Monday, March 04, 2013
My first ring was a white gold band Leila bought for me when we were married in 1999. In Texas I was trying to replace leaky sinks before we sold the house. I couldn't clamp down on the wrench hard enough with my ring on so I took it off and it put it on the counter. At some point it must have rolled off - either in the sink or onto the floor, but it was never found again.
In Indiana, Leila found a "silver" band for seven dollars at a bead store. It looked very similar to the more expensive gold band, especially after it was scratched up. It didn't rust or tarnish so I am not sure what alloy it was. I wore it off and on until August. I was rowing with a very active boat and my ring was wearing a blister into my hand. I took it off and put it in my shoe. When we got out of the boat I couldn't find it. It must have rolled out and is either lodged inside the scull or is in the river.
So since then I have not worn my ring. I was talking about it at some of our breeding meetings during a break and they had some interesting ideas for inexpensive and interesting materials for a new ring. One of my coworker's husband has a titanium ring, someone else has a stainless steel ring. Someone said they had seen a wooden ring. I was curious about how a wooden ring would be made. The grain would be weak in one direction, unless you made a laminate around the ring.
I found a couple of sites where they showed how to drill a ring out of a piece of wood, or turn one on a lathe, or layer veneers. I decided I would try the veneer option, since I don't have a lathe. I bought 7 dollars worth of ebony veneer, it was the cheapest package, and cut 0.25 inch strips from the veneer sheet. Ebony is a very hard wood and is not very flexible so I boiled the strips in our wok. When they were flexible, I wound them around a 3/4" dowel, putting super glue between the layers. The superglue reacts very quickly to the damp wood and fingers so a little goes a long way. It also dried slightly white, which wasn't great. Then I rounded the edges and cut it smooth with my pocket knife and sanded while we watched TV.
It turned out a little big. My ring finger is smaller than a 3/4" dowel, but otherwise I am pleased. The ebony veneers make a very tough ring. It does not flex at all and is hard enough to seem scratch resistant. The ebony veneer I picked had interesting grain pattern, but the ring is small enough that it doesn't show. A bird's eye maple would potentially be prettier because the grain would show better. I need to try sanding the dowel down and making some smaller rings or different direction for the grain; I have enough veneer left for another 500 rings. Not bad though. Anyone want an ebony ring?