I just started doing wood and acrylic inlays in my titanium rings,
and just this week added a line of acrylic and wood pens as well.
I've found some great exotic hardwoods to work with at woodworkers
supplies online. These are usually made for pens or knife handles.
Some of the nicer woods I've found include Bocote, which has very
defined stripes of yellow and brown, Brazilian Cherry, which is a
beautiful colored wood, Cocobolo, which has a dark exotic look,
Zebrawood, which has a nice pattern of light and dark lines, African
Blackwood, which is totally black and very dense, and lots of
others. My favorite is African Olivewood, which has awesome gnarled
grain patterns and sandstone colors. It also smells like pizza when
you cut it. Other jewelry-class woods for turning include burl maple
and other burls. Most of the suppliers I've seen online can sell
small blocks of any of these woods.
The acrylics I've used look awesome. They usually have a nice
mixture of colors and have a deep shimmering look. They are perfect
for jewelry. The woodworking supplies have sanding sponges that go
to 12,000 grit, and a perfect glasslike surface is easily doable. I
turn the acrylics fast (around 7000 rpm) on a CNC lathe with lots of
coolant to keep them from chipping or hazing. They come off the
machine ready to do a final polish. I use a polishing compound on a
manual lathe with a cloth for the final whammy.
There are blocks of materials that are reprocessed stone which look
awesome as well. I did a pen in marble that looks and feels exactly
like a single piece of stone. The material is pressed back into a
single block from powder and a polyester binder so that it can be
turned without chipping. I really like the look of that. There is
white marble with black veins, turquoise, and a dark red, and a
green stone available.
Boone Titanium Rings