There are actually more then 6 steps it takes to build a micarta ring. But you’ll get a good idea of what goes into the build.
- Let’s start out with choosing the piece of micarta and stainless steel round bar stock that will make up the micarta ring.
Here I have chosen a 1″ outside diameter stainless steel bar rod. For work ability I cut this down with a portaband to 1/2″ wide before taking it to the mini lathe.
Using a 1-1/2″X1-1/2″ x .40 piece of Micarta that was sent to me from another ring maker to try out as the outer skin of the ring.
Micarta is extremely easy to work with both on and off the lathe. It cuts and sand easily without special tools. It also polishes up real nice.
2.Stainless Steel Liner
Now that the stainless steel has been cut to the width I want it goes in the mini lathe’s chuck for more machining.
Then I bore the hole for the ring finger size. Next I turn down the outside diameter to fit inside the micarta.
I’ll turn this down to a thickness less than a millimeter.
There is a rough finish left on the out side to help aid the epoxy to bond well with the micarta.
3. The Micarta Blank
I drill a hole to the approximate ring size in the micarta blank to allow mounting onto the mandrel.
After this hole is drilled I’ll turn it down to a size a little bit larger than the rings final outside diameter. This allows me to bore out the inside diameter to match the stainless steel liner.
4.Mini lathe in Action.
The video below shows a little turning action.There is no narration just some turning.
I tried something new(to me). I used a parting tool in the lathes tool holder to cut it down to the desired size.
The inside diameter and outside diameter must fit snug but not too tight as to expand the micarta while pressure fitting the two together.
If it’s too tight I risk cracking the micarta and we don’t want that to happen do we?
As explained before both parts of the ring are left with a rough finish for the two part epoxy to bond the better.
6. Bond it & Finish it.
After bonding the two parts together with 2 part epoxy the ring is ready for some sanding and polishing.
Because the micarta is so soft I started with 180 grit sandpaper to the desired thickness and worked my way up to 2000 grit sandpaper.
I did not use any waxes or polishes on the ring except when I polished the stainless steel and that was only during the last two grits of sandparer.
Both parts of the ring were cleaned in alcohol before bonding them together.
Another short video. This is the finished ring.
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Tools used:Mini Lathe,Drill Press
Materials used: Micarta,stainless steel bar,sandpaper,2 part epoxy,buffing compound.