How to make a copper and wood ring

How to make a copper and wood ring

Hi everyone! Today I’m going to show how to make a copper and wood ring on my lathe. As usually, the materials which I’m using are quite affordable and easy to find: wood shavings, copper pipe and copper wire from any electric cable.

Brown Ebony to make the ring

Still, this time I used a quite exotic wood; the Caesalpinia Granadillo (a.k.a. Brown Ebony or Guayacan) which is one of the hardest woods on earth, about 20-25% harder than Ebony. There is no doubt it’s a very suitable wood for jewelry. Till now, I’ve been using the Dremel tool to turn rings which now it’s been set aside for my new lathe which lets me a quicker and precise job.


Marking the ring size in the stainless steel mandrel

Let’s show how I made it: First of all, to make a ring we need the size ring of the person who it’s going to wear it. Then I marked it on the stainless steel mandrel.

Cut a slice of copper pipe

Now it’s time to cut the base of the ring, which it’s going to be a slice of a copper pipe. I prefer to get this job done with my scroll saw.

Heat up the copper

Next, we need to accommodate the copper slice inner diameter to our desired size. To make that process easier I recommend to heat up the copper till it gets red colour. For this job, I used a propane torch. Tip: remember to distribute heat evenly all the piece to avoid structural problems.

Shape the ring in a steel mandrel

After that it’s time to shape the ring in our steel mandrel. To avoid leaving marks on the copper, I recommend to use a simple rubber mallet or a raw mallet. You need to be patient on this step, and maybe you need to reheat the copper some other times cause while you’re hammering it, it becomes harder. You can reheat it as many times as you need.

Clean the rust and prepare the surface

Then, I put the ring on a wood mandrel I’ve made for mounting rings on the lathe. It has a conical shape to admit different ring sizes. I recommend here to make it with a semi-hard or hardwood. Once is mounted, I started cleaning of the rust and preparing the surface to add the wood.

Polish the inner face of the ring

We can polish the inner face of the ring now or at the end of the whole process. It’s your call. To polish the copper I used my dremel tool with a wool attachment and some metal polishing paste.

Shaping the ring to give it the desired wide

Now we can continue shaping the ring. I use a cheap chisel shape the copper to the desired wide. Once this it’s done I focus on the wood.

Gluing the Granadillo shaving with CA

I choose Granadillo due it’s beauty color, tight grain and high density. I have to say that was a hard job to obtain the shavings even with my block plane recently sharpened. Then, we apply CA glue to the copper and start gluing the Granadillo shaving till we get the desired thickness. Remember to sand the end of the shaving to avoid bumps.

Even the surface with a precision metal file

Now I even the surface with a precision metal file, continuing by light sanding with 500 grit, 0000 steel wool and nail polisher.

Make a recess, inlay, sand, and polish the ring

Then I make a recess with a chisel to inlay a copper wire, also with cyanoacrylate glue. After that, some more sanding and polishing and our ring it’s done.

I hope you enjoyed this project. Please check out the video of making process and subscribe to my channel if you are interested on my projects. Cheers!

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