Making a Rock Salt Bracelet

23,530

284

51

About: 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 widely, and I have no clue what I plan to make next...

Intro: 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

Share

    Recommendations

    • Tiny Home Contest

      Tiny Home Contest
    • Furniture Contest 2018

      Furniture Contest 2018
    • Fix It! Contest

      Fix It! Contest

    51 Discussions

    0
    None
    alan joyce

    3 years ago on Introduction

    Hi

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

    0
    None
    AlexandraR3

    3 years ago

    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!

    0
    None
    TuttleDB

    3 years ago on Introduction

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

    0
    None
    vincent7520

    3 years ago on Step 3

    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 ?

    0
    None
    tovey

    3 years ago on Introduction

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

    0
    None
    Kiteman

    3 years ago on Introduction

    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?

    5 replies
    0
    None
    gravityisweakKiteman

    Reply 3 years ago on Introduction

    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.

    0
    None
    Kitemangravityisweak

    Reply 3 years ago on Introduction

    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.

    0
    None
    kludge77Kiteman

    Reply 3 years ago on Introduction

    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!

    0
    None
    DennisFkludge77

    Reply 3 years ago on Introduction

    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.

    0
    None
    bizzycrafter

    3 years ago on Introduction

    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.

    0
    None
    Mtalus

    3 years ago on Introduction

    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.

    2 replies
    0
    None
    kludge77Mtalus

    Reply 3 years ago on Introduction

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