View Full Version : How would you finish these?

19th Jan 2010, 09:30 PM
I told a girl at work I was interested in different things to make on the lathe and she suggested I could make her a couple of these (see pics). The idea is simple enough but I'm not sure on the finishing aspect. I am thinking Rustins Plastic Finish but thought I would ask the forum for your thoughts.

I don't want this to become a debate on how stupid they are because you will generally be preaching to the converted but she said all her friends would probably be interested so could be another niche market for us to look into.

All of the attached pics were sourced from the net and the girl pictured is not my friend, only shown for an example of where they go:-

19th Jan 2010, 09:34 PM
It sure is something different Corbs!

19th Jan 2010, 10:44 PM
Just something simple like shellawax would work, there's no need for a super gloss. They're called spacers and no, just because I'm 16 that doesn't mean I wear them:p

19th Jan 2010, 11:08 PM
I thought about that but I'm not sure how well the shellawax would wear in the ear and how sterile the wood would be.


tea lady
19th Jan 2010, 11:14 PM
:think: I guess the plastic finish would be the best. You'd want it pretty well sealed. Festering earing thingy would not be a good look.:doh:

Sawdust Maker
20th Jan 2010, 07:58 AM
:think: I guess the plastic finish would be the best. You'd want it pretty well sealed. Festering earing thingy would not be a good look.:doh:

but might create natural spalting :doh::o

I agree with TL

Rum Pig
20th Jan 2010, 08:58 AM
You could just spray them with varnish:rolleyes:

20th Jan 2010, 09:03 AM
Maybe DJ's tute on CA for pen finishing is worth a look.

I agree that something durable is needed - all those chick fingernails scratching in getting them inserted

20th Jan 2010, 09:20 AM
I had thought about CA finish but think it could be hard to apply on the curves/shapes involved. I plan to make them on a rod as shown below then part off individual pieces. I am concerned by the part that will be in contact with the ear, happy to use shellawax on the face that is seen. Will have a play around with a few ideas and see how it all comes up.

20th Jan 2010, 09:25 AM

In the US you can get flowing epoxy.

Just a thought.

Or mabye ubeaut Hard Shellac. Easy to apply; quick drying but needs several weeks to reach full hardness

20th Jan 2010, 10:32 AM
Thanks Ern, I have Ubeaut hard shellac so I might make a few different test ones finished in hard shellac and others in plastic finish for her to use and see how they wear.

20th Jan 2010, 05:05 PM
I thought about that but I'm not sure how well the shellawax would wear in the ear and how sterile the wood would be.

As long they don't have a reaction to the type of timber I would not be too worried about sterility. Trees have their own anti-bacterial mechanism that lives on well after its cut down. That why chopping boards are best made from wood as the bugs wont survive on them

Wood - A Naturally Anti-Bacteria Material (http://www.peter.hemsley.btinternet.co.uk/CDB/Technical/Bacteria/bacteria.html)

Cutting Board Hints and Tips (http://www.woodenchoppingboards.com.au/blog.html)

:: FEFPEB - Federation Europeenne des Fabricants de Palettes et Emballages en Bois :: Antibacterial effect :: (http://www.fefpeb.eu/tool/home.aspx?s=0,1,43,46,55)

20th Jan 2010, 05:23 PM
IIRC , yes one bacterium species was tested, and only one or two wood species.

And you never know where fingernails have been :oo:

Not corbs prob you would hope.

joe greiner
20th Jan 2010, 09:37 PM
Won't they need a stud for attachment to the ear lobe? That would be the awkward side.

I'd suggest spray varnish on that side first, with the stud installed, in a gang format, with a little allowed to spill onto the rims. Allow it to cure, then mount on waxed paper backed by corrugated cardboard or similar, with the studs punched through. Set up far enough apart to spray the face and rims. Two or three coats on each face, matte or semi-gloss finish.

Don't forget the clutches for the studs. BTDT.


20th Jan 2010, 09:45 PM
They actually go inside the ear lobe, they aren't attached via a stud, they stay in place because of the concave shape of the outer surface

20th Jan 2010, 10:11 PM
have another look at the girl in the pic with the big hole in her ear:wink:... they start off with a small hole and stretch it in stages (I think its in 2-3mm progression). The girl I am doing these for at the moment has 12mm holes


20th Jan 2010, 10:25 PM
Like this:

joe greiner
20th Jan 2010, 10:28 PM
My own ear lobes are about that big (the OP, Ian) without modification, so I guess it didn't register at first. Ern's remark about "inserted" should have been the tipoff. Also the reason for the concave rim.

Still a challenge to finish, and not susceptible to mass production.

Thanks for reducing my ignorance, mates.


Master Splinter
20th Jan 2010, 10:41 PM
The wikipedia article has a list of the standard gauges/mm sizes, so you can make them to...errrr...normal sizes.


Learn more about them here:


20th Jan 2010, 11:02 PM

If you can't find a way forward with wood, how about using acrylic. Lots of funky colours, easy to polish and, for the wearer, easier to keep clean.

Just a thought.


20th Jan 2010, 11:21 PM
I have thought of acrylic & stone which I will probably play around with, have been playing with some pine today getting dimensions and layout sorted before I try with something worth some $$$. Then I will have a go at some laminating:2tsup:

21st Jan 2010, 06:06 PM
Like this

Looks like you caught a bit of sun in Queensland. Hardly recognized you with your beard off :U