Materials for Wood Earrings

Hi y’all! There’s so much info to sort through in the forums and I’m very new to the community, so I apologize if this is a redundant topic.
When I purchased my GF, it came with several sample materials. I’ve been getting on a wood earring kick, and really like how the walnut hardwood looks for dangling earrings. However, GF is sold out of the walnut and a couple other hardwoods that I was interesting in buying (not sure how long that will be?). That being said, and being so new, I’m hesitant to branch out and try hardwoods from another source bc I’m so nervous about getting the settings right. I was wondering how the plywoods or even veneers (none in samples) would turn out. Similar quality? My next endeavor will be small engraved studs - what materials would have similar quality to the hardwoods?
Thanks in advance everybody!

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I’ve done a lot of earrings using ply. I actually like them better, for the most part, than most hardwoods for the smaller earrings. Hardwood tends to get pretty brittle.
I really like using acrylic and leather, as well as cork fabric.

Easiest way to do it is to just do it… You’re gonna have some learning experiences, read wasted material, but that’s part of the fun.

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Grab similar wood from other suppliers (like Woodcraft) and tell the GF it’s the PG comparable (1/8" walnut from Woodcraft lasers pretty well using PG Walnut settings). Or grab one of the many testing templates or testing tools and run the power/speed test and nail it down exactly.

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What he ^ said. I’ve used quite a bit of Rockler walnut using PG settings.

That said, very small parts aren’t durable, and tend to break along the grain with age, like he ^^ said. Perhaps with a heavy finish to preserve moisture that wouldn’t be as much of an issue.

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Previously:

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Thanks so much, everyone! Super helpful feedback, and this thread that you linked here, @evansd2 , was great info as well!

Sounds like you’ve experimented with earrings quite a bit! Thanks for your input! Looks like GF has lots of PG plywood in stock, so I added that to my cart! Can’t wait to play!
As far as making earring studs go, I now have a question about hardwood vs plywood. If I cut a circle and then etch a simple image onto it, which will give a better result? This might be a matter of personal preference, but thought I’d pick your brain! Would the look of the grain come through on the hardwood and not the plywood? Also, on that same train of thought and coming alongside your comment about the strength of the wood, the size of the wood slice glued onto the earring post will probably be no more than 5/8in in diameter. Is it safe to say that such a small cut glued onto the post is unlikely to crack?
Thank you again for your advice!! I have two small babies (13mo and 3mo), so scouring the forum for the precise info I need isn’t very practical for me :slight_smile:

You’ll find the engraves to be fine on either. A lot of people use the plywoods. It is important to note that GF plywood has an MDF core, which doesn’t handle moisture well. If you’re doing stud earrings that people may not take out before hopping in the shower, you’ll want to seal the edges very well.

As for searching the forum, I guarantee you that browsing the forum and gathering all the info you need will save you time in the long run. It’s often faster than trying to get the specific answer to the question you have and it will provide the answers to questions you didn’t think to ask. Browse while they sleep and while you cut/engrave. :slight_smile:

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These have just come off the GF and haven’t been cleaned up yet, but you get the idea. I tried to cut these same earrings from hardwood, several different kinds, and I inevitably get a failure on the little loop at the top where I put a ring, and usually also where the crown is breaks off while cleaning.

This is 1/8 basswood ply

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Thank you! That’s all good to know!! And yes, I’ve been finding that the more I dig, the more I find, and in these very early stages, has been beneficial, even before I’ve done much experimenting!
About sealing, what product do you recommend? I think I read somewhere about a spray poly doing the trick? Seems simple enough!
Thanks for the wisdom!!

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These are very simple, and again basswood ply, but I again had the same issue with the hanging loop.

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Wow! The detail on something that small is astounding!! I’m very impressed!
Now you’ve given me another question! What do you mean by “cleaning” them up?

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Looks like someone got a really awesome gift this Christmas!!

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Because these are so small, I didn’t bother to mask them, so there’s burn residue on them. I usually use white vinegar, or an isopropyl alcohol mixture to clean off the residue with a soft toothbrush, then let them dry completely before staining, usually with a alcohol based stain that I make, and then after they dry from that, I will hit them with a spray poly.

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I had no idea! Thanks again for sharing so much of your wisdom with me!

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Wisdom, ha. I don’t know how much time you’ve spent on this forum, but there are some true geniuses on here…I’m not one of them. But I love this machine and it keeps me out of trouble. I hope I was of some help, though, and I’m always glad to help where I can.

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You have been extremely helpful, and I’m very grateful! Thanks again!

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Truthfully, I haven’t done a lot of tiny earrings and I did mine out of Baltic birch, which doesn’t have an MDF core. Haven’t had to worry about sealing the edges so much.

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And I lied above, although inadvertently. I used Baltic Birch from amazon on both of these, not basswood. Sorry, was in the middle of a project that I’m using basswood on,and it was stuck in my pea brain…

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Ha! No worries! I’m actually hoping that during nap time this afternoon I can get down to my craft room and experiment with the basswood that came in my sample box!

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