How to Make Wood Rings / Bentwood Rings
Making these wood rings is pretty simple and can be done without many tools. Basically we're going to take some veneer and boil it in water to make it more pliable. We'll then coil the veneer onto itself and bonding it with CA glue. You'll find these rings are much stronger than just drilling a hole into wood and cutting the outside shape. That's because we won't have any weak points with endgrain. There will be many layers with straight grain laminated with glue which will make them very strong and durable. I'll also show you how I added these accent lines with a contrasting veneer between 3 coils. Let's get started.
Items and Supplies Used
- Wood Veneer
- Veneer Saw
- Utility Knife
- Painters Tape
- Adhesive Sandpaper
- CA Glue
- Boiled Linseed Oil
- Spray Polyurethane
- Dremel Tool
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Step 1: Cut the Veneers
First you need to start off with thin veneer with very straight grain. Wavy grain will chip and break during the bending process. I'm using a scrap board with a veneer saw to cut some thin strips. This could also be done with a utility or exact-o knife.
Step 2: Make Your Own Veneer
If you don't have access to veneer you could easily cut your own on the table saw.
Step 3: Boil Veneer
Now you'll want to boil the veneer in water for 60 minutes. This will make it extremely pliable.
Step 4: Coil Veneer
While still wet you'll then want to coil the strips onto itself. You don't need to coil it to the size of the rings just yet. We want to coil it just enough where it doesn't break and then wrap it in masking tape to keep it in that position.
Step 5: Wrap Veneer
After you wrap it in masking tape allow it to dry completely in this position. Once dry it will retain the shape and allow for it to be coiled even tighter.
Step 6: Ring Finger Size
For the next few steps you will need something the circumference of your ring finger. Here I'm using a large drill bit and wrapping it with masking tape to the exact size.
Step 7: Sand One Edge
On the end of the dried veneer sand the tip down to a fine point. This will allow a seamless transition for the first layer.
Step 8: Wrap and Glue
Now it's just a matter of wrapping the veneer around our sized blank and adding CA glue between the layers. The metal ruler seen here is used to hold the remainder of the piece out of the way. Work just a small section at a time winding it as tight as you can and holding it in place until the glue sets. For this style of ring you'll need to repeat this process 2 more times.
Step 9: Sand Edges
Now you'll want to sand the outside edges flat.
Step 10: Glue Accent Lines
For the contrasting accent lines cut out two pieces of veneer to the size of the ring. We'll then just glue the flat veneers down by sandwiching all the pieces together being sure to align the coiled pieces as best you can.
Step 11: Aligning Coils
Do your best to align the coils between the contrasting veneers.
Step 12: Drill Through Veneer
Now you can puncture through with a drill bit and sand the inside.
Step 13: Sand the Inside
A Dremel tool works great for sanding the inside but you could also use a rat tail file.
Step 14: Sanding the Outside
If you're lucking enough to have a lathe you can speed up the sanding process. If not, then sanding by hand will work just fine.
Step 15: Sanding the Edges
I'll then sand down the edges and some final sanding on the inside.
Step 16: Finishing Part 1
For the finish I apply one coat of boiled linseed oil.
Step 17: Finishing Part 2
After apply a coat of boiled linseed oil I'll apply 10 coats of spray polyurethane. Allowing 1 day to dry between each coat.