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Black Light Bangle From Black Locust

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Project by Peter Brown posted 08-13-2015 10:03 PM 1638 views 0 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Black Light Bangle From Black Locust
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I think you’ve all come to expect something a bit odd from me. This is project will be no exception.

Black locust naturally fluoresces under a black light! There are no camera tricks used, or any special treatment done to the wood itself. It’s just the property of this wood.

I’ve had this block of black locust in the shop for a while and have been wanting to try it out on a project.I picked jewelry, as it seemed like the best choice for an object that might end up at a party. A business accessory in the daylight and party bangle in the black light!

Disclaimer: Working with power tools is dangerous. Working with power tools in a low-light setting is borderline idiotic. If you do this, you assume all the risk. That being said, you can do all these steps safely With the lights on! I’ve already made the sacrifice for your entertainment, please don’t follow suit.

Preparing the Blank

I marked up a piece of black locust in chalk about 4” x 4”. I’ve made many bracelets and know that gives me plenty of working material.

It is then a matter of taking that to the band saw and making the cut. You can see that “the glow” is much brighter on freshly cut wood. It’s possible that the finished bracelet might fade over time, but I’m not sure how long it would take.

Boring Out The Inside

I have googly eyes on many of my tools. The drill press looks so worried here…

I use a 2 5/8” forstner bit to establish the inside diameter of all my bracelets. It’s a good “one size fits most” number. Take your time and go slow. This is a large bit and it’s time consuming.

With the glow of the black light, my hands look blue… I feel like Handy Smurf!

Knocking Off The Corners

I cut the corners off at the band saw before mounting the piece at the lathe. It makes the turning process much easier and lessens the risk of a large chuck splitting off.

Turning Process
The turning process is pretty straight forward. I’ve turned many bracelets, and after a while it becomes second nature.

Rough Turning

This is mounted on my lathe and secured with a block of wood on both sides. Of course none of that is visible under the black light. You turn it down with the roughing gouge until you have a smooth cylinder with no more flat spots.

Shaping

You can turn this to any shape you like. I tend to a more ‘clean lines” look. For me, this shape is what has sold the best in my area, so it’s what I make. I also “part off” some of the thickness for a more wearable width of bracelet. (again a personal preference)

Clean up the sides

Using a jamb chuck to hold the bracelet in place, you can then clean up the side in the same fashion as the top of the bracelet. Funny thing about the black light here; The more shavings you make the brighter the work area becomes. As I worked, I fought my inner self, and left the lathe as messy and covered in shaving as I could!

Sanding

Sanding a project has never been this much fun! Go through the grits. I normally start at 120 and stop at around 400 or so.

Completed

I added a couple coats of clear spray lacquer in hopes of preserving the glow for as long as possible. I presume that the glow will fade as the wood ages, but a quick sanding should fix that..

Thanks for looking, and please be safe in the shop!

-- Peter Brown - Collector of WD-40 and wood splinters





9 comments so far

View Marcus's profile

Marcus

1149 posts in 1480 days


#1 posted 08-13-2015 10:18 PM

I had no idea black locust di this…thanks for sharing.

View Dave Rutan's profile

Dave Rutan

1430 posts in 1648 days


#2 posted 08-13-2015 10:28 PM

Peter, you certainly come up with the coolest, unique projects. Glow in the dark wood. Cool!

-- Ni faru ion el ligno!

View Arlin Eastman's profile

Arlin Eastman

3550 posts in 2021 days


#3 posted 08-14-2015 12:00 AM

Peter

Pretty neat idea. What did you use to hold it with?

-- Please help me help other Vets click..> http://www.gofundme.com/m1abko.....It is always the right time, to do the right thing.

View Peter Brown's profile

Peter Brown

196 posts in 1137 days


#4 posted 08-14-2015 12:12 AM



I had no idea black locust di this…thanks for sharing.

- Marcus

It was a surprise to me too!


Peter, you certainly come up with the coolest, unique projects. Glow in the dark wood. Cool!

- Dave Rutan

Thanks!

-- Peter Brown - Collector of WD-40 and wood splinters

View Peter Brown's profile

Peter Brown

196 posts in 1137 days


#5 posted 08-14-2015 12:14 AM



Peter

Pretty neat idea. What did you use to hold it with?

- Arlin Eastman

Thanks Arlin! It’s a jamb chuck with a corresponding tenon to hold the bangle on tightly.

Here’s another one I made with the same method, but with clearer photographs: http://lumberjocks.com/projects/106832

-- Peter Brown - Collector of WD-40 and wood splinters

View Dave Rutan's profile

Dave Rutan

1430 posts in 1648 days


#6 posted 08-14-2015 12:37 AM

I’m curious what the piece looks like in normal light. Any chance for a pic of that?

-- Ni faru ion el ligno!

View hairy's profile

hairy

2384 posts in 2992 days


#7 posted 08-14-2015 02:21 PM

Real cool! I know you had some Jimi Hendrix thumping at about 180 decibels, Stone Free! Throw in a strobe light and a liquid light show and you have the equivalent to a Wall of Death. Thanks !!

-- stay thirsty my friends...

View Derek Oliver's profile

Derek Oliver

160 posts in 1611 days


#8 posted 08-14-2015 03:33 PM

The whole time I’m watching, I’m thinking I’m going to see what blood looks like under a black light!

View leafherder's profile

leafherder

893 posts in 1412 days


#9 posted 08-14-2015 06:19 PM

Cool! Does the fluorescence last or does it fade over time with exposure to light and air? I know a lot of woods will change color over time through oxidation. I could see these being popular with the college age crowd.

Thanks for sharing.

-- Leafherder

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