Wood Rings?

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Forum topic by Charlie_Wintercoats posted 08-03-2009 06:34 PM 2806 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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36 posts in 2877 days

08-03-2009 06:34 PM

I know some of you make wooden rings. I have a brother who is getting married in October and wants a wood ring as a wedding band. His “wife to be” is worried that it will not last. I have poked around the internet looking for stats on longevity of these rings but can only find the ”depends on how you treat it” answer. I am aware of the downsides to a wood ring. With that in mind:

Do any of you have any real world answers, from personal experience, regarding how long a wood ring worn daily will last?

(he is 26 so presumably he has to get 50 years or so out of it.)

Thank you.

4 replies so far

View kolwdwrkr's profile


2821 posts in 3014 days

#1 posted 08-03-2009 06:53 PM

I’ve made a few rings and the ones for the girls seem to last. My GF wears hers everyday and it only has a little damage on the finish. Of course she takes it off to shower, do the dishes, and to do anthing that may be abrasive like working in the shop with me ;-). I think if I was going to make hers over again I would just use a natural oil finish. The lacquer doesn’t last at all.
Mine however lasted up until yesterday when it finally broke. I wore the thing everywhere. I’d sand at work and cause damage to the palm side, get water on it, etc. It started to chip out and the finish was history. Yesterday I was setting fence posts and swinging a 4 pound hammer all day. The grip on the hammer was to much for the ring and it broke.
I also think that if you do it the “laminate” way where as you run the grain one way and then cover it again with grain running the opposite way that it will last a lot longer. One of these jocks may be the guys to ask : or

Good luck, and make sure to post it when it’s done

-- ~ Inspiring those who inspire me ~

View MrsN's profile


975 posts in 2950 days

#2 posted 08-03-2009 07:29 PM

I made a wooden ring that I wear everyday through all of the things I do, I am a mother of a 2-year-old and a woodshop teacher so it gets put through its paces (bathtime, dishes, woodshop, playing in the dirt). The ring has lasted 3 months so far. I used gorilla glue to laminate three layers of wood together. I originally had a finish on the ring that wore off pretty quickly and now is nautral. Mine seems to be sturdy enough to last a while longer.
As for being worried it will not last, my husbands tungsten wedding band shattered after 2 months. he was drying off his hands and it came off his finger and droped to the tile floor. Tungsten is very strong but brittle. My husband likes the look so we replaced it with another tungsten band. Tell the future sister-in-law to avioid a tungsten ring if she is worried about it.

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View FrankLad's profile


273 posts in 2733 days

#3 posted 08-04-2009 06:12 AM

Hey, Charlie!

As I make and sell wooden rings, I first want to say that I don’t want to sound like a sales pitch. As you pointed out, there’s lots of vague “depends on how you treat it” info out there and I wanted to give some of my own personal thoughts.

Wood rings certainly require some degree of maintenance – or at least awareness – as opposed to a standard metal ring, and it sounds like you already know all that.

As far as how long a ring will LAST…

If built properly, a wood ring should never come apart (I say “built” as I wouldn’t recommend a ring cut from solid wood… unless maybe it was Lignum Vitae or another durable species. I would opt, as the others point out, for a ring at least made of multiple layers). A good wooden ring should stay together regardless of water exposure or even moderate amounts of pressure. The main issue will be how long the FINISH will last (particularly in the case of a membrane finish). At that point, you eventually wind up with a “dull” looking wooden ring. (or worse… if not oiled, or finished using the wrong kind of oill ((vegetable oils that can become rancid)), it can even become “cruddy”) To me, they look worse when they just start to lose the finish (ie. around the edges, etc.) – particularly with finishes that peel. They tend to actually look “not as bad” later on when all of the finish is gone. At this point they can at least be oiled and buffed to restore some degree of lustre (if fine sanding isn’t required first).

I’m a huge fan of natural penetrating oils. I like the “wood feel”, as opposed to the feeling of a plasticy finish. But when it comes to wood rings, 9.9 out of 10 customers go for glossy. Granted… I understand why: Oil just doesn’t give the shimmering grain effect of a membrane finish. As a result, we’ve done lots of experimenting with, and recently switched to, CA finishes. It is the best stuff I’ve used so far hands-down (outperforms Waterlox and Arm-R-Seal, which we used previously).

My opinion would be to go with a hard coat finish but to plan on buffing with wax on occasion. I read once where a woodworker asked “Why put wax over a hard finish that is more durable than the wax?” and the reply was “The same reason you wax a car.” Although done on cars partly for shine/aesthetics, the wax is a first line of defense and that illustration has kinda stayed with me. :)

This is my current thinking…

The average person wouldn’t want to refinish their ring or, (even though in most cases it’s free) worry with sending the ring off for refinishing, so I think buffing with wax is a great way to maintain any well-made wood ring for years to come.

Well.. hopefully I didn’t ramble too much, and hopefully some of that info helped. :)

-- Frank, Mississippi, Original Bentwood Rings -

View Don Butler's profile

Don Butler

1081 posts in 2819 days

#4 posted 08-06-2009 03:24 PM

I echo Frank’s opinion on waxing a wooden ring.
I make a few too, and will make more when I get the time.
Regardless of the finish type, wax is a good thing to do.
Because it fills in tiny, microscopic scratches and brings the finish back to a beautiful sheen.
I built a nice oak desk, with many coats of poly, carefully sanded between coats. There wasn’t much build because of the very thorough sanding, but the surface became more and more smooth with each coat.
Finally, the last coat was polished by careful but light sanding with 1000, 2000 and 4000 grit papers.
When I got to that point there was a really pretty finish similar to the finish on good pianos.
The last thing I did was to use paste wax applied with 0000 steel wool, and then rubbed it down with clean, soft rags.
The wax magnified the quality of the finish tremendously.
I am now doing that to my rings and I’ll tell those that get the rings to rub the finish with wax to maintain the surface. A ring will get far more scratches (my opinion, not an established fact), than a desk or table. Wax will fill them in.
But the wax shouldn’t just but rubbed on. It should be well buffed to take excess wax away.

Anytime the ring starts to show some dulling due to wear, wax will help keep it nice.


-- No trees were damaged in posting this message, but thousands of electrons were seriously inconvenienced.

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