Thought I had posted this project last year but I guess it slipped through the cracks. Got married last year and never got a wedding band as I felt I just wasn’t a ring wearing kind of guy. Fast forward a year and I saw a post on the web about making rings with a drill press and had to try it out. This produced my plywood rings as well as a maple and walnut ring, but shortly after the bamboo rifle stock I decided to try one out of some scrap bamboo. The first one exploded (literally) while I was making it and shot little bamboo pieces across the room, but the second one worked out. I used cartelized bamboo which gives it a darker colour, and while I always meant to finish it with CA glue, I never got around to it. I make sure to not get it wet and so far it’s lasted a couple of months of daily use. It gets a little tight if my hands are sweaty but I love how the grain shows through the end.
52 Create – my weekly creative output for 2011. I made some chalkboards for my own wedding last summer, and I was recently commissioned to make a bunch of them for another wedding this summer. These were to be decidedly more “rustic” in appearance and also cost was a factor for the client. They are made from 1/4″ douglas fir plywood with a 1/4″ dowel out the back to support them. They will be used for table numbers for the dinner. It was a fairly quick job and made me realize some of the benefits of organization when doing larger production runs (ie. 20 chalkboards – 2 didn’t work out…).
My other 52 Create Projects.
This photo was taken in Amsterdam on an overcast day. My Dad and I spotted this little fiat 500 as it crossed the bridge and we both took a picture, but we were a long way off at the time. What luck we thought as we continued to advance and the car stayed perched on top of the bridge. As we passed the bridge, we realized that the car had in fact broken down and the two inside were desperately trying to get it started. Finally it sprung to life and went half a block to a church where the bride and groom exited the car…
Taken with my hasselblad xpan, 45mm, Fuji Pro400.
52 Create, my weekly creative project for 2011. While I spent a lot of time on various projects this past week, I really don’t have much to show for it. I had many issues with the projects that pushed back their finish timeline by days, weeks, or even ever in some cases. So with all the bad luck (or lack of planning), I was quite happy for this little project to turn out so well.
In the picture you can see my latest creation, a man’s ring out of Baltic Birch plywood. Why plywood? Well I honestly didn’t have much for wood in the shop this past week, and due to issues with grain in making wooden rings, plywood is actually a pretty good choice. I picked the wood mainly because I had many scraps of it lying around, but I was very impressed with the way it turned out.
Wood has grain that runs in one direction, and that means that on a ring, parts of it would be very weak if you only used one solid piece of wood. The solution to this would be to laminate two pieces together, keeping the grain at right angles. I meant to do this, but in one of my many screw-ups, I managed to glue them with the grain parallel, which doesn’t really help with the strength much… I then realized that Baltic Birch plywood is basically many thin layers of Birch that is laminated at right angles to each other, making a very strong piece of wood for a ring. The only issue is that the layers are so thin that the outer ones have a tendency to chip off if you aren’t careful.
How did I make it? well I took a scrap of wood, drilled out a hole with a forstner bit (3/4″ fit my finger), then I went to the bandsaw and cut a circle around the hole. Then I took the beginnings of a ring back to the drill press, put a bit of masking tape on the forstner bit to widen it a little, and then forced the ring onto the bit. Turned the drill press on and proceeded to sand it round. I made the bevel with an old round file I had. I then sanded it up to 600 grit, although I had a large gap between 220 and 600… but you work with what you’ve got, and new sandpaper wasn’t in the budget this week.
I’ve never been a ring kind of guy, but I really like this ring and the way it feels. I’ve been wearing it almost daily, and it’s incredibly light and comfortable. It’s amazing how thin it is and yet is still strong (it’s less than 2mm at it’s thickest). When you hold it up to sunlight you can actually see light through the wood. I haven’t finished it yet, so I’ve been very careful not to soak it. I’ve read that Cyanoacrylate is the way to go for a durable waterproof finish. While this was only meant to be a trial run with scrap wood, I’m extremely pleased with how it went, and will try a few more out of Baltic Birch. I do now have a small piece of walnut and maple that I’ve laminated together, so I might post another version of the ring for next week, we’ll see.
My other 52 Create Projects
We started off our series of DIY wedding ideas with our home made chalk boards. Next up is our DIY and Eco friendly idea for wedding vases. Most wedding’s I’ve been to often have tons of vases with elaborate bouquets. The vases are bought at a great expense and then either left behind, given away, or thrown out. This seemed like a huge waste to us, and the fact that we were flying across the country to get married meant we didn’t want to be carrying around fragile vases.
Our initial plan had been to go and buy a few vases from the local Ikea, while cheap, they were something we didn’t need, and it seemed wasteful and it would only end up cluttering up our house. Lucky for us Ikea was sold out, so it was on to plan B.
In the local health food store, we found some half litre glass milk jugs that looked like they’d do the trick. The best part of it was that they were filled with milk. So we bought 6 bottles (3 chocolate, 2 whip cream, 1 half and half) which were used up before the wedding and for the wedding deserts. We washed the bottles, put in some home-made paper flowers (our next DIY wedding feature) and voila!
After the wedding, we simply returned the empty bottles back to the store and collected our deposit. No waste, no clutter, no cost.
So part 2 of my new beginnings is marriage. Sugar High and I will be gettin’ hitched at the end of the month, the start of not only a marriage, but also a collaboration of our collective craft wisdom. She has the talent in baking, sewing, and general design, whereas mine lie in photography and construction. Our talents have mixed well on projects in the past as we combine our varied skills.
In the next couple of weeks, look for some super easy DIY wedding ideas from the two of us that we are putting to use in our own wedding. Stay tuned!