Stretching a body piercing, which is sometimes erroneously called "gauging," is the process of gradually widening the circumference of the hole in order to wear larger jewellery. The most commonly stretched piercing is done to the ear lobes. Large gauge plugs made out of wood are advantageous for several reasons. They are lightweight, making them ideal for everyday wear and sleeping. Wood plugs also do not become smelly like metal, acrylic and glass plugs. Making your own large plugs saves money and allows you greater control over what your plugs look like.
Measure the diameter of a pair of plugs that currently fit your ears.
Purchase hardwood dowels from an online supplier or lumber company. Look for coconut, ebony, olivewood, birch or granadillo. Make sure the dowels are the same diameter as the plugs you measured.
Cut off two 1-inch sections of wood from the ends of the dowel using the saw of your choice. A mitre saw will give you the cleanest cut, but you can also use a band or scroll saw.
Sand the plugs with fine-grain sandpaper until they are smooth and polished.
Rub the plugs with a rag saturated with linseed or tung oil to protect the wood and bring out its deepest colour.
Do not use your new wood plugs in freshly stretched piercings. Always use glass, titanium, niobium or surgical stainless steel for initial stretching and insert your wood plugs only once the piercing has healed.
Tips and warnings
- Do not use your new wood plugs in freshly stretched piercings. Always use glass, titanium, niobium or surgical stainless steel for initial stretching and insert your wood plugs only once the piercing has healed.