Friday, 10 March 2017

Wedding ring modification...

Like a lot of married people I wear a wedding ring, and if you've ever worn a ring you'll know that whilst it might have been a good fit when you first got it a few years on it might be too tight, or in my case too loose, in fact so loose that I lost it, which I was very annoyed about as it took some time to find a ring I was happy with.

I did eventually find it again, in a gardening glove as it happens, yes it sat in the glove for weeks so long that I'd actually found a replacement for it, and about two days after getting the new one I found the old one.

As the ring was loose and I was constantly worried I'd loose it again I decided to do something about it using wood of all things.

I've seen numerous rings both bought and hand made that use wood, or a combination of wood and metal (silver etc) so that's what I went with, I used Oak, but other woods would work as well, as long as they are harder types.

Here's the first one (I shall explain later) - 

The first one, which I broke.
The idea was to simply make the ring tighter using wood. So I cut out some bits of wood and then using a small forstner bit I made a 19 mm (just a bit smaller than the actual size of the ring) hole in each piece so that I could mount them on my lathe, then using the lathe I turned two bits into shapes I could slide into the ring, this made the internal size smaller and thus tighter on my finger.

The two halves - 

You can see which bits are meant to go into the ring.

I made the two parts bigger so that I could turn them to size once I'd glued them into the ring, this I found was easier than trying to turn them to size before gluing to the ring.

One of the halves being made - 

Scrap bits of wood are handy for this type of thing.

And once I had the two halves I then glued them into the ring using epoxy glue and using a small clamp held the two parts in place while the glue set.

Clamped and waiting for the glue to set - 

I left it for 24 hours before removing the clamp.

When I was happy the epoxy had set nice and firm I took the clamps off and set about turning the inside to a size I could actually get it onto my ring finger, after that I polished the whole thing, wood and all and then sealed the wood using ca glue (super glue basically, and yes you can use it as a polish and sealer)

And done - 

Not a good picture.

Okay, so it worked and better than I'd expected but there are some things to consider if you try this, or indeed if you try making a wooden ring, the first being that it's wood, it's not as strong as metal (the ring I modified is silver) this I found out when I went to my allotment the day after making this and broke one of the wooden section whilst knocking in some steel posts to repair some fences.

The same would apply for a completely wooden ring, basically it's not going to take much punishment, yes you can use harder woods but even so it'll still break eventually, so maybe take it off for any heavy jobs.

(Technically you shouldn't wear rings whilst using tools and machinery, look up 'Ring Avulsion to see why, if you want to hang onto your last meal don't look it up)

Another thing to remember is that wood like a lot of materials moves, as in it expands and contracts especially in relation to moisture, and there's not a lot you can do to stop it even if you seal the wood, so remember wearing a wooden ring whilst washing up for example will cause the wood to expand and as it drys out it'll contract and the more movement there is the more likely it will crack or warp or break in some other way.

When wood is combined with metal in this way there are conflicting forces at work as well, the wood will expand and contract with moisture, the metal with expand and contract with heat, so as an example if the wood dries out (when it's warmer) it will contract, however the ring (as it's metal) will expand slightly when it's warmer, so far I haven't had any trouble with this.

The last thing to take into consideration is the ring itself, this would have been a little easier had the ring been slightly larger, but I still managed it, and the other thing that helped is the shape of the ring, it's a 'D' shape, so it's flat on the inside which made fixing the wooden sections to it a lot easier, I'm not sure this would work with rings that are curved in the inside.

But I wouldn't let that stop you, I intend to have a go at making a ring from wood once I get time.

As experiments go I'm saying this was a success - 

I think it worked well.

Thanks for reading.

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