Introduction: Molecule Wine Glass Charms

Used these charms to identify your glass at a party.

The designs were etched with a wood burner and are representations of molecules to do with drinks:
Citric Acid
Carbon Dioxide

I took a little bit of artistic licence with the glass molecule because of its crystalline structure. I only made a small section of it.

Step 1: Equipment and Supplies

You will need:
A wood burning tool with an assortment of tips.
A pencil
Scrap paper
1 inch wood circles (you can buy these from Hobbycraft)
Jump rings
Loom bands

Step 2: Practising Your Design

I used the mighty Google to decide and research the molecular diagrams. I chose molecules that are involved in drinks but you could choose any molecule.

Practice drawing your molecules on paper before you go to your wood.

I was lucky that most of my molecules only contained Hydrogen, Oxygen and Carbon. So I made a code to tell which atom was which.

Carbon = outlined circle
Oxygen = filled in circle
Hydrogen = small black dot

Step 3: Transfer Your Design to Wood

Use your pencil to make a mark on the same place on each charm where you plan to make the hole.

I made mine as close to the edge as I could, about 2 or 3mm.

Then pencil in your molecule designs, keeping away from where your hole will be.

Step 4: Start by Burning Your Biggest Atoms

In the first picture here you can see the 4 wood burner tips I chose to use.

I picked small, medium and large circular tips for the atoms and a flat tip for the chemical bonds.

I started by burning in my largest atoms (the carbon ones).

Screw your first tip into your wood burner THEN switch it on. Wait for it to get nice and hot. I let mine heat for about a minute.

Make sure you have a steady hand because you only have one shot at wood burning.

Now go through all your charms and press the tip onto all the atoms of the same type for about half a second each. The longer you hold it on the wider and deeper it will burn.

Step 5: Smaller Atoms

Once you are finished with one tip, you have two choices:

Switch of your wood burner and wait for the tip to cool down before you change it.

Or switch of your wood burner and change it using a pair of pliers.

Either way SWITCH OFF THE BURNER you don't ever want to risk electric shock.

I changed to the medium circle tip next and then I filled in all my oxygen atoms again holding the tip on each for about half a second.

Lastly I burned the hydrogen atoms using my small pointy tip.

Step 6: Burning the Bonds

Next change to your flat headed tip to fill in the bonds between atoms.

Don't forget some atoms have a DOUBLE BOND between them. For example, carbon dioxide.

Step 7: Labels on the Back

I decided at the last minute to add the names of the molecules to the back of the charms. This will hopefully stop confusion after a few alcoholic beverages.

I penciled in the names in my neatest writing then went over the pencil with my pointiest wood burning tip.

Its very tricky to do even lines with a wood burner.

My tips:
Don't press down on the wood, just drag it along the line.
Stick your charms down with a bit of blue tack so they don't move.
Stop and give your hand a shake between words to keep it steady.

Step 8: Make a Hole

Use your guide mark that you made earlier to make a hole in your wood.

You can either use a very fine drill bit, however this risks splitting the wood.

I used my pointiest wood burning tip to press down through the wood to burn a hole through the charm. Then I flipped it over and pressed the same spot on the other side to make the hole the same width the whole way through.

Step 9: Jump Rings and Loom Bands

Add a jump ring to each charm using pliers.

Then add a loom band to each jump ring.

Step 10: Party Time

Put one charm on each stemmed glass and let your party guests chose which molecule they are going to have for the evening.

In this project, I thought the more complicated molecules you look the worst because they would be hardest to squeeze in, but they actually looked the best. I ended up adding extra molecules to the water and CO² charms to make them look more interesting.

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Wood Contest

Participated in the
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Participated in the
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