How To Make A Bent Wood Ring With Guitar Strings And Abalone Inlay

How To Make A Bent Wood Ring With Guitar Strings And Abalone Inlay


My name is Dan Rees from www.ZebranoWoodCraft.com. In this video I’ll show you the process I
used to make THIS guitar inspired bent wood ring. I used two types of wood veneer: Birdseye
maple and Macassar Ebony. These are just standard thickness wood veneers
that are about 0.6mm. For the inlays I used this abalone laminate
sheet, and an old guitar string. To begin I used a sharp craft knife to cut
10mm wide strips of the maple and ebony veneers and sanded down one end of each strip until
it was paper thin. To make the wood nice and plyable I soaked
the strips in hot water for around 30 minutes. Then I wrapped my strips of wood around a
wide socket, secured them with masking tape and left them to dry thoroughly. This makes the wood nice and bendy ready to
make bent wood ring. When the wood was dry it was time to start
forming the ring. I wanted the inside layer to be birdseye maple
with ebony around the outside. I started by dry wrapping the maple veneer
around my former one time and added around a CM of extra wood. I snipped off the excess with a scissors and
this left me with enough wood to for one layer of the ring. I sanded down the edge I’d just cut until
it was paper thin. To glue my first layer of wood, I wrapped
it tightly around my former, added a small amount of CA glue and rolled it together. I sanded the seam flat and that was my first
layer done! I wanted the outside to be made of Macassar
Ebony and I used a similar process as before but wrapped enough wood to form two layers. The glue up was a bit trickier as I needed
to make sure the wood lined up correctly but I’ve had plenty of practice at doing this
and it was no problem at all! I sanded down the outer edges until they were
flat and the ring was the right width. I did this on a piece of sand paper and used
a figure of 8 motion to help keep the edges even. Ok so we have the basic ring blank, it’s the
right size and the right width, the next thing to do is take it over to the lathe and do
some inlays. To get my inlays precise I used my trusty
marking gauge to score three lines around the circumference of the ring. These lines gave me a good guide and allowed
me to carve my inlay channels with precision. I mounted the ring on a simple spindle and
used a set of files to carve inlay channels where I’d scored my lines. I made sure the channels were deep enough
to accommodate the guitar strings. Time to set the guitar string inlays. I began by test wrapping the string into the
inlay so I could find roughly how much I would need to go around the whole circumference
of the ring. I used a wire snipper to cut the string and
then a half round nose pliers to make the string more ring shaped. Without this step the string will keep wanting
to revert back to a straight shape which makes the glue up impossible! I made adjustments to the string with a flat
file to make sure the fit was tight and the seam where the edges joined would be minimal. When I was happy with the fit, it was time
to start gluing the guitar string into the channel! The seams of the strings were lined up with
the seam or join in the wood – we’ll call this the “back of the ring”. I began gluing from the “front of the ring”
and this made lining everything up a little easier. I dabbed a little bit of CA glue into the
channel and then pressed the string in and waited for the glue to cure. I worked my way from the front, dabbing in
a little glue and pulling the string tight. I repeated these steps with my second string
and did a good job with lining up the seams. Before moving on to my third inlay I sanded
down the strings with a few grits of sand paper to give them an attractive “ground
down” look. With my strings in I started carving my center
inlay channel in much the same way as before using a series of files. I did this with the ring mounted on a spindle. Ok so I’ve cut the center inlay and now it’s
time to fill it with abalone shell. I cut a strip from the abalone laminate sheet
that was roughly the same width as the inlay channel (approximately 2mm wide). To set the inlay I dabbed a little bit of
CA glue into the carved channel, and placed a section of abalone into the glue. After waiting a few seconds I rolled the shell
into the inlay. I worked my way around the ring, trying to
make the abalone inlay as seamless as possible. Where a piece broke off, I glued the next
piece in so that it blended nicely. When the final inlay was complete I began
finishing. To do this I gave every surface of the ring
a generous coating of CA glue to really make the details pop and add protection from the
elements. I do this using a cocktail stick, but I’ve
seen it done with kitchen roll or a paint brush. To stop the glue from blooming/bubbling/going
weird I spray a light misting of activator spray in between coats. I’ve gone ahead and applied a bunch of layers
of CA glue to the ring (the inside and the outside). Now I am going to go ahead and polish it all
up… I always take my time with polishing to give
the final ring a shiny and smooth feel. For the inside and outer edges I used progressively
finer grits of sandpaper and micro mesh to hand sand the ring until there were no bumps,
marks or dips in the finish. To polish the outside I mounted the ring back
on my spindle and wet sanded through the grits to get an even and shiny surface. When the sanding was complete I rubbed in
a bit of burnishing cream to bring out the full lustre of the finish. That’s the ring fresh of the lathe, and one
way to know you’ve done a good job with polishing is if it’s squeaky – so let’s give it the
squeaky test! I’m really happy with the way that turned
out, let’s see if she fits. Thank you for watching guys, that was an awesome
project. I’m so happy with the way this turned out,
these are definitely going into my Etsy shop right away. I’ve included a discount code if you’d like
to buy this ring. That should be either on the screen or in
the description to this video. Thank you s much for watching, check out more
videos, subscribe to my channel if you want to see more ring making tutorials. Be sure to go over to my website, www.ZebranoWoodCraft.com
where you’ll see a sign up form to my email list so come and get involved and join the
team. Thank you so much for watching, hope to see
you in the next one!

63 thoughts on “How To Make A Bent Wood Ring With Guitar Strings And Abalone Inlay

  1. Beautiful ring! I know where to get the timber, however you couldn't give me an idea where to get the abalone shell, please? My brothers birthday in 6 weeks and I'll need time to order it? I'm from Australia and I don't know if your ring sizes are the same, do you know??? Cheers Sean

  2. Nice job man! Love the humor in your videos! ๐Ÿ™‚
    If people want to complain about the prices, they should try making these and see how difficult it is to make them look really good and how long it takes. Or just go back to Walmart for some roll back prices haha. ๐Ÿ’ฉ

  3. nice vid bro. Did you also put CA on the inside of the ring ? otherwise wetsanding isnt the best way i experienced that the wood soak it up and expanded. what i do is i imprignate the wood fully with superthin CA this way water cant penetrate, its so thin that is will drip trough the whole ring. but anyway the result is super :D.

  4. Great looking ring! I've been making rings for a little bit with my drill press as a lathe, how did you make your ring mandrel or where did you find it? Would be a great tool!

  5. Excellent Vid, Yes many of these types of videos are similar but it's not just about that otherwise after the first tutorial was posted that would be it, I watch as many as I can on whatever I'm learning as there's usually something different ie method, materials etc in each one,
    Anyway classy piece and beautifully finished, Liked an subbed ;0)

  6. Really nice, you and Patrick Adair both have an amazing imagination and a talent for making your ideas reality. Thanks

  7. Nice work! How long should I keep veneer in boiling water? I am using Wenge veneer and after 20 min. is still splitting.

  8. Do you have a link to a spindle that you trust?? I don't know much about these tools. I wan't to get into making rings and am willing to invest.

  9. Can I use a Mini Metal Lathe 7" X 14" for the wood turning as well as any Metal I may
    use for Rings?

  10. Beautiful! I love it. What string gauge did you use? Maybe a wounded 3d string? Cause I reckon it's not the low E. xD

  11. You know if it is the same as the other makers it's still an awesome way to make one and that's an awesome ring you do a great job and it doesn't take a lot of tools you can take and make a spindle yourself by using a ring spindle put it on a drill for the nail on the other end with piece of wood and make your own little set up so you don't have to have a fancy lathe to do all this and that's what nice about this guys work cuz he uses files instead of lathe tools

  12. Question, if I may – what are the sanding cloths you use for your final finish? They look like they give a better feel/control than the micromesh pads. Great ring! Do you CA the inside of your ring as well? Thanks! Keep those videos coming!

  13. Hey Dan, just caught your channel and your rings are awesome. I've been making rings myself for a few people and caught a few ideas on how to better them.

    My question is, with the ebony, what size did you go with? I'm currently working to make a solid Ebony ring with an amethyst inlay for a friend of mine. Their ring is about a 6.5, and it kinked pretty heavily when I first started. Have you run into this issue, and if you have, what did you do to work out the kinks? Just longer soaking?

  14. For CA finishing you can get ring bushings on woodturners catalog. I personally use them on a pen mandrel and cut 20 1×1 squares of the blue scotts shop towels "very soft". You fold each of those in thirds as you go, run your lathe at 500 rpm and apply Thin CA as it's turning. Apply a drop or two to the shop towel piece and run it across the ring while spinning. A quick shot of activator on every coat should produce a nice even glass like finish with minimal wet sanding required if any. Sounds like a lot but after a bit it's super easy!

  15. fallen in love this work! found out that my local specialty wood store has free samples of veneer. got so many projects to try!

  16. Greetings from the US! 1st of all, love your videos. Hope to see more from you soon. 2nd, my friend and I are musicians and he is getting married soon and his wife asked me to make a ring for him. I'm kind of basing my design off of yours, but had a question about the abalone. The only ones I can find have an adhesive back on it and they're kind of thick. I also have one that's really thin but it's really fragile and breaks very easily. Do you have any recommendations on where I can get good abalone shell sheets? Thanks!

  17. Very Very Beautiful Ring Indeed…LOVE IT…Thanks for taking the time to upload this video, I appreciate you very much ๐Ÿ™‚

    KNOW WHAT MOM KNOWS
    Shelly Cole
    aka "MOM" ๐Ÿ™‚

  18. Dude, i follow your instagram and appreciatte a lot to see your rings production!! Congrats man!! On this video would you tell me whats the white liquid stuff you used for the final polishing ??? Tks a lot in advance for your videos, really helped on my jewelry business !!

  19. From start to finish spot on now off to get a lathe looks like I will need deep pockets cheers mate.

  20. Damn… a freaking lathe for inlays… I am either super stupid, or you are a crafting genius. Spoiler:

    Its both.

    Great video man.

  21. Do you prefer using a dremel style tool for carving designs (is that still called carving if you use a dremel?) or do you prefer the margin of error that a craft knife allows?

  22. You kind of went a different direction from your badass role as Leonidas. There isnt much fighting in these videos, but it's still badass.

    Stay hip, Gerard Butler in disguise!

  23. I really enjoy your videos! I was wondering how you keep the wood from being glued to your form when youโ€™re using CA and wrapping the wood around the socket? Thanks!

  24. Beautiful craftsmanship!! I am a pen turner trying to inlay abalone. The sheet a have looks very much like yours. However when I try and cut a thin piece, I.e. 5mm wide, it snaps and breaks…it will not bend even a little. I then try and piecemeal small 5mm straight pieces onto the round surface….just about impossible!! Any suggestions??

  25. How do you bend the narrow abalone strip without it breaking or snapping?? Where do you purchase your sheets of abalone??

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