Intro: How to Make a Glow in the Dark Themed Tabletop
I love football!
And the only other thing I love other than football is sleep. So I decided why not merge it together? So this Instructable is a detailed step by step process which will show you how to make an AWESOME (Your Favourite Football Club) themed Glow in the Dark Tabletop. I personally have used it as a side table beside my bed because not only does it look cool but the glow in the dark helps me perform basic things without having to open the lights at night. I started off making a table but the finish came out so good that I actually preferred hanging it on my wall. But you can use it however you want: Stick it on the wall, use as a table, it’s all up to you.
P.S. Pay attention, there may be a test.
Step 1: The Materials
I have listed down below the materials you would be needing and the place you can buy it from:
1. Veneer or MDF (13 inch x 13 inch x 5mm)
2. Plywood (13 inch x 13 inch x 7mm)
I have given below suggestions, details and substitutes for products so please READ the whole article before buying off the materials. Let's begin!
Step 2: Finding the Wood
Now I had renovation going on in my house so I just took some scrap piece of wooden Veneer lying around. These are really expensive and I would not advise you to buy it but look around if you can find them. A substitute for Veneer (if you can’t find it) is Medium-Density Fiberboard or MDF. These are much cheaper and easily available. Just pop in to your nearest wood store and buy a 13 by 13 inch square board. The ideal thickness for the board is 5mm but don’t exceed it or else you won’t be able to print on it but more on that later.
After this you will need a plywood cut in the same dimensions as the board but a little thicker. The plywood is mainly used to be stuck behind the board for extra support and inserting nails. I used a thickness of 7mm but any is fine. Don't stick the plywood to the Veneer or MDF just yet.
Step 3: Printing/Etching the Wood
For printing the photo onto the board all you need to do is go to the nearest laser cutting store and print/etch it on the board.
I have attached the photo I used in the project of the Manchester United logo (GO Red!!) but you can use whichever photo you want.
What I did was only etch the designs of the logo while cutting the words “Manchester United” and I would recommend you to do this to give it a more premium look but you can do however you want to customize it. Another thing to watch out for while doing this is to collect all the internal parts of the letters like the triangle of the “A” and the semi-circles of the “R” and “D”. You will have to stick that in later. Now after printing, your board should look something like this below. Don’t worry, we aren’t done yet.
Step 4: Cleaning the Board
After printing/etching, you will have to clean the wood and make it nice and smooth. Using a sand paper will yield good products. Take the sand paper and gently rub on the whole surface until smooth. be careful not to chip off any of the wood while doing so. Cleaned? Let's move on!
Step 5: Applying the Wood Sealer
Applying the Wood Sealer is essential as it prevents bubbles rising from the board when we have applied our coating mentioned later. Take a brush and generally apply it on the board (including the sides) and be sure not to miss out anywhere. Let it dry for an hour before proceeding.
Step 6: Making Glow in the Dark Letters
Before going any further I am explaining the coating I applied on the board. It is called the Haksons Resin & Hardener – Grade 1. I stumbled on this product a couple of months ago and it is not like any I have ever seen. It gives a high gloss glass like protective layer on the wood and it really gives a shine to the board. It is a two part product consisting of a resin and a hardener which mixed in the ratio of 3:1 and mixed till the liquid is homogenous gives you a clear liquid which cures in approx. 24 hours. I tweaked around with it and experimented to make the Glow in the Dark resin. To make this I bought a Glow in the Dark pigment and mixed it with the resin and hardener mixture. For a 100ml liquid with 25ml resin and 75ml hardener I required a round 10g of the pigment. Creating this is tricky and you would have to first create the Resin & Hardener mixture and then add the Glow in the Dark pigment and make sure there are no lumps forming. This is really important if you don’t want the powder showing in the finished product. I noticed UV light was best for charging the Glow in the Dark.
If you don’t want to make it glow you can also choose to color the letters by buying colored pigments to mix into the Resin & Hardener. For safety reasons, don’t forget to use nitrile gloves while handling this material.
After creating the Glow in the Dark mixture (25ml Resin, 75ml hardener and 10g pigment) you just have to pour it into the letters and wait for it to cure (approx. 24h).
Step 7: The Final Haksons Resin and Hardener Coating
For the final coating use the remainder of the Resin & Hardener (approx. 500 ml) and coat it on the surface. I would recommend pouring the liquid into the center of the wood and allowing it to move to the sides while performing circular motions with the liquid. You would also want to apply the Resin to the sides with your fingers (while wearing your Nitrile gloves Of course). Allow it to cure for 24h and you are finished with an AWESOME Glow in the Dark themed tabletop.
I hope you liked the article. Please like and share if you did. Cheers!
(If you have any questions, put them down below, I will be sure to answer them.)