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So I've been making wooden jewelry, and I would like know more about better techniques.

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Forum topic by Odin posted 07-09-2017 08:30 PM 2095 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Odin

4 posts in 159 days


07-09-2017 08:30 PM

Topic tags/keywords: zebrawood maple lathe turning

So I’ve begun making these wood ‘plugs’ aka ‘gauges’ aka ‘weird ear things’ as wooden jewelry. This kind of jewelry is for people who have stretched their ears, and are used as fancy spacers, basically. So far its going well, I’m OK with what I can make but Ive seen some of the REALLY nice ones and I’m just blown away.

Right now I’m primarily using carbide tools and sanding with strips of sandpaper or micro-mesh for finishing. What I’d really like to do is up the quality of my work by using better techniques. I’m part of a maker-space in Dallas, so tools access isn’t a problem, but I would like to know as much as possible about USING Them well in the first place. I really want to know more about good practices I can use to elevate my work. Thanks!

(The first two are ones I made myself, the last picture is an example of a professionally made piece by someone more experienced)


7 replies so far

View Thunderhorse's profile

Thunderhorse

35 posts in 179 days


#1 posted 07-10-2017 02:07 PM

Interesting. More so than with a ring or bracelet, I imagine toxicity of the finish is a consideration. Sizing to, I would think and being able to consistently turn to a specific size accurately. I turned some bangle bracelets a while back with some scraps and the sizes were all over the map because I failed to size them correctly.

The two sets of yours are very nice looking but I don’t really don’t know much about your potential market. I would assume there are a number of options for synthetic materials, eg, plastic, acrylic etc so you may find success with more natural wood looks with interesting spalting and grain patterns.

Good news is, you don’t need a lot of material so what other folks feel they can’t get a viable chunk of wood out of would yield a successful piece (set) for you. Good Luck!

-- Fear is a Liar

View mpounders's profile

mpounders

863 posts in 2733 days


#2 posted 07-10-2017 09:38 PM

Appears to mainly a difference in materials used or possibly finishing? You might experiment with CA glue as a finish or possibly use a buffing wheel on your lathe or a separate grinder?

-- Mike P., Arkansas, http://mikepounders.weebly.com

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papadan

3584 posts in 3206 days


#3 posted 07-10-2017 09:52 PM

You need a better choice of materials like the 3rd picture has. Need a hard smooth finish that will protect the wearer from possible infections from the wood used. Specifically spalted woods like in pic. #1. I would highly suggest a water based poly for a durable shiny finish, that will block any kind of molds or allergic reactions from the wood. You might want to look at some smaller tools, like pen turning chisels to put some small details in your pieces.

View Dan's profile

Dan

643 posts in 1730 days


#4 posted 07-11-2017 12:17 AM

The third set is either Amboyna burl or Afzelia burl (Makamong).

How heavy are those things? Why in the world would people want to stretch their ears?

-- Peace on Earth

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Odin

4 posts in 159 days


#5 posted 07-11-2017 03:51 AM

The feedback so far has been appreciated.

As far as finish I have so far been sticking with wood people are less likely to react to and using oil only, so the wood can remain porous. One of the things that make wood plugs nice is they don’t stink BECAUSE they are porous, things like acrylic or glass well smell. You’d think the wood will do the same but it doesnt, not sure why, so I’ve been sticking with minimal finish. The main drawback there is ofcourse I cant use composite materials or repair anything with CA glue.

I’m curious to try something like water based poly, as well as the suggestion of a buffing wheel. For the little ones I haven’t had much luck getting anything in there but strips of micromesh, but for hardwoods the high polish on the front should be really nice from a real buff.

Materials wise, im not sure where to find the really crazy stuff, like some of the wood with lots of small detail like that third one, other than the magical burl ofcourse.

View Odin's profile

Odin

4 posts in 159 days


#6 posted 07-11-2017 03:56 AM

The feedback so far has been appreciated.

As far as finish I have so far been sticking with wood people are less likely to react to and using oil only, so the wood can remain porous. One of the things that make wood plugs nice is they don’t stink BECAUSE they are porous, things like acrylic or glass well smell. You’d think the wood will do the same but it doesnt, not sure why, so I’ve been sticking with minimal finish. The main drawback there is ofcourse I cant use composite materials or repair anything with CA glue.

I’m curious to try something like water based poly, as well as the suggestion of a buffing wheel. For the little ones I haven’t had much luck getting anything in there but strips of micromesh, but for hardwoods the high polish on the front should be really nice from a real buff.

Materials wise, im not sure where to find the really crazy stuff, like some of the wood with lots of small detail like that third one, other than the magical burl ofcourse.

View Dan's profile

Dan

643 posts in 1730 days


#7 posted 07-11-2017 12:40 PM

“Materials wise, im not sure where to find the really crazy stuff, like some of the wood with lots of small detail like that third one, other than the magical burl ofcourse…........”

Go to Gilmer Wood and type “Makamong” in search. You will see exactly what you are looking for.

Or go to Ebay and type in “Afzelia Burl”

-- Peace on Earth

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