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Turning a bracelet

Turning a Simple Bracelet


This project looks simple but will challenge you to get a symmetrical shape over a small surface area.  It involves spindle and face grain turning, measuring, and good tool control.

Use a close grain wood that is dry so your bracelet will not warp.  Laminated blanks can be used for contrasting wood colors.  Start with a blank 3 ¾ square x 2” deep.


Find the center on both sides of the blank and punch the center. Mount the blank between centers, turn it round, form a tenon to fit your chuck (dovetail if needed).


Photo 1 above--Reverse the blank into the chuck and true up the outside and faces of the blank.  Mark the internal diameter (ID) of the bracelet (2 5/8” for an adult or whatever fits you).  Hollow out the interior parallel to the ways—start by hollowing it out just shy of the 2 5/8” and then make one final clean parallel cut on the interior of the diameter.  Hollow the depth the same dimension as the width of your final bracelet. Check to see if your interior wall is truly parallel to the ways by inserting a small ruler against the interior wall--does the ruler deviate up or down? If so, the interior wall is not yet parallel. Try another cut and check again.


Photo 2 above--Begin a parting cut to judge the width and shape of the bracelet and form the curve/angles that you want for the exterior.  Mark a center line if it helps your eye judge symmetry of the form.  If the jaws make you nervous, cover them with tape for protection. 

Photo 3 above--After shaping the outer portion as much as you can, sand both the inside and the outside.  Use blank paper behind to judge your shape.  Part it off.


 Photo 4 above--With rough edge outward, mount on the jaws with one wide rubber band (to avoid marking the interior) in expansion mode.  Have about ½ of the thickness of the bracelet clear of the jaws to give you room to work.

Check the trueness of the bracelet on the jaws and adjust as necessary.  After tightening the chuck, check again to see if you can put the bracelet off the jaws or if it’s stable.

Clean up the inner aspect and shape the outside as needed on the outer edge.  Sand inside and outside.  Take off the chuck.  Sand the interior by hand if needed again.  Finish as desired.


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