flat on your lathe with carbide tools. Are you using your wood lathe to do this? Are you using your wood carbide lathe tools? If so, what kind of chuck are you using to hold the metal ring blank?

  2. Thank you for the question Jordan. I bought a very inexpensive wood lathe from a discount tool store a long time ago, and that’s the only lathe I use. It’s a mid size lathe, and I bought a chuck from Pen State. They sell tools and materials for pen makers and wood turners. They had a chuck deal that came with bowl jaws and pin jaws. I use the pin jaws to hold the ring from the inside while I turn the outside flat with a homemade carbide lathe tool. The chuck is a basic bowl chuck, with four jaws. You can find these from the supplier I mentioned for a reasonable price. If you have any more questions please feel free to ask. Happy building.

  3. Thank you for the response. I too have a discount store lathe and I bought a nova G3 chuck however, the smallest pin jaws available for my chuck are 25mm which would be too large for holding the ID of any normal sized ring. I have made my own expanding mandrel and they work ok.

  4. I entertained the idea of doing an expanding mandrel, or at least some type of mandrel to do the rings, but when I found that my pin jaws fit really well, I never went any farther with it. I had also thought of making something sacrificial that I could just part the ring off of afterwards, but didn’t like the idea of having to destroy my jig every time. I bought my chuck from Pen State, and know that it was less expensive than the Nova chucks. If you give them a call you may be able to get a deal on just the chuck and the pin jaws. The package I bought came with a couple other jaw sets that I rarely use. Shoot me a picture of your mandrel to my email if you get a chance, I would like to see it. Happy building.

  5. Thanks for your suggestions, I’ll check them out and I’ll shoot you a few pictures of the mandrels I’ve been using later today.

    I made a few briar wood rings this past week with a metal core (very similar to your wedding ring) they turn beautifully. The only problem I ran into was in finishing them. I did one with a contrast stain with the dyes you recommended and I got a pretty good look out of them but I am struggling with what to use after the dyes. I used CA glue over the top of it because I have had great success with CA finish but it seemed to lighten up the dye and it didn’t stick too well. Any tips on what to use before buffing them with Tripoli and white diamond? Thanks so much for your help!

  6. Thanks again. I’m glad you are having fun making rings with Briar. That’s one of my favorite types of wood. I finish most of my rings with the buffing wheel only. If you give the dyes time to dry overnight, I notice that you remove less color.

    I am surprised that you are having trouble with the CA adhering to the wood. I am assuming that you are buffing after the CA has been applied, because the binders in the compounds are wax like, and can prevent finishes from adhering. If you give your ring a small blast with a heat gun, you can bake in the color a little more and that will help you remove less in the finish. This can be used as a substitute for leaving it overnight. Just be careful, because if you really bake the color it will change on you.

    If that still causes too much loss for your taste, you can apply another coat or two of the top color, knowing that you will remove a little color in the CA finishing process. Let me know if that helps, and I can’t wait to see those pictures. Happy building.

  7. Thanks Brian I will give those techniques a shot on my next briar wood ring. I shot you an email with some pictures of my mandrel let me know what you think.

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