The question of why stabilization is important has a few components and aspects to consider. As far as the basic question goes: Is stabilization absolutely required? The answer is; No. However, there are a lot of variables to consider before leaving this subject. Wood species, grain direction, wood hardness and density all play a factor in wood movement due to humidity and moisture absorption. There are also factors such as product durability, and bangle finish to consider.
For example, if you were to make a bangle from oven-dried, unstabilized 4/4 curly maple, and apply a very heavy CA finish, and not remove the CA from the metal core, and you live in an area with high humidity or store the bangle in a house that has evaporative cooling... then... after about 3 to 4 weeks, you would notice that the CA finish had lifted off of the metal and that the wood is somewhat of an oval shape compared to the metal core. This is do to wood movement from moisture absorption. Fiddling with the lifted CA finish would cause flaking to begin which can then spread across the wood surface. For a high end piece of jewelry, we consider this unacceptable.
Now, would a stabilized maple blank still move? Yes. Would it lead to CA flaking? Possibly. This is also why we are moving away from 4/4 stock and toward burls and denser woods. This would not happen with Ironwood, blackwood, cocobolo, red mallee, amboyna, or any wood that has been cast with alumilite. We have also moved away from heavy CA finishes for this reason (check out our latest tutorial which was just updated 2/2013).
We have made over 100 bangles in the past 12 months and have had zero returns. We have run across two that the wood failed prior to selling (camatillo and blue mahoe). We also had one bangle made of glue-up zebrawood that had objectionable wood movement. But that was with our original, more bulky design. The Camatillo failure was due to improper ID sizing and the Mahoe does not stabilize well. So what is an absolute must?
Using oven dried wood... and we mean "You put it in your own oven and dried it before you use it" kind of dry -versus- "I went to the local lumber yard and bought some kiln dried wood that has been sitting in a humid environment for 3 months" dry.
The ID of the wood bangle must be bored out to .04" - .060" larger than the OD of the bangle core... and the width cut .005 smaller than the metal width. Without leaving adequate space between the metal and wood surfaces, the wood is trapped. This can lead to wood or finish failure (cracks).
The wood Must be allowed to float on a cushion of flexible adhesive (not CA or epoxy). Again, the wood must be allowed to freely move with changing environmental conditions.
What is the most popular bangle size and metal choice?
Size 8 remains at the top of the list for popularity and it is also the industry standard size for bangles. For metal choice, we typically sell 2 stainless steel bangles cores for every one copper core. If you were starting out making bangles to sell, and wanted to start with 11 cores, we would recommend buying (2) BCSS7.5, (4) BCSS8, (1) BCSS8.5, (1) BCCU7.5, (2) BCCU8, (1) BCCU8.5. This gives you and good mix of stainless steel (SS) and copper (CU) and also would qualify your order for the 8% discount Promo code.
I want to make a bangle as a surprise gift, how do I know what size bangle she wears?
This is a very tough question to answer as all women's hands and wrists are different. In general, size 8 is the most common size, however it will not fit everyone. From our experiences talking to women and selling bangles, 90% of women wear a size between 7.5 and 8.5. Of course, there are the occasional women who wear a size 7 and 9. Your best bet is to find a bangle that they currently wear and measure the inside diameter. The sizing chart below will help you determine the best fit. Remember, even though the ID's do not vary much, the fit on a woman's wrist will be noticeable for each change in size. For measuring, have the recipient srunch their hand to achieve the smallest measurement, wrap a string or tape measure around the widest part of the knuckle area, and record the length. This measurement will match with the perimeter chart listed below.
2.32" ID = 7.28" perimeter (Size 7)
2.43" ID = 7.63" perimeter (Size 7.5)
2.55" ID = 8.01" perimeter (Size 8)
2.67" ID = 8.38" perimeter (Size 8.5)
I don't see narrow or wide width options for sale on your site. Where else can I buy these?
When we first started making and selling bangle cores, we offered three width options; Narrow, Mid and Wide. Currently we are only selling Mid width cores in all sizes, with plans to sell Wide cores in sizes 7.5 and 8 only. As for where else bangle cores can be purchased, the answer to this question is best stated as:
Wildwood Design is the inventor, designer and manufacturer of the metal cored wood bangle (not a distributor). We machine the metal cores in our own factory in Western Colorado. We use computer controlled CNC turning centers, high quality seamless copper and stainless steel tubing and machine the bangle cores to exacting tolerances. The fit and finish of our metal core products is first rate. Our products are not made in Taiwan or China. We are proud to be helping bring back manufacturing to the US and proclaim "Made in the USA!"
Please explain your pricing structure and why a size 7 core is more expensive than a size 8 core.
The largest contributing factors to price variance between core sizes is volume made and sold. Each size that we manufacture uses different customized lathe tooling (chuck jaws), CNC programming and run sheets. The time to set-up and/or tear down a particular job is fixed, and this time is also time when the CNC machines are idled. The old adage that "time is money" is very true for CNC machining. This past year we have manufactured ten times more size 8 cores than size 7 or 9, and yet we have been pricing these cores at the same level, even though the inventory moves much slower and the piece part cost is higher due to low volume runs and fixed set-up costs.
We contemplated discontinuing the size 7 and 9 options, but for the time being have opted to simply adjust our pricing structure. This way we can still offer as wide of range of products as possible. However, we do foresee a time when the size 9 option will be discontinued.
As always, we continue to strive to offer high quality machined components at an affordable price for the DIY artisan. We greatly value your input! Feel free to contact us with any concerns or questions.
Do you ship outside of the US?
Yes! We sure do! Your cost of shipping will depend on how large the package is that you are ordering. It can be anywhere from $14 USD or upwards depending on where we are shipping outside of the US and how heavy your package is! There may be extra duties as well for your package, so be sure to look in to this!
How long will my order take to ship?
Please allow 1-3 business days for your order to ship out. On days where we are running a sale or restock please allow 5-7 business days to have your order ship due to high volume in orders. We do our best to get these out in a timely manner, as we understand how excited you are to get your new products! We are excited, too!