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Tip: German-Style Ring Turning
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German-Style Ring Turning

The traditional technique of ring turning involves turning a blank piece of wood with a certain profile on both sides so that when cut in pie sections through the center, a shape is revealed on the cut edge. In order to obtain correct shape and detail, negative templates must be made and used for this purpose. Any errors in following the template (or cutting too deep) will affect the overall image if corrections are attempted to the shape. Using templates requires marking the blank at key points before and during the shaping process.

An alternate method is to use a positive template embedded in the ring itself. This entails cutting out the desired shape out of 3⁄8" (3mm)-thick contrasting wood and inserting (gluing) this into the prepared blank, ensuring that the pattern lines up with the center point of the blank. Then, all you have to do is turn the blank away up to the inserted template, with no marking required, only stopping frequently to check your progress. Also, by using some version of jumbo jaws, the ring can be finish-turned right on the lathe.

~ Bernie Hrytzak, Chatham, Ontario, Canada


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