How To Make A Ring With A Wood Inlay

In this tutorial I will show my process on how to make a metal ring with a wooden inlay. For this project I used a steel ring liner from and a red buck eye burl knife scale from

First things first: measuring.

I measured the outside diameter and width of the ring blank so I could use my powers of deduction to work out how much wood I’d need.

  • The diameter required was around 21mm
  • The width of the inlay was 7mm.
Preparing The Wood

With my measurements done I mounted my wood on the drill press and bored a hole with a 20mm paddle bit.

I drilled the hole slightly smaller than required but sanded it until the metal ring blank fit nice and snug inside.

Next I cut a rough shape out of the wooden blank on the scroll saw – just the take the edges off and make it easier to turn.

Mounting On The Lathe

I needed a way to mount the wood on the lathe for turning so I made a quick jam chuck from a piece of pine dowel.

The jam chuck was a pretty good fit but I also held the wood in place with a wine cork from the tailstock.

This method of mounting worked nicely and I got to work with a roughing gouge to make a ring shape.

Using a caliper I marked just over 7mm so I could see where the ring needed parting.

I was going to use a parting tool but the thin wood looked pretty fragile so I used my drill press clamp and a fine toothed saw to cut the ring to size.

Assembling The Ring

With the rough wooden ring made I did a bit of fine tuning with sand paper to ensure the metal ring blank was a perfect fit.

After a few test runs of assembling the ring I was ready to glue up. I carefully applied a high viscosity super glue to the metal ring blank, inserting one section at a time into the wood.

Both pieces of the steel ring slot together nicely and assembly was pretty easy if you work fast!

Time for a quick coffee and to mount this bad boy back on the lathe for shaping and finishing.

Final Shaping & Finishing

I made a an adjustment to the jam chuck and used chisels to shape the wooden ring.

After shaping I sanded through a few grits to get a nice smooth feel to the ring.

For finishing I wanted to enhance the colours of the grain and decided against a thick membrane finish like CA glue so I could actually feel the texture and smoothness of the wood against my skin.

I just used a few layers of friction polish on this piece to keep it simple and preserve the feel of the grain.

Finally I scraped away any excess super glue with a craft knife. The end result was a beautiful, tactile ring that I’ll be wearing for years to come!

Thank you for watching as always, if you liked this video then help by hitting the like button or even sharing it on social media!

You can find many great turning project kits over at and amazing materials from my fellow craftsmen over at (they make kick ass knives too!).

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