how a ring is made

All wooden rings from HolzTraum are Bendwood rings. That is, the rings are bent from several layers of thin wood. Rings made with this technique are statically much more stable than turned rings. In the following you can see the individual steps of how a ring is made at HolzTraum.

Self-found wood

Many rings at HolzTraum do not start with an order in a veneer shop, but with a piece of found wood that somehow appealed to me. In the photo you can see a piece of a carob tree that smiled at me dark red under an old gnarled tree during a walk in Spain. There on the spot I sawed a piece out of the fallen branch. Similarly, pieces of beech appeal to me as they tend to develop those black truffle streaks unless they’ve been stored quite totally.

The scantling is created, veneer is cut

When I got home, I sawed and planed a scantling with parallel sides from what I found. Fresh pieces of wood must then be stored without cracking if possible.

Later, thin layers of wood 0.5mm thick are peeled off the scantling. This work process is very exciting and fulfilling for me when beautiful colors or structures come to light. But nothing good can come out of it either, then the scantling simply goes into the firewood.

The pictures on the right show the first carob veneer strips. The wood is extremely hard and fortunately not only reddish on the front side. A gratifying success for me.

The independence of industrially manufactured veneer enables me to cut my own veneers from local or European holiday finds. These small pieces of wood often hide unexpected grains that you can only find at HolzTraum.

The blank is rolled

Next, the veneer strips are cut to the required length and laser engraved according to the customer’s requirements. When it comes to pairs of rings, I always select very similar strips so that the finished rings will look very similar.

The wood strips are boiled in a water bath, which makes the wood bendable, similar to the willow branches used by a basket weaver.
The strips are wound onto cylinders and glued while they are still warm and moist.
The blank is now complete. The photo shows three pairs of rings and three individual pieces.
At the lathe

Now comes the actual part of ring making.

The ring is ground on the lathe to the desired width and shape. Here, too, I take great care to ensure that pair rings have the same section as the blanks.
Once the width and shape have been achieved, the ring is sanded smooth with ever finer sandpaper.

If the ring is to have an all-round inlay, a depression is created by hand and filled with precious stones or metal.

The sealing

Now the ring is stabilized in a vacuum with acrylic resin. The air is sucked out of the wood pores by the vacuum and the acrylic resin can penetrate deeper into the wood. After two vacuum passes, the “pur” ring is freed from the excess acrylic resin and allowed to dry. With a “luxury” ring, the acrylic resin is not removed but hardens into a closed layer.

Now all the sealed rings are shiny. For the matt finish, the surface is sanded by hand with very fine sandpaper.

If a zirconia stone is desired, it is now embedded in the finished acrylic resin layer.

Hopefully you now have an idea of how a wooden ring is made using the Bentwood technique.