For this custom build, I made 3 sets of rings to bookend the maple burl handle section, each going with a different color of end collar, white, black, and brown. The rings are within a few hundredths of their final size and the seagull pockets are filled with epoxy. Each ring has the same pattern of birds; on the finished cue the rings will be aligned. Here I was mostly looking for a part of the ring that’s cleaned up enough to see. I have the ends faced and can’t put mock finish on the wood to better demonstrate the rings’ finished color, but that is evident from the rightmost image in the top row, as each ring has epoxy on it in that image.

My thoughts are below the images.

Mockups with the three colors of rings:

I thought going in that the subdued look (black collars) would be best and white would look a little over the top. I thought the brown/golden collars would be elegant.

After seeing the results, to my eye the brown/golden rings look terrible. The white mica barely pops and the whole thing just seems like a bunch of kids who don’t like each other, talking shit in the playground.

The white collars/rings add some pop and pull the eye.

The black collars are moody and I’d have to switch to a slightly less-black phenolic bottom collar to get the colors to work better together. Doable and worthwhile.

Which would you choose?

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