Here's a redo of the tutorial I posted that got lost in the crash.
I didn't get any action photos since I work alone mostly, but most of the processes are pretty intuitive and basic woodturning skills.
As in the photo left to right; first I cut blanks 1/2" to 1.5" thick depending on the style you want. My fashion consultant (wife) says about 1" is right for her taste. The blank should be about 3.25" dia for a final OD of about 3". Strong tight-grained woods work best. I use desert ironwood mostly, but all the rosewoods, ebony, osage orange, and hard maple work well, and probably many others.
Next I drill a hole in the blank with a forstner bit for the dowel. I use 1.25" fir round stock sold in the molding sections at the borgs. Any dowel wil do, just make sure its at least 1" dia or the torque will be too much for it, and avoid poplar dowels (sold as "hardwood dowells", but very weak). Glue it in, let it dry, and chuck it up.
Turn the blank to round, put the desired profile on it. If it's going to be a basic wood bangle I sand the outside to final finish; If Im going to inlay something I cut grooves of the desired width and depth for the materials I'm using. (more on inlay later)
I then cut the bangle off with a parting tool approached fron the side. 2.5" inner dia. is medium size for a bangle so thats mostly what I go with a few larger or smaller for those on the ends of the bell curve. Once the bangle is free, I wrap masking tape round the outside to protect the finish and gently rechuck from the outside and shape and sand the inside, reversing its position as necessary to get both sides. Then your done! Use your finish of choice, I prefer rattle-can laquer; dries fast-looks great.
A bit about inlay. Here is some of the inlay materail I use, mostly copper (wire or strips of sheet copper), gemstone (either cube beads I get from craftstores or online) and crushed stone from the same sources. If I'm using copper wire, I warp it around something slightly smaller that the bangle, (a Skoal can works nicely) then trim to length by cutting it, filing or sanding the ends for a good fit, then it fits into the groove like the ring on a piston. I use tinted epoxy to fix it in place. For the stone granuals, I make a goop out of epoxy and stone and pack into the groove and wrap masking tape round the whole thing till set. For the cube bead inlay I set each piece individually in the groove with epoxy. I place tape over the completed areas as I go along so the stones dont fall out before the epoxy sets. In larger cubes (8mm and up), I cut them in half to get more mileage out of them. I do this with a dremel and a diamond cutting wheel (about $15 at the borgs, much cheaper on line) . For stone, Turqouise, Malachite, Lapis are popular choices. The harder the stone the more sandpaper you will wear out. 5 or below on the MOHS hardness scale is desireable (google MOHS and you can learn all about it) Silicon carabide sandpaper is best when sanding cause its harder,cuts faster. Once you have all your inlay set, proceed with sanding, and sanding. Turquoise is a harder stone but it's worth the effort IMHO. Once sanded, (I go to at least 600 grit with stone) proceed as described above.
I have played with silver inlay; couple of drawbacks, it's quite pricey for the thickness of material I like to inlay with (min 18 ga). And when you sand it, it creates a black residue that gets into the pores of the wood and makes it look dirty.
Here is what I've been doing with the center cut out of the bangles. I cut rings from it with the parting tool and make hoop earrings. In order to make them fatter on one side, I sand a bit off one side of the dowel using the belt sander making an eccentric spin (works on a three jaw chuck anyhow) i have a little zero clearance jig for my router and use a 1/8 rounder (carefully) to shape the rings, then do the rest by hand. As a side, I have a Ridgid OSS that has a belt sander option, this thing is great for this type of small projects. Feel free to ask more specific questions, as I probably glossed over lots of areas. Cheers, Barry
Last edited by Barry Richardson; 10-14-2007 at 03:30 PM.
Reason: dropped image
I know how to inlay with wood but have never tried it in these. I suppose if I were to do it I would either select a wood that would flex enough that when sliced thin I cound set a single strip that would wrap around. unfortunatly, most exotics are brittle. In that case I think I would cut the wood in small sections and inlay like stone. The other option is to laminate different wood together for the blank, resulting in a striped bangle. I don't use lathe tools after inlaying the stone, would probably be very hard on tools. So it is important to set the stones as near flush as possible to minimize sanding. There is an inlay product called inlace that I've seen used that can be turned with tools; http://www.inlaceonline.com/ I've never used it cause it seemed a bit pricey to me. Barry