Introduction: Making a Rock Salt Bracelet


I've turned a fair amount of bracelets on the lathe. But I've never turned a block of salt before! It is beautiful material!

Step 1: Prepping the Block

I bought a block of Hymalayan salt from the local cooking store. It was 2" thick and about 10" x 8" More than enough for some experimentation!

Band saw

When I made the first cut on the band saw is when I thought it might be possible. The salt cut easily and held it's shape. The first few piece I cut a bit small, but I ended up with a 4" square.

Drill press

I use a 2 5/8" forstner bit for making bracelets. That inside diameter works for many women's wrist, but it no means universal. It took about 10 minutes to drill through the block, but it left a pretty nice hold.

Of course, after drilling out the hole, the block was extremely hot. Almost too hot to hold. Another surprise!

Back to the band saw

I let it sit for about 15 minutes before taking over to the band saw and cutting off the corners. Cutting off the corners is normally to make the turning process go a little faster, but with a brittle material I think it''s even more important to assure survival!


Step 2: Turning on the Lathe

I then mounted it on the lathe. If you've seen my other bracelet turning videos, you'll recognize my jamb chuck. It is simply a piece of wood with a 2 5/8" tenon to match the inside hole bored at the drill press. Using the jamb chuck is an easy way to hold the work piece for turning. I've made dozens of bangles with it, and it simplifies the process greatly.

BTW hot salt is hard on the hands....

For the record:

I cleaned every inch of the shop after this project. Salt is highly corrosive to tool steel and cast iron. DON'T JUST LEAVE IT! It took about two hours, but I think I got it all. time will tell....

Step 3: Sanding and Finishing

The sanding was almost all done with 100 grit sandpaper that was dipped in water. The wet sanding really worked well for this, and it shined up in only a couple minutes. I finished up with 400 grit but I'm not really sure it was necessary.

On to the finish. In this case I skipped the finish. This is just too cool looking and I wanted to leave it intact. Why? I'm not sure, it just felt like the right thing to do...

A couple coats of spray lacquer would be enough to add some protection were you so inclined.

So, why do you need a salt bracelet? Honestly, I cannot think of a reason. but it also makes a decent accent candle...B

Comments

author
gotclawz1 (author)2015-04-21

I want to wear it to a restaurant and rub my steak on it.

author
JadaK (author)gotclawz12015-04-26

That awesome. LMFAO

author
kludge77 (author)gotclawz12015-04-25

Ha... I have to feature that comment!

author
alan joyce (author)2015-04-30

Hi

Do you have to cover it to stop it reacting with your skin when it's worn ?

author
AlexandraR3 (author)2015-04-28

I see you turning this into a "thing." Patent it quick and then get some fashion designer to add it to a fall collection by getting the kardashian's to wear it once and tweet about how stunning it is.

Expensive jewelry designed to be replaced every month or so...

Utterly brilliant. (Just send me a 2% royalty check for my time.)

Cheers!

author
Rodeodog (author)2015-04-27

Nice 'ible. BTW, I love your logic, a true artisan.

author
laurelleSpaGirl (author)2015-04-27

Please I would like to purchase

author
TuttleDB (author)2015-04-27

It's gorgeous! I just don't know if I'd be able to suppress the urge to eat it like candy!

author
vincent7520 (author)2015-04-27

very nice.

Beauty is NOT useles.

Is rock salt real salt ? Never thought of it tis way.

How come it does disolve or turn into powder quickly ?

Where can I find a piece of it ?

author
tovey (author)2015-04-26

In order for this to be worn, it would definitely need to be sealed. Otherwise the wearer's skin would dry and likely chaff.

author
Kiteman (author)2015-04-21

Ummm... How long do you expect a piece of jewelry to last when made of salt?

Never mind the rain, won't your own sweat slowly dissolve the piece?

author
JadaK (author)Kiteman2015-04-26

Don't me a party pooper

author
gravityisweak (author)Kiteman2015-04-21

I could be wrong but I imagine that it would take quite some time to dissolve a solid block of salt even if you left it sitting in water. Either way I'd like to find out.

author
Kiteman (author)gravityisweak2015-04-21

True. It's lack of permanence is part of the appeal, but I'd find it annoying if a fracture propagated through a sweat-weakened patch and the whole thing shattered in a week.

author
kludge77 (author)Kiteman2015-04-21

I think a few coats of lacquer would seal the salt in nicely! As for the long term... I don't think this is really a viable material. It was more a could I do it sorta of project!

author
DennisF (author)kludge772015-04-26

For me putting a polymer finish on such a beautiful piece would be a crime. If you want to preserve it you might consider a wax. I think beeswax would do nicely but since I've taken an interest in beekeeping I keep finding uses for beeswax.

author
bizzycrafter (author)2015-04-26

Extremely cool!! I think you should give the bracelet to the lady at the cooking
shop. She would probably wear it WAY more than you would, and it would
be a real conversation starter for her and might sell a lot of salt, and
you would become her new favourite customer, and maybe start a whole
trend in seasoning jewelry.

author
Mtalus (author)2015-04-23

My dog already likes my girlfriend more than me and this would seal the deal. How many licks could it endure? Do dogs get high blood pressure? Would all that salt be bad for her (the dog's, not the girlfriend's) kidneys? I just got her to stop drinking out of the toilet (again, the dog not the gf) so maybe I'll just look. Good work.

author
shizumadrive (author)Mtalus2015-04-26

its the cows and deer you'd have to worry about

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kludge77 (author)Mtalus2015-04-25

That is hysterical! I posted your comment to my Facebook page... hope that's okay!

author
VixeyC (author)2015-04-23

it makes me think of candy bracelets. :) certainly good for the environment if it will easily dissolve back into the earth. :)

author
shizumadrive (author)VixeyC2015-04-26

it came out of the earth as the block. Its in its natural form already.

author
kludge77 (author)VixeyC2015-04-25

A candy bracelet might be fun too!

author
xxlauraxx (author)kludge772015-04-26

Have you guys seen the turned-jawbreaker shot glass? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3UoxJubwVYI

author
shizumadrive (author)2015-04-26

how much did the original block cost?

I'd think it would be too fragile as a bracelet but as a candle holder its magnificent. Candlelight through salt block is a beautiful sight.

author
mdeblasi1 (author)2015-04-26

Better than lacquer, I would give it a couple of coats of clear epoxy.
If i might mention a brand, I have been using Gede, which I get at Blick.

author

Wow, this is super pretty! It reminds me of rose quartz, which would probably not really be a viable material for a lot of people to work with in their home workshop, so this seems like a good alternative!

author

Thank you! I need to look up quartz and see if it's something I can mess with or not!

author
NathanSellers (author)2015-04-21

Really cool looking. How durable is it? I have made several bracelets/rings out of different materials and I am always bugged when they break.

author
kludge77 (author)NathanSellers2015-04-25

This is NOT durable. Interesting for sure, but not a feasible wearable... :)

author
world of woodcraft (author)2015-04-24

love it. well done

author

Thank you!

author
BruceE3 (author)2015-04-22

cool

author
CloudNine (author)2015-04-21

Just beautiful! Good job! I wonder if you could turn a block of salt into a salt shaker and use the turnings in the shaker. I like things that get me wondering. I wish I had a lathe as I bought a salt slab and have never used it. The lamp I bought at the same time is supposed to produce negative ions for some sort of health benefits. I just think it make a pretty light. : )

author
ilpug (author)2015-04-21

Seeing you turn rock salt on a lathe, thats scary. What RPM did you use?

author
Raitis (author)2015-04-21

Oh, I saw this on Reddit first, didn't know it was you though, cool stuff!

author
BerniJoint (author)2015-04-21

Looks awesome! I love it

author
starforest (author)2015-04-21

Very cool!

author
singerboy41 (author)2015-04-21

It may melt in rain or sweat, but he got alot of salt. This is interesting...

author
seamster (author)2015-04-21

I like the experimental approach here. Very cool result too.

I think a lamp/nightlight-type thing would be cool made of salt. Love that shot with the candle!

author
Stoveman (author)2015-04-21

Wow it looks really like some gem at first sight.

Since salt is soluble,I just wonder is this ring wearable? How can it stand the sweat on the finger?

author
gravityisweak (author)2015-04-21

Kludge do you think you could take a small block of this stuff and let it sit in some water to see what happens?

author
kludge77 (author)gravityisweak2015-04-21

Sure... I can run a test! :)

author
Vyger (author)2015-04-20

I am guessing it dissolves in water? As a mineral that is it's one drawback. As you found out heat doesn't bother it but a little bit of water and its gone.

author
kludge77 (author)Vyger2015-04-20

It does dissolve in water. I have no idea as the long term viability of this project. It was more of a, "can I even do this" project...

author
bobbyflatscreen (author)kludge772015-04-21

Well you could spray it with a generous amount of clear coat

author
kludge77 (author)bobbyflatscreen2015-04-21

I think a few coats of lacquer would seal the salt in nicely!

author
Kiteman (author)bobbyflatscreen2015-04-21

+1

author
tim_n (author)2015-04-21

Use cold water when washing it down - or so I've always been told by every motorbike owner who's offered their opinion about washing bikes. The hot water allegedly activates the salt and speeds up corrosion.

author
Kiteman (author)tim_n2015-04-21

+1

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Bio: Come spend some time in the shop. I'm a hobbyist woodworker and professional computer geek in Northern California. I guess my projects will vary ... More »
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