Getting Started in Ring Making...What do I need?

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wrjones224

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Mar 15, 2020
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Kentucky
Not pen-making but hoping to gain some advice on the ring-making side of things.

I want to make my own ring for my upcoming wedding and looking for advice. I like the look of the inlay rings but I want it to be made of wood; specifically Bethlehem olivewood.

I have seen some of the cores for sale but want to know which ones are the highest quality and what some of you all recommend. I want something that is going to last a very long time. Will any of the ring cores out there keep their finish for years to come? Also, there are many different ring mandrels out there...which one is the best to use?


Thanks for any advice!
 
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ed4copies

Local Chapter Manager
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Mar 25, 2005
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Racine, WI, USA.
Ryan,

If you want to make one and only one--make a mandrel the correct size for your finger. Get a titanium ring core (rings and things or some other jewelry supplier). You will probably want to get a couple--you want extraordinary figure on the one you keep, and you will get better with a little practice.

If you want to get into ring making for others, this vid will help:
 

eteska

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Oct 29, 2019
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Wisconsin
First of congratulations Ryan!

I may not be a ton of help here, I have only made a few. But following because I am curious what kinds of finish people are using and there experiences with how they hold up over time. I have tried two kinds of ca and two kinds of uv cured resin. All of which have had to be refinished after 3-4 months of daily wear and tear. Not a huge deal when it’s mine or my wife’s but has kept me from marketing them.
 

leehljp

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Tunica, MS,
First of congratulations Ryan!

I may not be a ton of help here, I have only made a few. But following because I am curious what kinds of finish people are using and there experiences with how they hold up over time. I have tried two kinds of ca and two kinds of uv cured resin. All of which have had to be refinished after 3-4 months of daily wear and tear. Not a huge deal when it’s mine or my wife’s but has kept me from marketing them.
This applies to pens also, but most people don't recognize this because 1. they see their pens in their newness, 2. don't understand the "use difference" of pens versus furniture, 3. don't take the time to research finishes and each finish's long term durability or usability, and 4. don't let the proper curing of finish become part of their routine.

Pens are not in constant contact with oily/sweaty skin or in contact with hard objects nearly as much as rings are. I would think that with each sale, a card or note with the ring - explaining the proper cleaning and protection - would be part of the process of sales.

Thanks for posting YOUR experiences.

Urushi will probably provide the longest term protection, but no one wants to wait weeks for the finish to cure, and 99% probably do not want to take the safety precautions needed to use Urushi.

My idea would be: If using wood, Stabilizing each ring core with a very good stabilizer before turning would be a great help. A ring core is, of course by its thinness, easer to stabilize all the way through than pen blanks. I don't know what the hardest stabilizer would be, but that is what I would use.
 
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eteska

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Oct 29, 2019
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Location
Wisconsin
This applies to pens also, but most people don't recognize this because 1. they see their pens in their newness, 2. don't understand the "use difference" of pens versus furniture, 3. don't take the time to research finishes and each finish's long term durability or usability, and 4. don't let the proper curing of finish become part of their routine.

Pens are not in constant contact with oily/sweaty skin or in contact with hard objects nearly as much as rings are. I would think that with each sale, a card or note with the ring - explaining the proper cleaning and protection - would be part of the process of sales.

Thanks for posting YOUR experiences.

Urushi will probably provide the longest term protection, but no one wants to wait weeks for the finish to cure, and 99% probably do not want to take the safety precautions needed to use Urushi.

My idea would be: If using wood, Stabilizing each ring core with a very good stabilizer before turning would be a great help. A ring core is, of course by its thinness, easer to stabilize all the way through than pen blanks. I don't know what the hardest stabilizer would be, but that is what I would use.
Hi hank. Thank you for your reply. Yes these are just my experiences. Not try to discourage anyone. It is a fun process and the results are beautiful. Just trying to make them as durable as possible.

I complete agree that there is huge differences between the use and abuse a pen will receive and a ring. This past year has probably been especially hard on my rings do to the excessive hand washing and use of sanitizer.

While the urushi finished pens are beautiful you are correct. I have done enough research to know that is not something I am ever going to mess with.

Stabilized wood is a good idea and will be part of my next round of attempts.
 

PatrickR

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Apr 8, 2017
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Rural America
Congratulations!
If you are like me and don’t remove your ring much (or at all) and work with your hands a lot. I would suggest a traditional ring for a wedding ring. You will want it to last forever. My white gold wedding ring had a crosshatch pattern when new. now it is totally smooth. The rings being made by turners now can in no way last nearly that long with constant wear. The core should last but what’s embedded won’t and the core it self will not stay round for a long time making it harder to rework later.
make some rings but don't consider them forever items.
 

leehljp

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I didn't mention this above, but to me the second most moisture/dirt resistant finish other than CA will be pure tung oil. it takes a while for tung oil to cure, but it is the most moisture resistant finish of all "paint finishes". But its curing time is days to a week or two.

At one time, I thought of stabilizing a couple of pen blanks in tung oil, but never got around to trying it.

Beware of "tung oil finishes" because with the word "finish" on the end, that means a blend of other finishes with some, or zero, tung oil in it.
 

BURLMAN

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Chattanooga, TN
I have made quite few wooden rings using the stainless steel cores and hybrid ring blanks from CSUSA. The two main lessons I have learned are that: 1) you must be very precise in turning the inside diameter. If you have a little bit of slop, the ring will eventually fail. I use the CSUSA ring corer for this, with good results. My first efforts were by hand, and I never could get the hole exactly perpendicular. 2) don’t use CA to glue the blank to the core. It will eventually fail, and the finished ring blank will eventually slide off the core. Use a good epoxy and let it set 24 hours before turning.
I use medium CA to finish. Good results. I market mine as dress rings, not to be worn while doing manual labor, swimming etc.
 

its_virgil

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Joined
Jan 1, 2004
Messages
7,431
Location
Wichita Falls, TX, USA.
Not pen-making but hoping to gain some advice on the ring-making side of things.

I want to make my own ring for my upcoming wedding and looking for advice. I like the look of the inlay rings but I want it to be made of wood; specifically Bethlehem olivewood.

I have seen some of the cores for sale but want to know which ones are the highest quality and what some of you all recommend. I want something that is going to last a very long time. Will any of the ring cores out there keep their finish for years to come? Also, there are many different ring mandrels out there...which one is the best to use?


Thanks for any advice!
Congratulations!
I have lots of (professionally) stabilized ring blanks. I would be delighted to send you one if that is of interest to you. I can send a picture of a few favorites. Actually, most are large enough to get two ring blanks from. Let me know.

Look in the library for an article I wrote re:making rings. It may be helpful: https://www.penturners.org/resources/wedding-rings.392/

Do a good turn daily!
Don
 
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dogcatcher

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Jul 4, 2007
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TX, NM or on the road
I make my own ring mandrels. I turn to size I need and the drill and tap the end for a pipe plug. Then I cut 4 slots like a collet so that the pipe plug will expend the size. This one is for duck call bands, but the same thing. I also drill and tap the opposite end to fit the spindle threads. The rough saw marks make it easy to unscrew the mandrel. I also use a similar "mandrel" to hold the ring blank, but where the pipe plug fits, is a 1" diameter hole to stick the ring blank and a pipe clamp to squeeze the fingers of the collet. I use modified spade/paddle bits to drill for the sizes.

duck call band mandrel.jpg
 
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