Woodworking Workshop
Maker Loses Wedding Ring in the Surf, Immediately Fabricates Another

Our friend Jonathan Danforth, programmer, Maker Faire North Carolina founder, and avid woodworker, was heartbroken when he lost his wedding ring last weekend:

I was swimming in the ocean in South Carolina and managed to lose my ring in chest-deep opaque surf. I reached out to the Treasure Hunters forum, and even to a local metal detector enthusiast, but it was almost certainly a lost cause.

Feeling weird not having a ring on his finger after 12 years of marriage, he did what any self-respecting Maker (with a lathe) would do:

Woodshop to the rescue! I got back home on Monday and managed to whip this ring up in about an hour and a half. I picked ebony because it’s very dense and hard. I believe this wood will hold up to a bit more abuse than a softer wood might.

Danforth’s ring actually only took about 20 minutes to fabricate. But it took three tries, on rings that exploded, before he ended up with one that worked.

Bingo-bango, I’ve now got a stand-in ring until I get around to buying a proper replacement. I’m pleased that I was able to create this without any explicit know-how. I just looked around my garage until I figured out a way to make a custom-sized cylinder thingy, and settled on this method. And really, that’s a Maker skill in and of itself, figuring out how to make something from scratch that you’ve never made (or even though of) before…

3 thoughts on “Maker Loses Wedding Ring in the Surf, Immediately Fabricates Another

  1. I prefer to make rings with a ‘bentwood’ method. That is, wrapping layers of veneer around a mandrel, then shaping, sanding and finishing. The final product is thinner and stronger since the wood grain wraps around the circumference of the ring. You can see some of my rings here: sevenvalleyhill.etsy.com. I’d be happy to write up a how-to…

  2. I made my wedding ring out of 316 stainless steel on a manual lathe. The 3 ft section of round stock was $44. Needless ot say I can make dozens more rings. Needless to say, I’ll never be a hand model!

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Gareth Branwyn is a freelance writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of over a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture. He is currently a contributor to Boing Boing, Wink Books, and Wink Fun. And he has a new best-of writing collection and “lazy man’s memoir,” called Borg Like Me.

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