This is by no means an expert guide to making rings, as I’m only in week-1 of making them ! .
but right now here is what i do, this is fairly comprehensive tutorial for a beginner (and by a beginner!) . its mostly self-explanatory by the pics, but i went and explained anyway..
i begin by sizing a blank about 1/2” thick x 1-1/2 wide, and long enough to cut off several squares
cut them off on my band saw (God i love my bandsaw!, Minimax MM16,bought used for a Song!)
the cut’s very rough as my carbide blade needs sharpening after re-sawing tons of dry logs and green wood ..
Mark the center of 1 square with a center marker
or a combination square,ruler, etc…just get close. you only need to mark one since they’re all identical.
next figure out what size ring you’re making,and get drill bit close to it,
these are wood so a size bigger/looser-fit is probably best.. i got this cheapo ring-mandrel and size-rings on Ebay…i recommend you NOT get this $5 plastic set, go for the nice solid STEPPED size METAL version, it’s around $20 with nicer metal rings.i will be buying that next!.
ok, here’s a shoddy 2-minute drill-press “jig”. 2 scraps carpet taped to a 2×4 clamped to the DP table. recommend you spend an extra 3 minutes and make it a little sturdier/re-usable..tomorrow i’ll make something nicer and screw the faces to a block.just make them 90° to each other.
center it under your blanks as best you can.
and drill out your holes..i just snug them up into the corner and
held them down by hand.no problems.
i made this little mandrel out of pecan, #2-Morse taper for my arbor(i just measured one and got close)
and a ring taper on the other…i need to make a new/better one, this was too small for larger rings and too steep/sharp a taper which leaves the outer/right edge unsupported..that said i’ve still made 20 or so rings on it. i’ll duplicate a stepped ring-sizer mandrel on the next one…maybe cut 2 thin saw-kerfs down the middle,to fit small wedges in the end to snug up more evenly (as is, the ring edge on tail-stock side is not touching)
Anyway..just slip the blank on there and snug it up,you can use a 2nd blank to push it on tight while the lathe’s running,also helps true it straight… another option is to knock off the corners first on a scroll-saw or belt sander.
i use a tiny spindle gauge and hold the ring there with my finger applying side pressure to keep it on the mandrel,,wetting the mandrel a bit helps too,hit it with course sandpaper if it gets too slick/burnished
once i turn it down to size. i sand with abranet and abralon pads.
some shaping with the 180-grit, then 400 (yep i can skip up that high it seems with these)
then abralon # 500 ,1000,2000,4000…this is the finish ….with no finish….
here it is after hitting with deft wood-finish to fill the grain,then EEE tripoli friction wax.
and the final piece :) ...pardon the little cloth fuzzies.
i wipe the inside with a little mineral oil or more deft wood finish etc…
CA glue also makes a great finish, just takes more care and i cant apply it on my wood mandrel…maybe if i made it out of UHMW PE.hmmmmm
Hope you enjoyed, next installment i’ll show what i did for the layered rings i started making yesterday ,(since I’m now an authority on rings LOL) the only difference being the glue-up really…
-- Matthew,Long island ny. www.tribalwind.com