Making a Yooperlite UV Glow Ring with the Waterjet Channel

by Patrick Adair on July 15, 2019

Making a Yooperlite UV Glow Ring with the Waterjet Channel

This tutorial picks up where I left off in the waterjet channel. If you haven’t watched the video, the link is provided below. I essentially had a piece of perlite, which is a stone that glows

under a UV light. They cut out a slab that was just perfect for ring making. It was really cool and glowed under a blacklight, so making a ring out of it was really interesting. 

I had plenty of design challenges. This was a rock so it was super fragile brittle. I was not able to use the lathe for much, if at all as it was done mostly by hand. I had a bunch of different bits at my disposal. The diamond-coated bits were handy and used just for carving.

I had a cut-off disc plus a bunch more in my drawer. I used a bunch of different accessories and the goal was to hand carve a doughnut shape out and form it into a much better-looking ring.

To get started I used a diamond coated hole saw, which gives a rough pattern. I then went over to the drill press and cut a piece out, but made sure to not cut all the way through. If I cut all the way through, it would’ve ended up detaching the piece, flinging it around inside and probably breaking it. I cut maybe three-quarters of the way through and then finished it up by hand using a cut-off disc. 

I had cut out most of it and could see that hole that goes down almost to the other side, but not quite. I used my diamond cutoff and stuck it in the Dremel. I slowly just carved away at it from the other side and then had a nice little circle. Once I got our circle cut out, I could see the piece I cut it from. It actually went really smoothly just using the diamond cut off.

I switched over to the accessory coated in diamonds. I tried to bore the whole thing out and see if I could get a doughnut shape to form. I got it hollowed out pretty nicely using the diamond bit and it held up really well. It didn’t lose its edge or anything like that. If you were just trying this with a regular sanding wheel you wouldn't be able to bore through it because it doesn't have sandpaper on this surface.

It was not super apparent but pretty much after polishing it you could see that it was just barely eating away. It was mostly just rubbing it smooth and you could tell by the dust it gave off that there was not a lot happening.

It was just kicking up dust that's already sitting on the ring and it was just ruining the sandpaper almost immediately, so this definitely would not be possible without these diamond bits. This was challenging as it’s a very difficult material to work.

I had the solid diamond bit and just slowly started working my way. It had probably been about 20 minutes and I was starting to get some pretty good progress.

I was getting close to a real ring shape so it was looking good. I had it as hollowed-out as I could go and it started getting a little too brittle. It fits the finger, it was a little bit bulky looking but that's how any ring would look at this stage. I did a few things to mitigate that but there were a few spots where it was a little bit thinner and a little bit thicker.

I went in by hand and sanded down any of the high points and tried to even the whole thing out. After that, I gave the ring a comfort bit and a comfort finish that made it a lot more comfortable to wear. I did a similar kind of rounded profile to the outer diameter of the ring that made the whole thing really smooth and natural-looking.

I wanted it to look like it was a natural ring and had a good shape as well. It looked like it had been rolling down a river for the last thousand years and got a nice rock tumbled look to it. It was almost like you could see the rock I cut it from. I was really naturally rounded into a ring and gave off a natural look.

I got all of the shaping done for the ring and I could see it actually turned out really nice and even got a well-rounded profile. It was genuinely comfortable to wear and it wasn’t just comfortable for a rock ring, but comfortable for any type of material. I was really happy with that and I think it's really interesting how I didn't even use the lace for it. It was completely shaped by hand and it was pretty even. It was really nice and I’m really glad about the way this turned out.

As I previously stated, the sandpaper was not very effective on it and therefore when you are polishing you have some fairly limited options. 

I finished up with the diamond bit and it was really coarse, so I gave it a go with my Dremel.

I took my coarsest Dremel bit and then a much finer one and went around the whole thing and just sanded it all down. I wanted to get it a little bit smoother a little bit shinier and then once I got rid of all of the scratches I used a clear coat. I thought that would really bring out the color on it. It was pretty subtle at first but once I hit it with that clear coat, and the color really popped. At the end, I took the backlight and although the lighting conditions were pretty terrible to show it off, there was a really nice glow on it. 

I started with the Dremel and hit it with a clear coat and then I was able to show it off.

It actually worked really well and you could see that based on the color of it how the polish was lighter and more washed out. It looked rougher and that led to it being more vibrant and rich and the colors were more polished. It then started to brighten up and looked pretty good. I went ahead and washed it off with some alcohol to get rid of any of the dust and grease, or anything like that.

After that, I hit it with a clear coat and then I was finished. You could see when it was wet and that was a good preview of how polished it looked. There was still a lot of color to bring out of it and I was excited to see how it would look. You could see the clear coat on the ring and it made the colors pop. 

I did the coolest trick of them all and turned off the lights and checked it out under the UV light. You could see just how the orange color pops out. One thing I noticed was it didn't really correlate to any of the features on the rock itself. I turned off the light and could really tell where the orange is, it was very mysterious.

I'm not sure how that even worked, so it is a very interesting material. It was an absolutely beautiful ring and I loved the organic materials because they're so detailed. I took these really nice macro shots and I could see when I zoomed it gave more and more details.

The more I zoomed in the more detailed it looks so it was super interesting material. It was a lot of fun to work with and it was really interesting to make a ring without a lathe and one that was so fragile. This worked out so well.

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