Be This Summer’s Sensation With Your Unique Handmade Wooden Shades

Thank God the winter is over and summer is just around the corner. Already the sun is getting stronger and going out without sunglasses is getting tougher and tougher. How would you like this summer to have brand new, unique handmade sunglasses made almost entirely by wood? It’s easier than you think and it will take you less than a Saturday to prepare and make them.

First thing you will need are lances. It would be best if they are polarized, but that’s not in a must. You can buy them from many places, however what I recommend to take an old pair, which has a damaged frame and take off the lenses. Removing the lenses is really easy, just press them from the back and they will pop right off. If you want to buy brand new lenses that’s OK too.

Your next step is to make yourself some templates. There are a lot of them online, but I prefer to make my own templates. The way to do this is to take the old sunglasses and make a 1:1 photo of them. You can also make outline them on a piece of paper. You need to take their face image and from the above (to know the length and the weight and the height of the frames). In the picture below you I put a template I found in the internet, but really it’s best to make your own.

Before you start cutting place the lenses on your template to see if the lenses will nearly fit in the pockets.  If they don’t, your templates are incorrect and won’t do you any good. Once you are ready with the templates place them on the chosen wood. You can do them practically with any kind of wood, but I personally think that darker woods like Lyptus, Mahogany and Walnut look classier. Cherry is also a favorite of mine, but basically you can choose whatever you like. Make sure that the template is very stable on the wood and cut the frames using a jigsaw. Using a scroll saw is also not a bad idea. Take your time when you are cutting the frame, you don’t want to ruin it.

After you are done, you need to open the pockets for the lenses. There are two ways to do this. Drill a hole and get the scroll saw through it, so you can cut the middle, or use a router to do the same. Again be very careful not to cut too much, because you will ruin the project.

Your next task is to fit the lenses. Place them on the rough frame and with a sharp pencil outline them. If you have a drum sanding attachment, place it on your drill press and trim the lens pockets almost to the line. Keep in mind that you will need to make small inner cut that will hold the lenses in the pockets. You can also do this with a router. Before you put the lenses in the pockets you can model your sunglasses as you like. Using a sander or a rasp you can shape the frame the way you like, and make them as curvy as you like. If you want to cut some angles, you can always use the jig saw or whatever you see fit. This is where your imagination comes into play. Before you go on, place several times the frame on your nose, just to see if it is comfortable. After all that’s the most important thing. Use files to curve the edges and to make the glasses perfect for you.

It’s time to put on the lenses. To do this you will need to cut a small groove inside the pockets to place the lenses in. you can do this with a small cutting disc placed on the drill. If you are very good you can do this with a sharp knife as well , but be very careful, because at this point the frame is already very fragile. You should be very careful when you put in the lenses as well. If you want to still work on the form of the frame, don’t forget to take the lenses out.

Your next step is to attach the arms (temples). For this part take off the lenses just to be sure that you won’t scratch them. Now before you attach the temples you want to shape them to fit you perfectly and to match the sunglasses style you chose for the frame. This can be done with a sander, a saw, some files, basically it depends on what you are trying to achieve. The best way to attach the temples to the frame is with hinges. You can buy new ones, but personally I prefer to use ones from old sunglasses. The attachment depends on how the hinges look like, but most probably you will need to drill some small cavities to place the hinges in. This can be done with a small drilling bit. Be very careful when you do this, you don’t want to break your frames at the end of your project.

Your sunglasses are ready. All you need to do now is go outside and let everyone be jealous of your cool new shades.