How to Make a Lathe Turned Wood Bracelet

Written by kayla lowe
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Wooden bracelets can add a Bohemian flair to outfits, especially long skirts and earth-tones. Wood bracelets are made with a lathe, which is a machine that shapes the wood by rotating it rapidly while pressing it tightly against a fixed surface. This kind of woodworking is known as wood turning,

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • 3½" circle template
  • Block of wood
  • Pencil
  • Band saw
  • Lathe
  • Compass
  • Narrow tip parting tool
  • Round-nose scraper
  • Sand paper
  • Sand sealer
  • Lacquer

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  1. 1

    Place the circle template on the block of wood and trace it using a pencil. You can create a circle template by simply cutting a circle with a 3½" diameter out of a sheet of paper.

  2. 2

    Cut out the circle of wood using a band saw.

  3. 3

    Mount the circle of wood to the lathe.

  4. 4

    Adjust the dial on the lathe to the desired diameter. For bracelets, this is usually between 60mm and 80mm.

  5. 5

    Use a compass to draw a circle ½" away from the edge of the circle of wood.

  6. 6

    Turn on the lathe and use the parting tool to trace a ridge along the circle drawn on the wood.

  7. 7

    Turn off the lathe, flip the circle of wood around to the other side and repeat the process.

  8. 8

    Keep applying the parting tool along the drawn circle until the core of the wood breaks free, leaving a hollow ring of wood behind.

  9. 9

    Use the round-nose scraper to scrape the inside of the wooden ring, smoothing the rough edges.

  10. 10

    With sandpaper, sand the wooden ring, both inside and out, until it is completely smooth.

  11. 11

    Apply one coat of sand sealer to the ring.

  12. 12

    Spray two or three coats of lacquer on the wooden ring to complete your bracelet.

Tips and warnings

  • Paint the bracelet before you apply the lacquer to add color or decoration.
  • Always wear eye goggles when rotating wood with a lathe.

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