How to Make a Wooden Ring

Today I am going to show you the basic process for how to make a wooden ring. This is an easy way to make a ring for a beginner, and it requires very few tools. Wooden rings are a lot of fun to make, and they are also great gifts. You can really let your imagination run wild and create some beautiful rings.

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How to Make a Wooden Ring – Step 1

how to make a wooden ringRings are made from either a solid piece of wood or a laminated blank. Whichever way you decide to go, you need to create a blank and drill it.

Most ring blanks are anywhere from 1/4 inch thick to over 1/2 inch thick. Purchase wood from a woodworking store in thin pieces and create a small blank for your ring.

Make sure that it is large enough to drill safely by hand or on the drill press. I use hold downs for my drill press, but if you are using a hand drill just make a larger blank that you can clamp down to the bench while drilling. Use a good Forstner bit to drill through the wood.

In order to get the size correct, look at the table I have on Sizing a Wooden Ring.

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Basic Ring Making – Step 2

how to make a wooden ringNext, saw off the bulk of the waste on the ring blank. If you have more tools you can do this on the band saw, but a hand saw works just fine.

The point of this part in the process is to remove as much wood as possible. Since the next step is filing, the more you can remove now the easier it will be later.

wooden rings how to make wooden rings by hand ring making instructions for beginners

Clamp the ring down while sawing off the excess wood. It makes the job easier, and makes the saw more efficient. Rotate the ring and clamp it as needed to expose fresh areas to cut off. Once you have the majority of the waste removed, then you can proceed to filing.

Power Sanding / Filing the Wooden Ring – Step 3

how to make a wooden ringThis is kind of an optional step, but if you have a power sander it can help. Rotate the ring so that the moving belt thins the edges. Go slowly because the sanding belt removes a lot of material quickly.

If you do not have a sander, then pick up a file and start filing. Work the ring until the thickness of the band is the same all the way around. If you can, clamp the ring to something while filing. For the same reason that clamping the piece while sawing helps the process, it will do the same for filing. With the ring locked in place, the file is more effective and will take less elbow grease to use.

Final Sanding the Ring – Step 4

how to make a wooden ringNext is the fun part, sanding by hand. If you did your job well in the last two steps, then you will have a much easier time now.

If you have a lumpy ring that needs more work, go back to filing. The file removes much more material than sanding. If you switch too fast, you will more than double your work.

Start with rough sandpaper to remove the filing scratches. Then, switch to a medium grit. Finally use a finishing grit to smooth out the surface. Also, sand inside the ring and break any sharp edges. Go over the ring several times, and remove all scratches. The time you invest now will make a huge difference in the final look.

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Finishing the Wooden Ring – Step 5

how to make a wooden ringLastly, a good coat of finish seals and protects your wooden ring from dirt and sweat. Pick out a nice hand applied finish for this part.

My article on how to apply Tru-Oil will show you an easy to use finish that you can apply to your rings. This stuff makes an expert out of anyone.

Apply the finish of your choice following the directions on the can, and then allow it to cure before wearing the ring. It’s best to allow a little longer than the recommended cure time to be sure the finish is good and dry. After the ring has been finished, the basic process for how to make a wooden ring is complete. Now you can start working on your next ring.

If you have any questions on How to Make a Wooden Ring, please leave a comment and I will be glad to answer them. To see more, take a look at Wooden Rings: How to Make Wooden Rings by Hand, which is my ring making book. There is also a link in the menu at the top to see everything I have written on how to make wooden rings. Happy building.

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2 thoughts on “How to Make a Wooden Ring”

  1. I recently made a couple of rings in a very similar way and they looked great. Sadly though, by the next day they had cracked. I didn’t use Tru oil like you did but I did use a natural oil. What can I do to prevent the cracking?

  2. Thank you Andrew. I’m sorry that you had such a rough experience with your rings. Normally rings don’t crack by themselves, though they can if you squeeze them really hard. Take a look at the wood that you are using and see if it’s still wet. Wood that has not fully dried out can crack pretty quickly, especially when you make something so thin as a ring.

    For your next ring, pick out fully seasoned wood, and laminate a few thinner pieces into a blank. Drill the blank, and make your ring. I think you will have a lot better results. Happy building, and please let me know if you still need help.

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