I decided a few weeks ago I wanted to make something really neat for my wife. What better time than Valentine’s Day to give it to her!
I recently bought a chunk of walnut to make a lidded box for the charity, Beads of Courage. After cutting what I needed for that project, I had several cutoffs left. I paired up the walnut cutoffs with some cherry that I milled from a log. I cut the walnut and cherry in to roughly two inch pieces and glued them in to a sandwich. After drying overnight, it was time to find the center and drill a hole roughly the size I needed. I roughed out the outside circle and headed to the band saw. With an idea of the size cut, it was time for some lathe work. I grabbed a piece of wood, roughly one inch squared and headed to the lathe. I needed a mandrel to hold to ring blank so it could be turned. Once it was turned to fit the hole I drilled in the center of the ring blank, I could start turning the outside surface. Using a detail finisher with a carbid tip, the shape of a beautiful ring was starting to emerge. Now I needed a way to work on the inside of the ring. I realized that a small scrap of wood turned appropriately would serve as a jam chuck. What I needed to do was make a recess in the center of the wood scrap that would hold the ring by friction. After some trial and error, it seemed to work really well. I again used the carbide detail finisher to slowly turn away the unwanted wood until the correct ring size was reached. Some sanding followed up to 400 grit and the ring was really starting to take shape, literally! I once again put the ring on the mandrel I made for some final sanding and finishing. I used a thin layer of CA glue, common known as super glue for the finish. It’s hard and durable, especially for such a delicate item. Once the glue set, the ring was ready for it’s new owner, my wife. I quickly realized I wanted to make something cool to store the ring in, so with a chunk of cherry, I headed back to the lathe. I turned a small lidded box. Sanded it smooth and applied a nice coat of wipe on poly. After it dried, I grabbed a few wood shavings as filler and positioned the ring on top. Not to shabby if you ask me!