Turning Archive 2006

Subject:
Turning Wooden Rings #1 *PIC*

Brad Vietje
>My nephew is getting married next weekend, and since he seems to have allergic reactions to gold, silver, platinum, etc..., he asked me to turn him a wedding ring. I agreed, and set out to find suitable material from which to turn a prototype. Artificial ivory was out because he didn't want a white ring, so I suggested water buffalo horn, and thought I could find some celluloid "tortoise shell" or something similar. I turned a ring our of the water buffalo horn, which looked great, but I got the mostly black variety, and he didn't favor the dark color. I haven't found any tortoise shell stuff big enough, so he asked for Birdseye Maple.

I made a few Maple rings, and since I thought the wood was pretty light in color, I added Pink Ivory and Pau Fero for a little more color. I'm still looking for other materials to try that are available in appropriate sized pieces, and I have some real worries about the long-term durability of wood for a ring that isn't removed to wash dishes or shower. Advice will be welcomed.

Turning the rings is fun and pretty easy. I started between centers, and turned an approximate Morse taper by trial and error. This is tapped into the headstock spindle, then the outer profile is turned, and the inside bored out to the desired size. I saturated the wood with CA for strength, and sanded to 400 before parting off the rings. Then the rings are transferred to a friction chuck held in a scroll chuck, with careful sizing to get the right "grab" on the wood. Here the final shaping and snading are done, and application of any finish or polish. The process is shown in 3 photos, and the end result in the 4th.

Safe spinning,

Brad Vietje
Newbury, VT

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