Last month my husband and I celebrated our fifth wedding anniversary which, for those of you who don’t know, is the wood anniversary. So a month or so ahead of time I came up with my plan. I mentioned to my dad that I wanted to make a ring. My dad works in construction so his garage has a plethora of tools. He chopped up an old dowel and gave me a few disks which he drill pressed into for me, and lent me his dremel. This was the start of my beautiful creation.
Sandpaper rough and fine grit
Dremel with Sanding Mandrel
Drill Press or a Drill with a Hole Saw
*I mean, you could go without but it’ll totally be better with.
**Just in case it cracks after all your hard work
Starting Off Your Ring
So, I used a dowel, and in a dowel the grain is vertical. You could use a dowel like I did, because it was pretty easy to start off with, but I feel the ring could be sturdier if the grain was horizontal. That being said, I don’t do woodwork that often, so who knows.
Anyhow, first off, cut a hole into your dowel (or other wood. You do you, bra). Don’t cut to the exact ring size that you need because you will need to do a lot of sanding and fine tuning. One of the things about using wood to make rings too, is that you can’t make them too thin. If they become too thin, they become brittle and liable to crack.
I unfortunately had to get my husbands to try the ring on a bunch to make sure it would fit, so the surprise was spoiled. But I’ve since learned a clever trick. You can use the outside of a socket to gauge ring size fairly well. They come in so many sizes, that if you have a set of them there’s sure to be one in the size you need. So if you aren’t making a surprise for anyone you can just slide a ring overtop to see which socket to use. If it is a surprise try and ask someone the ring size, or sneak it away from them and use measuring tape to gauge it.
This is honestly the biggest part of this project. I sanded forEVER working on this thing. I used the dremel with the sanding mandrel attachment. It’s a great tool to use because you can adjust the speed. I used it on a lower setting because I was a little bit afraid of sanding my fingers in a bad way, plus it’s a tad noisy and I could only work on it during Cog’s nap-time.
Gear and I have pretty different ring sizes, but I found it very helpful to keep trying it on as I went to see how the width and thickness looked on a finger. After all the sanding and beveling, the width of the band was approximately 1cm and the thickness of the band was about 2mm.
The stain that I used was quite a dark wash. The instructions on it said to do two coats, but I only used one. After one coat and allowing it to dry fully (<-Important), it stained exactly where I wanted it to. Lighter stains would probably be best with two coats though. Different stains have different directions though, so follow yours and make sure to do so in a ventilated area.
Now, I tried to do this on the cheap with clear nail polish. You know what doesn’t work well at all? Nail polish. I’ve found a blog post written by someone who makes wooden jewelry for a living. You really should check the link out as the writer gives a few different recommendations based on different needs. I don’t feel confident giving a recommendation as my way of waterproofing didn’t work out. Do your research and find what works for the type of wood that you’ve chosen; be sure to pick something that is safe to be on skin, or is food grade.
If you think you’d rather make a wooden ring a different way I’ve found a guy on youtube that has a very different technique from mine. It really depends on what you want out of your ring.
Let me know if there is anything else you’d like my amateur self make. And super let me know if you’ve tried this out, and how it turned out for you!