Wooden Rings

Length of Project:
Project theme:
Suitable for grades:
Tools & Materials
Material List
  • ½” x 1” square hardwood scrap (big leaf maple, arbutus, red alder, trembling aspen, white birch)
  • (if prepping for a whole class, a ½" x 1” strip of wood to drill 5/8” holes 1” apart along, then cut into 1” square blocks for individual rings)
  • Water based stain or vegetable oil, linseed oil – other finishes that are non-toxic
Tool list
  • sandpaper (increasing grits) – start with 80 and work to 220
  • sanding blocks
  • drill Press
  • 5/8” or 9/16” drill bits – depending on finger size
  • clamps
  • assorted round files.
  1. Starting with a ½" x 1” x 1” block, identify end grain and assign that as the “TOP” of the ring, or the part that you will look at when the ring is on your finger.
  2. Decide what you want your ring’s final shape to be, and sketch in pencil onto the wood.
  3. Using the drill press or a hand drill, remove the middle of the ring. Pick the right size bit by measuring your finger first.
  4. Using the vice to secure your ring, file down the extra material on the top and sides until you reach your desired shape.
  5. Try the ring on and slowly file out more material from the center until your ring JUST fits. *Remember, you can always remove more, but you can’t put wood back, so make sure to try the ring on often for this stage. Also, keep in mind that sanding your ring will enlarge the fit slightly, as will thinning the ring (in the knuckle-to-fingertip dimension) and rounding the inner edges of your ring.
  6. Sand your ring starting with 150 grain sandpaper and working your way up to emery paper.
  7. Choose a non-toxic finish, ensuring it is compatible with daily wear next to skin. If you apply the finish with 400 grit sandpaper it will smooth any rough areas.
  8. Dispose of your rag safely as per your teacher’s instructions. *Remember, oily rags can spontaneously combust and are a safety hazard in shop environments.
Extension Challenges
  1. Glue together several layers of scrap wood to give your ring stripes.
  2. Research how to inlay a jewel or piece of metal into the top as a focal point for your ring.
  3. Carve an initial in the top of the ring using a Dremel tool.
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