Introduction: Glow in the Dark Keyring

About: I love making stuff, I love Instructables, I love tools, I love machines, and I love materials. But most of all I love Arnie.
Awesome, Awesome, Awesome mini project that i recently discovered on this web site:

It will be my next project for my after school engineering club. Check the vid to see the key rings in action!

Learning Objective

By following a detailed set of instructions and videos from the Instructables website, yr9 students (13 year olds) will make a glow-in-the-dark key ring. The students will recall previously learnt skills on the metal lathe, e.g. facing off, centre drilling, and drilling to a given depth. This project will introduce the students to a milling machine and an indexable head. The project teaches how to use these precision tools to a high degree of accuracy and the students must aim to work within a tolerance of +/- 0.1mm. To achieve this tolerance the students will have to use basic mathematical calculations of linear measurements and angular divisions.

Step 1: Cut Material to Length

  • Use a hacksaw to cut either Ø9mm brass or aluminium to 90mm long

Step 2: Drilling

  • Centre drill
  • Drill Ø6mm x 50mm deep
  • Drill Ø6.8mm x 8mm deep

Step 3: Tapping the Thread

  • Put a M8 tap into the chuck and manually tap the thread. Do not turn the lathe on!
  • Once its started remove from the lathe and complete the rest in a metal vice.

Step 4: Y Axis (centre)

  • Remove the work piece from the lathe and secure in the indexing head.
  • Put in the centring bar (this can be any rod with a known diameter)
  • Slowly advance the rod towards the work piece, using a thin piece of tissue as an indicator......keep moving the tissue, when the rod grips the tissue you know its exactly on the edge of the work piece.
  • Lower the machine bed and zero the Y axis dial.
  • Use the following calculation (Ø of centre rod + Ø of work piece / 2)
  • 8mm + 9mm = 17mm       17mm / 2 = 8.5mm
  • Move the Y axis dial 8.5mm
  • If done correctly you should be within +/- 0.1mm of the centre

Step 5: X Axis

  • This does not need to be as accurate as the Y axis
  • So put in the Ø10mm centre drill and align it over the end of the work piece
  • Zero the X axis dial and move it 8mm to the right

Step 6: Drill

  • Use the drilling head to drill to a depth of 5mm.....its important each hole is exactly the same depth.....ensure you pay close attention to the numbers on the Z axis dial.
  • Once the first hole is drilled rotate the indexing head by 8 holes, drill the 2nd hole
  • rotate another 8 positions on the indexing head.
  • Move the X axis by 8mm 
  • Move the index head by 2 positions 
  • Repeat the process until you have four sets of holes

Step 7: Finishing the Component

  • Put a chamfer on the end of the work piece
  • Use 100 grit abrasive paper to clean up the surface
  • Part off the component at 55mm

Step 8: End Cap

  • Measure 15mm into the rod and centre punch 
  • clamp the other half of the rod into the v-grove on the machine vice with the punched mark perfectly vertical 
  • Use a centre drill to start the hole 
  • Use a Ø4mm drill to complete the hole

Step 9: Threading

  • Parallel turn the end, Ø8mm x 10mm
  • Use a M8 die, start the thread using the tail stock of the lathe 
  • After a few turns complete the thread in a metal vice

Step 10: Parting Off

  • Test the thread by screwing on the other half, you will find that the thread is a bit long.....face it off until its the appropriate length.....approx 5mm
  • Part off the component, 5mm past the hole
  • Screw the two halves together

Step 11: Shaping the End Cap

  • Wrap the main body in paper to protect the surface finish 
  • Shape the end using the cutting tool
  • Use 150 grit abrasive paper to tidy up the surface

Step 12: Glass Tube

  • I got this Ø6mm glass tube from the science department....... you can use any glass or plastic tube....even fish tank air hose would work.
  • The glow in the dark powder was purchased on ebay.
  • Cut the tube to 45mm
  • Use the glue gun to seal one end
  • Clamp the tube to stand upright....alternatively ask someone to hold it
  • Carefully fill the tube using a folded piece of paper 
  • Glue the other end to seal the tube
  • Put the tube in the brass holder
  • Screw on cap
  • Enjoy :)
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