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Precious metal rings with wood inlay


#1

I have emailed a few people, on various websites, asking them how
they make their rings with the wood inlay. They have not even
bothered to answer me, must be a secret. According to the
descriptions about their rings, the rings don’t have any visible
joints and the wood is solid, not veneer. The wood is not visible on
the inside of the ring, it has a sleeve. How do they do it?

I have not found the answer I am looking for in the archives. Can
anyone please share your thoughts on the process.


#2

Hi Johan,

Are the rings on this website what you are talking about?
http://wood-rings.com

I sometimes work with a woodturner to create silver and wood boxes.
We don’t make rings, but your description made me curious so I took a
look at them.

This pure guess work on my part… and I could be way off. It
appears the silver and wood is riveted together. In several of the
designs you can see tiny darker color metal circles at four points. I
would guess that a sandwich is made using a combination of CA glue
and rivets to hold the silver and wood together. Then the entire unit
could be placed on a lathe and refined to a smooth continuous
surface. Lathes have attachments that allow you to hold a piece from
either the inside or the outside, so it would be possible, by using
both, to smooth and refine all the surfaces.

Again, just guess work. Hope it helps! I’ll run this by Frank, my
woodturner buddy, and see if he has any ideas.

Pam East
www.pameast.net


#3

I am not sure how they do it but i know how you could. If you use Cad
you can make a model of the ring with an area cut out for a stone or
in this case a piece of wood. then you make a model of the piece that
you want to be made of wood. Make the ring and then cut the wood. All
of this technique I just described is done in Cad and using a CNC
mill. There are compensations you have to make in the models for
tooling etc., but it is pretty straight forward stuff. A lot of
people are using Cad to do all sorts of things, but because some in
the art jewelry biz look down on it they might be keeping it a
secret. Cad is a tool and only as good as the designer using it. I
don’t want to have to come back and defend Cad, we have all been
there and done that.

Hope this helps. D


#4

Johan, the process used for a continuous wood inlay in a ring is
something I developed. I would not care to go into the details as
there are patent issues in the works.

Bruce Boone
http://www.boonerings.com


#5
All of this technique I just described is done in Cad and using a
CNC mill. There are compensations you have to make in the models
for tooling etc., but it is pretty straight forward stuff. 

Dennis, How is CAD and CNC milling an improvement over the
traditional methods? And if the wood is a single piece how does the
metal and wood come together?

KPK


#6
Johan, the process used for a continuous wood inlay in a ring is
something I developed. I would not care to go into the details as
there are patent issues in the works. 

Bruce, I don’t know how long you’ve been doing these rings with the
continuous wood inlay; but I used to sell at a gallery in Sausalito,
CA about twenty five years ago and continuous wood inlay rings were
sold in that gallery.

KPK


#7
... the process used for a continuous wood inlay in a ring is
something I developed. I would not care to go into the details as
there are patent issues in the works. 

Ah, patents and jewellery. Just in case you don’t know, and as I see
you sell tension rings: The german jeweller Niessing holds several
patents on just these.

Another German has trademarked the word “princess” in the jewelry
class. Guess what happens to people trying to sell a princess cut
diamond in Germany.

FWIW.


#8
the process used for a continuous wood inlay in a ring is something
I developed. 

Well Bruce may have a new way to do it but the old school way is to
make the metal channel band small enough to fit through the opening
of the wood or other continuous band of material Typically two
finger sizes is enough and simply stretch the metal band up to
capture the wood. This is the method that is used to make many of the
two tone bands you see. A second method is to make a tube that is a
few millimeters wider than the wood insert and use a pair of dapping
punches to spread the tube ends then hammer or press the spread ends
down flat against the wood. A third method that requires a bit of
machining is to make two halves of a channel band with a snap groove
where one slides into the other and locks in place. There are
probably other methods as well.

James Binnion
@James_Binnion
James Binnion Metal Arts


360-756-6550


#9

Bruce, just to make it clear, you are not one of the sites I
contacted. Nice rings though.

I have done all of the methods mentioned in reply to my post thus
far. I have constructed many variations of the silver and wood inlay
rings. What I don’t like is the seam it leaves when the two metals
meet, even if it is out of sight (when the finger covers it). I have
not gone over it again as Pam suggested. How would one refine
titanium rings to a smooth finish?

Thanks to everyone that responded. Johan.


#10

I have made a few rings with wood or fossil ivory inlays over the
years, as well as many bands with niobium inlays, and generally use a
similar process for both. The precious metal components consist of a
thin sleeve that fits the finger, slightly wider than the finished
ring, with rims and spacers made from square or rectangular wire that
fit tightly over the sleeve. With niobium, the whole unit can be
soldered together, with wood or ivory, the outside edges (at least on
one side, were flared. With the advent of laser welding, the whole
ring could be assembled and the seems welded. With rings that show the
wood on the inside, drilling for rivets is probable, modern adhesives
are another possibility.

Rick Hamilton


#11
the process used for a continuous wood inlay in a ring is something
I developed. I would not care to go into the details as there are
patent issues in the works 

You can’t get a patent without disclosing the process.

Al Balmer
Sun City, AZ


#12
What I don't like is the seam it leaves when the two metals meet,
even if it is out of sight (when the finger covers it). I have not
gone over it again as Pam suggested. How would one refine titanium
rings to a smooth finish? 

If you can’t make it disappear, make it a design element-- the “it’s
not a bug, it’s a feature” approach.

Noel


#13

As was mentioned, there are several ways to skin this cat. Most of
them were referenced in my patent application. It’s very tough to do
new stuff in this industry which has been around for thousands of
years, so it’s usually about small variations of things done before.
My particular method works best with a stronger material like
titanium and is optimized for efficiency with the CNC equipment I
have. The efficiency becomes a big deal when multiplied over
thousands of rings. Another thing that was important to my method was
the ability to be able to replace the inlay should it ever become
necessary. Many of the swaging and welding methods didn’t allow for
that. The other consideration was to make a ring of normal thickness
without losing too much strength. My method was only one of several
possible. It just works best for me.

I do understand that I can’t get a patent without disclosing the
process. Anyone familiar with the patent process will be able to find
it, and will be able to find that I’ve done a few others. As for
tension sets, I am aware of the patents out there and my method for
those does not infringe those patents.

Bruce Boone
http://www.boonerings.com


#14
How is CAD and CNC milling an improvement over the traditional
methods? And if the wood is a single piece how does the metal and
wood come together? 

Kevin, using cad and milling parts would enable you to add textures
or curves to your pieces so that they wouldn’t necessarily have to be
straight seams between the wood and the metal. you could do all
sorts of forming to the metal as well. then you could still put the
parts together in the traditional manner.