This is how to use grain direction to make a stronger wooden ring. One of the flaws in wood is that the pieces break along the grain. These are weaker areas, so it it easier to fracture. Going the other direction, the wood is far harder to break. This is how to use this knowledge to your advantage when making wooden rings.
Laminated Wood Rings
Laminated wood rings are very beautiful, and probably the most common type of wooden ring that you will see and make. The combination off different colors and layers makes the look, and some of these are amazing to see.
The problem with laminated wood is that the thin pieces can be broken along the grain, and this can mean a ring that is not as strong. The last thing you want to do is make a bunch of rings and then have them all snap apart really easily.
Thankfully, when you try and break wood perpendicular to the grain, it is several times harder to do. Here is how you use that property to make a stronger laminated wood ring.
Alternating Your Grain
The way you take advantage of grain direction is by alternating the pieces. To secure the grain on one piece, you glue the next piece with the grain running perpendicular. The tough direction grabs the weak direction, and holds it in place.
On the next piece in the lamination, you again rotate the piece so that the grain is perpendicular to the last. Repeat this process over and over, and you will end up with a ring that has every layer working together to be as strong as possible.
I mention this, as well as several other great tips in my 35 important tips on how to make a ring, which is a very long post, loaded with great ring making information for beginners.
Use Brand Name Glue
Another thing that you can do to help your rings be stronger is to use brand name glue for all of your lamination. There are ways to save glue, but buying cheap glue is not something that I recommend.
To make your laminated pieces as strong as possible, use a strong wood glue that is rated highly, comes from a long standing company, and has a long track record of success with many different woodworkers.
The last thing you ever want is for your wooden rings to fall apart because you saved a few dollars on glue. Instead, make the right choice and spend a couple more dollars to ensure that your ring will stick together for the long haul.
See Also: How to Save Money on Wood Glue
If you have been having success building rings the way you do, then you are doing it right. This may be a new technique to you, but if what you are doing is working then feel free to do it, because there is more than one way to do things.
However, if you can make your looks the same by making the grain direction change on each piece, then you can take advantage of the strength as well as the look. The grain does look different, especially where the end grain shows.
If this bothers you, but your rings are holing up well, you might already be crossing the grain a little without knowing. However, if you start taking a look at how the grain runs in your blanks, you can make them stronger without much effort.
How to Use Grain Direction for a Stronger Ring Wrap-Up
Laminated rings can suffer from failure along the grain. This is when the ring breaks along the grain lines, and it can happen without a lot of force. If you make laminated rings, there is a simple technique you can use to help prevent this.
As you make your blank, watch the direction of the grain. Glue each piece to the next with the grain running perpendicular to each other. This will allow the different grain patterns to assist each other in staying strong, no matter what direction the force.
Additional Information About Westfarthing Woodworks
You can see them on my Available Books Page, and they cover several different woodworking disciplines.
If you want to make a ring, My Ring Making Book is a great start, and can get you up and running quickly.
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