How to Make Wooden Rings on a Lathe


Updated on:

Wooden rings are a unique and stylish accessory that can be made using a lathe. With the right tools and techniques, you can create a beautiful wooden ring that is both durable and comfortable to wear. In this article, I will share with you the steps to make a wooden ring on a lathe. To make a wooden ring on a lathe, you will need to select the right type of wood, prepare it for turning, and use a lathe to shape it into a ring. The type of wood you choose will affect the durability, weight, and appearance of the ring. Hardwoods like maple, walnut, and cherry are popular choices for wooden rings because they are strong and have a beautiful grain pattern. Once you have selected your wood, you will need to prepare it for turning by cutting it into a rough shape and drilling a hole in the center. Then, you can use a lathe to shape the wood into a ring, using tools like a skew chisel and a parting tool to create the desired shape and size. With patience and practice, you can create a beautiful wooden ring that is unique and personal to you.

Understanding the Basics of a Lathe As someone who has been making wooden rings on a lathe for a while, I can tell you that understanding the basics of a lathe is crucial. A lathe is a machine that rotates a workpiece on its axis to perform various operations, such as cutting, drilling, sanding, or shaping. There are different types of lathes, including wood lathes, metal lathes, and mini lathes. For wooden ring making, a mini lathe or a wood lathe will suffice. Here are some of the basic components of a lathe that you should be familiar with:

  • Bed: The bed is the base of the lathe that supports all the other components. It is usually made of cast iron or steel and provides stability to the machine.
  • Headstock: The headstock is located on one end of the bed and holds the workpiece. It contains the motor that drives the spindle and rotates the workpiece.
  • Tailstock: The tailstock is located on the opposite end of the bed and supports the other end of the workpiece. It can be moved along the bed to adjust the distance between the centers.
  • Tool rest: The tool rest is a support that holds the cutting tool and allows it to move along the workpiece. It can be adjusted in height and distance from the workpiece.
  • Spindle: The spindle is a rotating component that holds the workpiece. It is driven by the motor in the headstock and can be adjusted for speed.
  • Chuck: The chuck is a device that holds the workpiece securely in place. It can be adjusted to hold different sizes and shapes of workpieces.

To make wooden rings on a lathe, you will need to understand how to use these components effectively. You will also need to select the right cutting tools, sandpaper, and finishing materials. With practice and patience, you can create beautiful wooden rings that are unique and personalized.

Choosing the Right Wood When it comes to making wooden rings on a lathe, choosing the right wood is crucial. Not all types of wood are suitable for making rings, and some woods may be too brittle or too soft to withstand the wear and tear of daily use. Here are some factors to consider when selecting wood for your ring-making project:


The hardness of the wood is one of the most important factors to consider when making a wooden ring. Hardwoods like oak, maple, and walnut are ideal for making rings because they are durable and can withstand daily wear and tear. Softwoods like pine and cedar, on the other hand, are not recommended because they are too soft and may not hold up well over time.

Grain Pattern

The grain pattern of the wood can also affect the look and durability of your ring. Straight-grained woods like maple and birch are great for making simple, classic rings, while more complex grain patterns like those found in burl wood can create unique and eye-catching designs. It’s important to choose a wood with a tight and consistent grain pattern to ensure that the ring will hold up well over time.


The color of the wood is another important factor to consider when making a wooden ring. Different woods have different natural colors, ranging from light blondes to dark browns and even reds. Some woods can also be stained or dyed to achieve a desired color. When choosing a wood for your ring, consider the color of the wood and how it will complement your personal style. In summary, when choosing the right wood for your wooden ring project, consider the hardness, grain pattern, and color of the wood. Hardwoods with a tight and consistent grain pattern are ideal for making durable and long-lasting rings, while the color of the wood can be used to create unique and personalized designs.

Crafting the Wooden Ring Making a wooden ring on a lathe is a fun and rewarding project that can be done by anyone with basic woodworking skills. In this section, I will guide you through the process of crafting a wooden ring step-by-step.

Designing the Ring

The first step in making a wooden ring is to design the ring. You can use a pre-made ring template or create your own design. Consider the width, thickness, and shape of the ring. You can also add decorative elements such as inlays or grooves.

Cutting and Shaping

Once you have your design, it’s time to cut and shape the ring. Start by selecting a suitable wood for your ring. Hardwoods such as maple, walnut, and cherry work well for rings. Cut the wood to the desired thickness and width using a saw. Next, mount the wood on the lathe and shape it using a gouge or spindle roughing tool. Be sure to take your time and make small cuts to avoid damaging the wood. Once you have the basic shape, use a skew chisel to refine the details and create a smooth finish.

Sanding and Finishing

After shaping the ring, it’s time to sand and finish it. Start by sanding the ring with progressively finer grits of sandpaper. Be sure to sand the inside and outside of the ring evenly to avoid creating any flat spots. Once you have sanded the ring, apply a finish of your choice. You can use a clear coat of polyurethane or a natural oil finish such as beeswax. Apply the finish evenly and allow it to dry completely before wearing the ring. That’s it! With these simple steps, you can create a beautiful and unique wooden ring on a lathe.

Safety Precautions While Using a Lathe As with any woodworking tool, using a lathe can be dangerous if proper safety precautions are not taken. Here are some safety tips to keep in mind when using a lathe:

  • Wear appropriate safety gear such as safety glasses, ear protection, and a dust mask.
  • Avoid wearing loose clothing or jewelry that could get caught in the lathe.
  • Keep long hair tied back and out of the way.
  • Always make sure the lathe is properly secured to the workbench or floor to prevent it from tipping over during use.
  • Check the lathe’s speed and adjust it as needed for the type of wood you are working with.
  • Keep your hands and fingers away from the spinning wood and cutting tools.
  • Use a tool rest to support the cutting tool and keep it stable.
  • Keep the cutting tools sharp to prevent them from catching or slipping.
  • Never use your hands to stop the spinning wood or cutting tools.
  • Do not leave the lathe unattended while it is still spinning.

By following these safety precautions, you can minimize the risk of injury while using a lathe and create beautiful wooden rings with confidence.

Leave a Comment