Here are some Cedar Vases I made with my new Sorby Ring Tool. The vases are roughly 6″ diameter by 5″ to 6-1/2″ tall. I turned these out of green Cedar logs. What you see is what came off the tool. NO sanding, 1 coat of poly when they were still wet, no finial finish yet.
Note: I cut the inside with Ring Tool. I cut the outside with 1/2″ Bowl Gouge.
Ring Tools are poplar in Europe. They are practically unheard of in the USA. Here is what one looks like: (3 different views of the same tool)
The above is what they call a 1/2″ ring tool. This means the hole thru the center is 1/2″. The outer diameter of the ring is a little less than 3/4″. You can cut with either side of the tool. There are 2 bevels. The flat bevel is used for drilling a hole in the center of an end grain. The 60 degree bevel is used to do all the rest of the cutting.
Here is a quick video by Ulf Jansson showing how to use a Ring Tool.
A ring tools is like a modern version of a hook tool. I find the ring tool, cutting on the 60 degree bevel is a lot more forgiving than a hook and thus easier to use. I love it for end grain hollowing. With the Ring Tool you can take a hair thin shaving or a big 1/2″ deep shaving all with the same tool. All in the same pass of the tool if you want.
The best thing about a Ring Tool is that it cuts very cleanly in the bottom of a deep vase shape. Like no sanding clean. It’s almost impossible, to due this with a Bowl Gouge, or anything else.
A 1/2″ Ring Tool is a like a bigger version of the Oneway Termite Tool. I have all 3 sizes of the Termite Tool. I like my new 1/2″ Ring Tool a LOT MORE than a Termite. The Termite cuts to slow for me and tends to drill a hole because the radius on the end is to small. I really like my new Ring Tool. I don’t like Termite Tools.
When I first saw one of these Ring Tools, I was very skeptical. There is no way a ring, just brazed on to a long shaft is not going to break off! Just a little bit of force and it is going to be gone! Well, I was all wrong! I have used and abused my Ring Tool, quite a bit. No problems.
Crown makes a 1″ Ring Tool. I just purchased one. I am looking forward to giving it a try. In the future I will probably be purchasing all my Ring Tools from Crown. I like Crown handles better than Sorby.
Mr Ring Tool – Ulf Jansson
I learned how to sharpen and use a Ring Tool from Ulf Jansson on the 2018 Norway Woodturning Cruise. Ulf is from Sweden. Ulf is “svarulf” on Instagram. He has posted good ring tool videos and great pictures of his very inspiring work. Ulf posts stuff in English.
Note: Ulf does not have a web site. He is just on Instagram. He posts often. You can access Instagram WITH OUT being a member!
Sorby says that Ring Tools are for End Grain only. Ulf’s videos show this is not true. He uses a Ring Tool on side grain bowls, etc. No problems.
Click here for Ulf’s Artist Statement and Profile on the Woodturning Cruise web site.
Click on the picture below for Ulf’s Ring Tool videos, etc.