Snakeskin Ring

This entry is part 3 of 3 in the series rings

The other night, the cat was watching something intently that was just outside the pool cage.  When we took a look, there was a corn snake laying on the rocks outside the pool cage.  He had just started shedding his skin.  We watched him wiggle out of the thing 1/4″ at a time.   It was pretty cool.

My Mother-in-Law is terrified of snakes so I suggested we mail the snake skin to her.  That idea was shot down.   Then I thought, wouldn’t it be neat to mail her a ring made from the snake skin … that idea was shot down too.    However, I couldn’t let it go.  I had to try to make a snakeskin ring, even if I couldn’t send it to my mother-in-law.  I decided to try making one for my son.

To measure his ring size, I wrapped a piece of blue painters tape around his finger with the sticky side facing out. Then I started wrapping painters tape around a AA cell until it matched the his ring size.  I then put a piece of clear packing tape over that, to keep the ring from sticking to it.  I cut a strip of black paper to act as a core. Then I cut a section of the diamond pattern from the snake skin to form strips roughly the same width as the paper strip for the core.

Applying snakeskin to the ring core with superglue.

As I wound it around 1/4 turn at a time, I applied more super glue.  When the core had a couple of windings, I switched to the snake skin.  Apply glue underneath, wind 1/4 turn, repeat.  I kept this up until I had couple of windings of the snake skin in place.  The snake skin was looking pretty pale and bland, so I asked my son if he wanted to put on a little color.  He said he wanted green diagonal stripes.  So I dabbed on a bit of green model paint/nail polish.  In hindsight I should have done this just underneath the last layer of snakeskin as it would have made the color more striking within the diamond pattern of the skin.

I continued by wiping on a few coats of super glue.  I switched to my Son’s mini lathe to spin on a few more coats of CA glue.  Because the snake skin had texture, I had to wipe on a lot more coats of CA glue before getting it built up enough to sand smooth.

Once it was fully coated I pulled it off of the lathe and sanded the edges of the ring on a flat table until I had the width I wanted.  Then I put it back on the lathe for more sanding, and then working my way up through 2500 grit.

I sanded the inside of the ring by hand, with some sandpaper on my finger.  Then I put it back on the lathe for applying some Johnson’s paste wax.  This made it gleam and sparkle.

Snakeskin ring on a lathe.

I was very happy with the appearance, it was cooler than I had anticipated.

snake skin laminated ring