Carpenter Strikes Wood With Electricity To Create Stunning Glowing Cabinet

by Rebecca Endicott
Becca is a writer and aspirational dog owner living in NYC.

When it comes to picking out furniture for my home, I love finding pieces that are a bit unusual or quirky.

But sometimes, it can be hard to track down just the right item for the house; I often can’t find exactly what I’m picturing in my head.

In these situations, I always wish that I had more DIY know-how! I’m so envious of talented crafters that can sand and refinish an antique piece, or, even better, throw together something new, like this gorgeous $50 room divider!

The current object of my envy is a stunning sideboard created by a handy woodworker, who shared his efforts over on the image sharing website Imgur.

He decided to build himself a new hutch-style cabinet, and included an extra touch: dramatic “lightning strike” burns in the wood, complete with a blue lacquer that glows in the dark.

Check out the spectacular project in the gallery below!

According to his post, the idea was to create a spectacular cabinet, specifically to keep liquor and so on far away from the people in his household under the age of 21.

To accomplish that goal, he decided to make his very own cabinet, which would also allow him to experiment with a wood-burning technique he’d been meaning to try.

An added bonus, as noted by various commenters, is that his woodworking technique will make the cabinet look very dramatic, and a bit spooky after dark, making it a bit too ominous for anyone contemplating trying to get into it.

To start the project, this inventive carpenter repurposed a few old pieces of furniture that would otherwise go to waste.

With some sanding, planing, and rearranging, the cast-offs of other pieces of furniture became the perfect pieces to turn into a stunning liquor cabinet.

At first glance, this first step just looks like a lot of plain boards pieced together. But with a unique wood-burning technique, they won’t look that way for long.

The carpenter created dramatic “lightning strike” burns all over the wood, essentially by actually striking them with lightning, albeit on a small scale.

Called Lichtenberg figures, these burn marks are created by running electricity through wood in such a way that the surface is burnt in these branching patterns.

The carpenter is quick to note that this process is very dangerous and should not be attempted by anyone who doesn’t know exactly what they’re doing.

Once the burning process was complete, he carefully brushed any stray ash or char out of the divots left behind in the wood.

Here, the wood appears “finished” because of the water on the surface from the cleaning process.

Though the wood is not yet finished, it definitely gives us a better sense of the dramatic look of the scorch marks against the rich color of the wood!

Next, he mixed up a resin to fill in the gaps left behind by the scorching process.

To further add to the “lightning strike” effect of the Lichtenberg figures, he decided to create a resin that not only has an iridescent blue quality, but actually glows in the dark, for a look that mimics the appearance of electricity.

To accomplish the effect, he mixed a glow powder into the resin, which appears vivid in daylight, and gives off light of its own in the dark or under black light.

Once the resin was dry in the cracks and fissures left behind by the electrical burns, he sanded off the excess glowing material to ensure that it was only concentrated in the deepest pitted sections of the cracks.

Once each piece of wood was fully sanded, it was finished with polyurethane to give the wood rich color and contrast.

From there, he finished assembling the pieces together into a simple sideboard cabinet.

As you can see, the finished cabinet is quite a dramatic sight to behold, especially after dark.

In a pitch black room, the wood of the cabinet all but disappears, leaving behind the spidery lines of the blue Lichtenberg marks.

The effect is of a beyond-cool home accessory perfect for the man cave, or for a spooky “Frankenstein’s Monster” themed Halloween party!

However, despite the eerie nighttime look of the cabinet, in full daylight, it’s a very handsome and stylish looking piece of furniture.

The faint blue of the glow-in-the-dark resin almost resembles a precious stone inlay in daylight, and the Lichtenberg marks add depth and character to the piece.

Ultimately, this cool piece of furniture comes out looking fashion-forward by day and dramatic by night, making it an awesome item for any household!

If you love the unusual look and construction of this cabinet, make sure to SHARE with friends and family!