Interlocking wooden rings


Two linked miniature rings from one piece of wood


  • 8-sided 2D CNC mill
  • Custom built fixtures
  • Lots of manual sanding and polishing
  • Several layers of varnish


As a wedding gift to my wife I wanted to make something special and unique. I thought that two linked miniature wooden rings carved from the same piece of wood was a suitable gift. The only problem was how to make them… Since I wanted perfect symmetry, creating them by hand was not an option. I was thinking about making fixtures to get an even size and shape. I even considered cheating, creating two rings and cut one open and glue them together invisibly. But I figured it was more special if they were made linked together from the same piece of wood. I decided to cut the basic shape with my CNC mill. The problem was that I did not have any proper CAM processing software at the time (for 3dD control of the tool) and the cutters I had was only rough PCB routers… By only using 2dD control, I realized that I had to cut the rings from 8 different sides to get the basic shape. To do this I needed a proper fixture.

This is how it was done:

1. Creating fixtures to clamp the work piece

2. Cutting mounting slots for the fixture in order to get a fixed position
3. Cutting out a block of oak to fit in the fixture (actually I cut out two blocks so I had one in spare)

4. Cutting the wooden block from 8 sides
The fixture holding the wooden block to be milled from eight sides
The fixture holding the wooden block to be milled from eight sides.

Side view of the fixture, showing ring orientation. 

Altering three different cuts from eight sides creates the basic shape for the rings

5. Manual filing, sanding and polishing
6. Several layers of varnish


Outer diameter of the rings [mm]: 11.6
Thickness of the rings [mm]: 1.6
Width of the rings [mm]: 2.6

Version tracker

1.0 First rings
2.0 Second rings (after the first set was lost)
Future No updates planned (I really don’t want to do it again :)


The CNC files below for controlling the mill is for reference only. It is very unlikely that your mill is configured exactly like mine. Position of zero, cutting speeds, position of tools etc is most likely different. Running unknown code on expensive and powerful machines is not recommended. I do not take any responsibility if the machine damage itself or worse,, someone else….


Rhino project file (2D and 3D)
2D export (.svg)
Neutral polyline file (mill paths)

See also

Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

19 Replies to “Interlocking wooden rings”

  1. Very slick. I jumped over from hack-a-day to see how you did your fixture. I may give it ago in aluminum.

    1. Gr8, let me know how it goes!
      I guess you are referring to the ring material and not the fixture itself. I used Oak for the rings and POM for the fixture, but I guess a cheap IKEA cutting board in HDPE would work just as great.

  2. I could do this with a band saw and a pocket knife. And probably before you even got you jig made

  3. Amazing Work! The final piece is so intricate. I was curious though, I noticed that your clamp seems to hold the square block at a 22.5 degree offset from the normal axes, but your cuts seem to be for the normal axes. Was this to deal with a space issue or something else?

    1. It was due to the limited cutting depth of the router I had at that time. See the added image for side view of ring position. If I had a longer router I could have placed it in a 45 deg angle. On top of that it would only require milling from four sides…

  4. Lovely work, I would like to see a bit more about your process in deciding and figuring out the cuts you used from the different sides, but you have Just enough info here to get someone started. I teach CNC machining, and this is Really Cool! and will have to show the process off to my students :)
    Keep up the awesome work :D

    1. I’m glad you liked it. I added a image showing the side view of the fixture and ring positions within. Look at the attached files (the 2D .svg contains all the paths needed). If you need a 3d file in another format, please let me know and I will add it. Same thing if you have any other questions :)

      If you teach CNC milling, I also recommend the following posts:
      I couldn’t find a CAM program that was easy to use, allowed full control and free of charge, so I wrote my own ;)

  5. Can any one help ?
    I have seen recently two interlocking rings hanging outside the front door of a house, I was wondering what the meaning of them is ?

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: