Wood and copper ring

How to make a wood and copper ring

Hello everyone! Today I am going to show you how I made this copper and wood ring with my lathe. As a general rule, the materials I use in my projects are quite affordable and easy to find: wood shavings, copper pipe and copper wire from any electrical cable.

Well, as you may have guessed from the video, this is a project by Lluis, from the YouTube channel Woodworking Barcelona.

Granadillo wood to make the ring

This time I am going to use a rather exotic wood: Caesalpinia granadillo (aka Ebony Brown or Guayacan), which is one of the hardwoods we can find on Earth, between 20-25% harder than ebony. There is no doubt that it is a very suitable wood for jewelry. Until now, I have been using the Dremel tool to make my rings, and now that I have the lathe I can make a faster and more precise work.

Mark the size of the ring on the steel mandrel.

Let’s see how I made it: First, we need the finger measurement of the person who is going to wear it. Once we have it, we mark it on the stainless steel mandrel.

Cut a piece of copper pipe

Now we cut what will be the base of the ring from a piece of copper pipe. I prefer to use my scroll saw for this job.

Heating copper red-hot

Next, we need to accommodate the inner diameter of the copper ring to our desired size. To make the process easier I recommend to heat the copper until it becomes red hot. For this job I used a propane torch. Tip: remember to distribute the heat evenly throughout the piece to avoid structural damage.

Shape the ring on the mandrel

Next, it’s time to shape the ring on our steel mandrel. To avoid leaving marks on the copper ring I recommend using a rubber mallet. You have to be patient in this step, and you may need to reheat the copper ring several times as it hardens during hammering. You can reheat it as many times as you need.

Clean rust and prepare the surface

Then, I put the ring on a wooden mandrel that I have made for turning wood rings on the lathe. It has a conical shape to accommodate different ring sizes. I recommend doing it with a hard or semi-hard wood. Once assembled, I started cleaning the rust and preparing the surface to add the wood.

Polishing the inside of the ring

We can polish the inside face of the ring now or at the end of the whole process, the choice is yours. To polish the inside I used my dremel tool with a wool attachment and some metal polishing paste.

Give the desired shape and width to the ring

Now we can continue with the ring shaping. To do this I use a cheap chisel and so I cut it to the desired thickness and width. You may need to securely fasten the ring on the mandrel. You can do it with masking tape or a drop of cyanoacrylate glue. Once this is done, I focus on the wood.

Gluing the granadillo wood shavings with superglue

I chose Granadillo because of the beauty of its color, its narrow grain, as well as its high density. I have to say it was hard work to get the shavings, even using my newly sharpened planer. Then, we apply more cyanoacrylate to the copper ring and start gluing the Granadillo shaving until we reach the desired thickness. Remember to sand the ends of the shaving to avoid irregularities in the thickness of the ring.

Even out the wood surface with a precision file

Now, we even the wood surface of the ring with a precision metal file,

Embedding the copper wire in the ring

followed by light sanding with 500 grit sandpaper, 000 grit steel wool and nail polish. Then we make a small recess with a chisel to embed the copper wire, also gluing it with cyanoacrylate glue. After that, a little polishing plus sanding and our DIY ring is already made.

I hope you enjoyed this DIY project. If you want, take a look at the video on how to make this copper and wood ring, and subscribe to my channel if you are interested in my projects. Greetings!

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