Second bentwood ring with inlay

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Project by RTosto posted 03-11-2011 03:04 AM 3837 views 3 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is the second bentwood ring I made, also from birch.

I decided to try a ring with an “inlay”, but since I only had one type of wood, I stained the outside bands heavily but left the inlay and the liner unstained. As I found out before, the stain sands off easily, so I actually re-stained the outer bands a few times before finishing. It’s kind of cheating, but hey, it’s just practice!

I made this thing massive because I figured it would be easier to handle and I could just sand it down later. I planned it to be a thumb ring so I thought I’d want it wide, but once I started test fitting it I realized a wide thumb ring feels more like a cast!

You can see the seams very clearly. I didn’t mean to sand that much off the outside and was surprised to see the starting edges again, but I noticed half way through that a piece of rubber glove had torn off and gotten stuck in the plies! After cutting the piece of blue rubber glove out, it took a lot of sanding to fix it… lesson learned!

I also accidentally glued the inside of the ring to a screw driver while applying the finish and tore off a huge chunk of wood from the inside. I was able to carefully replace the chunk and sand it down before refinishing it, and now you can barely tell.

Besides some obvious flaws, and near disasters, it came out OK. A little finishing and polishing hides a lot of errors!

7 comments so far

View BigTiny's profile


1676 posts in 2911 days

#1 posted 03-11-2011 06:33 AM

You can tell a pro from an amateur by how they correct their errors. You’re well on your way to becoming a pro.

-- The nicer the nice, the higher the price!

View Dabcan's profile


255 posts in 2694 days

#2 posted 03-11-2011 07:12 AM

How did you bend the wood and how thick was it? I tried one of these the other day and I tried both boiling and microwaving very thin veneer and it still wanted to crack and was very hard to bend.

-- @craftcollectif ,,

View WoodenFrog's profile


2737 posts in 2936 days

#3 posted 03-11-2011 02:43 PM

Looks pretty darn god to me!
You are well on your way with these, I too would like to know your bending process is it steamed or boiled?
and what thickness are you using?
Keep it up! Thanks for sharing.

-- Robert B. Sabina, Ohio.....

View Jacob's profile


85 posts in 2665 days

#4 posted 03-12-2011 02:48 AM

Looks great. Have you got any pictures of the seam? Or perhaps some information on your process this is very interesting and looks great. Keep at ‘em

-- -Jacob Turetsky, Industrial Designer

View RTosto's profile


9 posts in 2657 days

#5 posted 03-14-2011 06:27 AM

Hey guys, thanks for the comments!

The birch was approx 0.020” thick, and after boiling submerged it bends fairly easily around a 0.500” mandrel. Other woods may behave differently though. I’m still very new at this, definitely not a pro!, so unfortunately I’m not sure how steaming, microwaving, and boiling compare for bentwood layups.

I’ll try to take another picture of the seam. It’s very noticable since I cut it sloppily, thinking it wouldn’t be exposed. Mistakes make for good practice.

View RTosto's profile


9 posts in 2657 days

#6 posted 03-14-2011 05:06 PM

I added a picture of the starting seam. That is the beginning of the outer three plies, which should have been covered over with at least two plies and a blended seam. Getting that bit of glove out forced me to remove almost all the plies down to the bottom.

This one is actually going to get soak tested today. I’m going to soak it in water all day, then some mild solvent to see if it holds up.

View rance's profile


4258 posts in 3183 days

#7 posted 04-23-2011 02:24 AM

Nice job. Looks like you are learning via the School of Hard Knocks. LOL! Hey, I’m laughing WITH you, not AT you. Unless you are not laughing of course. :D I applaud you for getting through this one. You had some challenges and successfully overcame all of them.

I particularly like the dark line between the inlay and the ring body. I also like how you ran the grain of the inlay perpendicular too.

I like your water testing idea. I should try that with one that I made. I really want to get back to the rings.

-- Backer boards, stop blocks, build oversized, and never buy a hand plane--

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