Bent Wood Rings (First Timer - Questions)

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Forum topic by RastaNation posted 02-27-2013 08:35 AM 10622 views 5 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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4 posts in 2114 days

02-27-2013 08:35 AM

Topic tags/keywords: wood rings bent wood rings first time project question

I just joined this site (clearly) – and I have a few questions about making bent wood rings. If this is in the wrong spot, feel free to tell me/move it.

Is there a specific type of wood/veneer that is best to practice/start out using?

What is a good waterproof glue/epoxy to hold the layers together?

Do you ever run into problems with there being a clear difference in the layers? (As you layer the different strips of veneer, does it clearly look like multiple layers from the side of the ring?)

What would be the best finish to avoid looking cloudy but still be waterproof. I want to avoid oil so I don’t have yellowing over time. I’ve considered using Minwax Helmsman Spar Urethane – either satin or gloss. (I work at ACE in the paint department and that’s what my boss recommended, that being said – he normally deals with interior/exterior trim, doors, etc).

Would it make sense to use a ring sizing mandrel or something else? I’m okay with spending the $15 or so to get accurate and professional sizing if need be – it seems like a good long term investment.

I appreciate the help in advance and I can’t wait to get started on this project.

8 replies so far

View AJswoodshop's profile


1057 posts in 2475 days

#1 posted 02-27-2013 02:44 PM

Oak is really good for bending. A bending form and clamps is all you really need. I’m not sure what type of finish you should use but I’m sure other people do here on lumberjocks!

View WoodenFrog's profile


2737 posts in 3112 days

#2 posted 02-27-2013 05:08 PM

Lots Of Patience, Practice and Time involved in making Bentwood Rings.
Some say they are easy, some say they are not!
It sounds like you are just starting out making these! Am I right?
I normally would be very open to helping, but I think if you are just starting out. You will need to do a lot of research on the subject.
I will say all woods bend differently, trail and error are only real way to find out what works.
As for a finish, the best I have found for rings is CA glue(Super Glue)
I’ll give you a link to a nice little instructables build blog on making Bentwood rings, no this is not my work but I did use it to help me a lot. and even on this site there is a ton of info about the process, you just need to look and search.
Let’s see some of the ones you have tried and then maybe I could/would be of more help to you!
I am not trying to be an ass, I have just seen So many people ask these same questions( ME INCLUDED) to keep on answering them, when the answers are all ready right there.
I mean what I say when Patience, Practice and Time are involved in the Bentwood Process. A lot of Trail and Error to get your own system down.
Search Wooden Rings, Bentwood Rings and Wearable Wooden Rings and see what comes up!

Here is the link I was referring too..

Here are a couple more good things to read not just about Bentwoods, but wooden rings in general.

Here is my blog on the lamination style wood rings I make

I think Franklad (Stout Woodworks) is one of the best at making the Bentwood Rings, he has answered a lot of questions on the subject, I have read every comment he has ever given.

Good luck with your venture, I would like to see some of your work, even if it is not perfect, please post!

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

View RastaNation's profile


4 posts in 2114 days

#3 posted 02-28-2013 03:54 AM

I’ve seen that instructables article before (that’s actually what got me onto the idea of this project) – have you ever used in Danish Oil? I was sort of hoping someone would mention Tung Oil or Danish Oil without my mentioning it. I’d thought about using that as a penetrating finish but I’m afraid it will weaken the epoxy/glue? My main questions come from quality – I want someone with experience in this project (the instructables author made it seem as if it were his/her first time doing it) – to lend some experience as to high quality adhesives that will withstand water, wear and tear, etc.

I’ll be straight up with you – I’m interested in this project because…well it seems interesting, but I’m also hard up for cash and would love to be able to do something like this for a little extra money, and I unfortunately don’t have a ton of money to throw away right now. I’m aware that my project wont come out professional grade, top dollar from the get-go – but to be able to get rid of it for cost or cost + a little would be nice.

Thank you both for your quick responses and I look forward to spending some time on the site.
When I get this project started/going and finished I will DEFINITELY upload some stuff for feedback and criticism.

View WoodenFrog's profile


2737 posts in 3112 days

#4 posted 02-28-2013 09:59 PM

RastaNation! I have tried Tung Oil but never Danish Oil.
I have been making them for a while now and I still think CA glue is the Best Finish for rings.
In the bending process the only glue I use is CA, and then it only makes since to use it as a finish too..
I use Gorilla Glue for my lamination ones and it would be messy to use on Bentwoods! It would work, the good Ole’ Brown poly type, it is hard to beat. Waterproof and pretty much chemical proof too.
Just a word of thought, I have been making rings for about 2-2 1/2yrs now, I live on disability and I have spent in upwards of about $3000.00 to $4000.00 in just wood and supplies and a few hand tools here and there. I do not have a lot of power tools, making rings you just don’t really need them.
I have only just now begun to sell any of my work, I have worked hard to get where I’m at! I gave a way a lot of Rings to get my work out there and to test them. It is a hard road to try and make anything and sell it for a profit, I am not trying to discourage you, I just want to state my facts.
Now you might have a lot more talent than me and quality will be no problem, but I still think you need to be aware of Trail and Error Thing.
I hope you do well in your adventure of ring making, I can’t wait to see them!
Good Luck—Robert

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

View rance's profile


4266 posts in 3359 days

#5 posted 03-02-2013 04:24 AM

Robert has paid the price, and knows of what he speaks. My responses to your questions:

1) whatever you have. Experiment. There is NO WAY to get around the experimenting phase with bentwood rings. The key is how thin you need the veneer. You can easily cut your own when working with narrow pieces for use with making rings.
2) I use Gorilla glue. Yes, it is messy, but it works for me.
3) Never had a problem with the layers showing.
4) I use CA for a finish and highly recommend it.
5) Buy yourself a ring sizer.

Here’s a blog I did. Robert did a blog too.

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

View RastaNation's profile


4 posts in 2114 days

#6 posted 03-02-2013 04:41 AM

I’m definitely getting a ring sizer mandrel.
I plan to experiment :) I just want to avoid obvious no-no’s and things of that nature. I appreciate the advice :)

I’m glad you mentioned the gorilla glue – I’m always open to hear people’s experiences, even if most people dislike them – I want to know what works for YOU – it’s good to have a plan B if my plan A doesn’t work out well.

What is CA? I’ve searched for this and find all kinds of california nonsense.

View Dinger's profile


145 posts in 2461 days

#7 posted 03-13-2013 03:17 AM

CA is superglue.

-- "Begin every endeaver with the end ever in mind."

View Raymond Thomas's profile

Raymond Thomas

189 posts in 2417 days

#8 posted 03-14-2013 12:39 AM

RastaNation, you need to bone up on LJ speak. Take a look at the following link:

-- Raymond, Charlotte, NC -------- Demonstrate the difference!

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