you asked..........RING TUTORIAL

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Blog entry by kolwdwrkr posted 06-20-2009 07:11 PM 1925 reads 12 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I wanted to start off with a big THANK YOU to everyone who commented on my jewelry, and to those interested in the process. It’s appreciated.

I had a few inquiries to make a blog on how I made the ring, so I decided to accomodate. After all, isn’t this what this site is for. I want to make something clear first. I’m in no way an experienced turner. My experience on the lathe is pretty minimal, so take my methods of turning with a grain of salt. I think the main focus of this is probably the inlay work. I am going through the entire process in hopes to get better ideas from the turners on how I should do things different. So, having said that lets start.

First off I take a piece of material and glue it to a block that can be mounted in my chuck. In this case I used padauk. I do not have my bandsaw set up so I didn’t resaw the piece. The tablesaw is a cheap ridgid that I’m not secure about yet. I haven’t made to many cuts on it yet, and frankly it feels like everything is loose. It’s funny you have to assemble the entire thing yourself. I’ve been used to a powermatic 66. That’s a different story. This is the first step.
Next I find the center of the piece while it is turned on. I do this after it’s on the lathe because there is a chance that I didn’t glue it perfectly center on the chucked block. I glue it to the block with CA glue. It is easily removeable later.
After finding center, use a forstner bit slightly smaller then the size you need and drill through the piece. This will be defined later. I used a drill, but if you have a chuck for your live center that’s better.
After you drill the hole you will take off a little material at a time. I used calipers to get the size of her finger, and then adjusted them slightly bigger. I take off a little material until I get it to match the caliper setting. Then I turn the rim down to the size I want. Sorry I don’t have pics of this process, but you are essentially making it round.
Next clamp the piece in a vise, making sure that the jaws clamp the entire ring. It is somewhat fragile at this point. Then start your layout for the inlay work. In this case I found a small piece of store bought inlay I used on a big bookcase project a few years back. I cut the diamonds out of it.
I draw lines on my veneer that I will make the heart on. The lines are spaced the width of the ring apart. You don’t have to make a heart obviously, but this allows you to set up any design.
I do my layout, draw my heart and cut it out.
I now have all of my inlay pieces, and my layout. I clamped the ring in the vise so that the side I chose as the front is up. I will do the heart (center piece) first. I place the heart on the ring, center it the best I can, and then draw around it with a very sharp pencil. I hold the inlay on with a hooked chisel.
I choose the tools I will do my cuts with. In this case I chose a miniature carving gouge, and a miniature straight chisel. I use these tools to make my stop cuts and to carve out the material.
Once my stop cuts are made I chisel it out. Remember to make your stop cuts just shy of the pencil line so you can sneak up to it as you go.
The inlay should be tested at this point, and then you should take very small amounts away until you get a perfect fit. Once the piece is ready you will glue it in with CA glue. Put the glue in, then the inlay. Wipe off the access glue and then immediately sand. The glue should still be wet when you sand so that the dust will fill any inperfections you may have. If you chisel out your hole for the inlay slightly shallower then inlay piece, then you can firmly press the inlay in, smashing it out. Essentially you are mushrooming it, and it will also help to fill any voids.
Repeat these steps for the rest of the pieces.
After all the pieces are set sand down to 220 or finer. Now you are ready to start the finish. I do the inside of the ring first. I wrap paper around it to hold it and then brush the finish on. In this case lacquer.
After you have your coats on the inside and you are happy, take the ring out. You may have some finish on the outside part. Simply sand it down. Roll your paper small enough to fit inside the ring and then allow it to unroll to tighten itself on the ring. Now you are ready to finish the face.
Now you are done. I will post pictures of this ring finished soon in the projects section. I hope this mojo made some sense and that you enjoyed it. The ring only takes a few hours to make. This one took about 2-2 1/2 hours to make, and then the finish takes however long to allow dry times and such. It would have taken a lot longer if I had made the diamonds. I may make a blog on how to make those though. You will probably come up with your own methods of work as you go along. This method works fine for me, but there’s always a better way. Anyhow, thanks for looking.
As always I welcome constructive criticism positive or negative.

-- ~ Inspiring those who inspire me ~

9 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile


117060 posts in 3540 days

#1 posted 06-20-2009 07:16 PM

Fantastic blog thanks

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View cabinetmaster's profile


10874 posts in 3521 days

#2 posted 06-20-2009 07:28 PM

Yippers…..................Cool man.

-- Jerry--A man can never have enough tools or clamps

View Dan'um Style's profile

Dan'um Style

14171 posts in 3946 days

#3 posted 06-20-2009 07:47 PM

very well done posting … you do nice work

-- keeping myself entertained ... Humor and fun lubricate the brain

View dustbunny's profile


1149 posts in 3258 days

#4 posted 06-20-2009 09:40 PM

Very clear explanation. You are creative with your techniques ! This is a great project to try, I may have to get my glasses fixed first for small close work like this…..getting old ya know.


-- Imagination rules the world. ~ Napoleon Bonaparte ~

View Zuki's profile


1404 posts in 4040 days

#5 posted 06-21-2009 02:20 AM

Very clear and great pics.

A great blog. I felt like I was there with you.

-- BLOG -

View scrappy's profile


3506 posts in 3393 days

#6 posted 06-21-2009 03:26 AM

Great blog. Very informative.

Thanks for taking the time to do it.

Keep it up.


-- Scrap Wood's the best...the projects are smaller, and so is the mess!

View tomd's profile


2148 posts in 3733 days

#7 posted 06-21-2009 05:14 AM

Great tutorial I enjoyed it very much. Thank you for sharing.

-- Tom D

View Junji's profile


698 posts in 3345 days

#8 posted 06-21-2009 06:29 AM

Thank you for your great information!
I thought you put the inlay first to the block, and then cut out the inside and the outside. But it was opposite!
You must have been really careful when you cut for the inlay! Great work!!!

-- Junji Sugita from Japan,

View Grumpy's profile


23836 posts in 3814 days

#9 posted 07-09-2009 08:52 AM

Great blog Keith. Now in my favourites box.

-- Grumpy - "Always look on the bright side of life"- Monty Python

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