Picture of Cadillac Dystopic Lamp
When I'm going through midterms I need to think of something else to break the monotony of studying German and History.  To do that,  I brainstormed about this project.

As far as what "Genre" it's placed in.  I don't really care.  However, It doesn't look particular Victorian so it can't really put it with Steampunk (disregarding how much I would like to) but it does look like a lamp that might be used by a literate War Lord in the Mad Max Universe.  So...I'll go with that.  Crazy Mad Max Lamp.

This project takes several skills and combines them to make awesome.

Sweating Copper Pipe
Making Solid Electrical Connections
Cutting Glass

If you have all these skills then do this project.  If you don't.  Do some research, then be careful doing this project.

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Step 1: Tools and Supplies

Picture of Tools and Supplies
Tools are a biggy on this project.  You can't really complete the project without them.

Propane Blow Torch
Tubing Cutter
Dremel Tool Kit
Drill with Bits
Machinist Vise
Pocket Knife
Leather or Heavy Canvas Work Gloves
Safety Goggles

Supplies for this project will set you back about 50 Dollars

6 Feet of 3/4" Copper Pipe
4 90 Degree Elbow Fittings
4 Three Way Fittings
6 End cap Fittings
1 Electrical Box
2 Electrical Box Clamps
2 Hose Clamps
1 Light bulb Dimmer
1 Garden Spicket Knob
1 Appliance Cord
1 Electrical Box Faceplate
2 Perrier 1 Liter Bottles (or other large green glass bottles)
1 Cadillac Hood Ornament
Electrical Tape
1 Wine Cork
2 Light bulb fittings
2 Olde Timey Light bulbs
2 Screws
4 Washers
2 Nuts
Speaker Wire
Raw Wire

Step 2: Plans

Picture of Plans
These are the plans that I was working off of when I made this project.  They are mostly correct.  Do what I say in the instructable.  Not the plans.
I have found the best way to cut glass is with a diamond cutting wheel for a dremel tool.
(Second best, nichrome wire heating)  Score the bottle as you would and, under a trickle of water, make several passes around that line until the cut is complete. Water is messy and electrically dangerous but it quells the glass dust and keeps the cut cool. This method has opened my possible materials to everything from projection tv CRT's to large HID bulbs for my lamp making.
PopEye42 (author)  berekleonard5 years ago
I think I'm going to check that out...have you ever done Nichrome wire heating?
I did after I researched how CRTs are recycled. Hot wire glass cutting is really good for oddly shaped cuts and works the best out of all thermal-shock methods but still leaves a jagged edge. It's a little bit more involved than the candle method but basically you're heating up a wire to 1200+ deg F within a few seconds on a very isolated area. Check out the nichrome wire article on wikipedia for the approximate amps needed per wire size and temperature required.   
PopEye42 (author)  berekleonard5 years ago
Thanks alot man...those bottles have no straight sides at all.  My usually clamp and glass cutter method didn't work all that well.  Nicrome Wire sounds like a pretty good way to do it.
There are also several videos on youtube that show how to tie a string soaked in lighter fluid,it also works well for bottles
PopEye42 (author)  Bowtie415 years ago
I've tried that before.  I can't get it to work.  The diamond cutting wheel sounds pretty promising to me
PopEye42 (author) 5 years ago
Dear 3036 People,

Thanks for liking my instruct able.  I worked a long time on it.

I still have plans to make it better.

- The bottles are are not cut well enough.  I'm going to get some wine bottles and cut them appropriately
- There is a structural problem with the box connection.  I need to strengthen that connection with copper pipe.  I'm not sure how
- The Cadillac Hood Ornament is not connected very well.  I need to find a better way to connect it


One option for better connecting would be to sweat on a copper threaded male end that fits the knock outs in the box.  Since electrical fittings and plumbing fittings share the same NPT threading patterns it should be possible to find parts that match in size.  The only drawback to this is that the copper to steel connection might cause the dissimilar metals to corrode quickly.  Just a thought.  Other than that I like the overall look of ot.  Good one.
PopEye42 (author)  Sparkyrob5 years ago
That is an awesome idea.  I think that would make the lamp much more sturdy
 The Cadillac hood ornament looks tacky. Personally, I would leave it off. It looks much better without it.
PopEye42 (author) 5 years ago
Dear Everybody,

Thanks for your comments.  I do know that this project is a little dangerous right now.  I know the electrical work is done wrong...however, I did this in 8 hours and over Easter I'm going to re-do the wiring.


 super wonderful, bro! nice creativity! i haven't even delved into the mechanics of it ye
kokla5 years ago
 Can I suggest something for improved electrical safety? Use a three pin plug and replace speaker wire with appliance cable that includes an earth wireand connect that with your ground wire. That creates an alternative path to earth for a fault current that isn't through the person switching it on. 

Great instrctable, I'm a sucker for making lamps. 

I love lamp.
Sparkyrob kokla5 years ago
You are absolutely right on with your comment.  PopEye42 would be much safer using a 3 wire lamp cord and bonding all of the metal parts to the grounding conductor.  Either that or only plug it into a GFCI outlet.

Regardless, it is a fantastic lamp!
jaywiese5 years ago
darcythomas5 years ago
 I think that this could be Steam Punk, not aristocratic Steam punk, but scavenged together after an (air)ship wreck etc etc...
bigmattyc5 years ago
In place of the cork here I would perhaps have used a rubber grommet in the downtube assembly and above that, in the tube, attached a stopper of some sort, like a small clamp, to the electrical cable to prevent it from pulling out farther from the base than it should.  That keeps it a littel bit neater, in my opinion, but otherwise, I love you writeup.  Great project!
kokla bigmattyc5 years ago
 Or tie a zip tie onto your cable, nice and tight so it can't fall through the corked up hole.
catfish235 years ago
 need to ground the ground to a copper pipe that GOES UNDERGROUND! not just part of the lamp! That kind of actually reverses the point of grounding. But, excellent idea, just needs some work with the actual electrical part

Lucidman5 years ago
This project requires lots of heavy duty tools, but the finished product is cool
DavidKaine5 years ago
This is a gorgeous piece of work.  I like the pipe valve as a switch, though it could use a little more distress to match the rest of the lamp.  The green bottle glass and copper goes together fantastically!
Also, and you might have been called on this already since I haven't read all the comments, but there is no Positive and Negative in AC current... only Hot and Neutral.  Hot is what carries the live voltage, and Neutral is somewhere for the voltage to go. 
whiteoakart5 years ago
Not sure I would call this dystopian.  Dystopia, being the opposite of utopia, is a place where everything about life is horrible.  Somalia is dystopia.  (Sorry if I have offended any Somalis. Not my intention.  The Somalis I have known are great people. The standard of living in Somalia is another thing altogether.)

This project, conversely, is pretty cool.  When I was in art school in the 80s, this was called Functional Art. 

I would love to see the wires on top made from some coiled cable, like the cord that used to connect a receiver to the rest of the telephone.  I haven't made up my mind about the water faucet dimmer.  One one hand, it certainly goes with the theme of the copper pipes.  It is just not very interesting.  I think a porcelain high voltage insulator grafted onto the dimmer shaft would look pretty cool there.

I absolutely love the cut bottle lamp shades, the type of bulbs, and the copper tubing. Perfect. 

Maybe, it needs some interesting feet.  The bottom of the lamp looks unfinished to me.  You would need to dig around in the scrap bins for some kind of grommet or perhaps our resident mad-scientist taxidermist, canida, could scrounge up a set of four duck feet to glue onto it.  Just a thought.
MaxineLaRue5 years ago
What a cool lamp - I love it! Thanks for sharing.

I also like the idea of just epoxying the pipes together to give it a cleaner look.

Or, something similar could be made with EMT (electrical metallic tubing) and pray-painted any color you like.
Panda15 years ago
This is great just like it is. I wouldn't change a thing. If you have kids or plan on putting the lamp where it can be played with, you might think about changing the wiring. But I'd think the glass would be more of a danger.
theproles5 years ago
Seriously badass!  I have been enjoying seeing instructables for steampunk furniture, but dystopia seriously bypasses that genre for me.  I hope more follow.  I'm not really that creative, so seeing such an interesting design element is a real pleasure.  Thanks
godfish5 years ago
 Hello, thinks for showing us your idea.

It doesn't look to electrically sound to me I would have ran to bulb wires through the pipes THHN wire is not to be exposed like that, and I would make sure the whole thing is grounded and maybe AGIF on it, but that's just me I get shocked a lot. ;)
PopEye42 (author)  godfish5 years ago
I don't think I'm quite done with this project.  It was my origonal plan to run the wires through the pipes but it was getting I just finished it.  I grounded the box but not anything else.

What is a THHN and AGIF?
 Hello sorry it took me time to answer, THHN is a wire type that is sold in most hardware stores. it's stamped on the wire jacket. If you check the NEC you will find it's not made for direct exposer.

AGIF is a Arc-fault-ground-interrupter, it's faster then a regular GIF so if the lamp was to short it would turn off the current to the lamp, has a red reset button.

Just Ideas, most lamps don't have them but most lamps don't have exposed wires.

I LOVE the look, Good job on the brazing.  
PopEye42 (author)  godfish5 years ago
Ok.  I'll think about it.  Finding a dimmer switch that is also AGIF is really hard to do.  Maybe that's an internet purchase I can make.  Idk.  Thanks for the comment
in a design aesthetic view, the wires look good like that. You could still run the wires through the pipes and put fake wires on the outside to give it the look. This would look really good on set for a movie. 
bluefly12155 years ago
I love to make different lamps with unusual items. This is a really cool idea.  
armourkris5 years ago
That lamp is Sweet. I think I may have to try and make myself something siilar when I'm in my new place.

Also, I think Post Apocalyptic should really be it's own category. It's definitely got it's own style of design.
PopEye42 (author) 5 years ago
l8nite5 years ago
bad azz lamp and great "ible" for safety and ease of building though you could use epoxy to hold the pipes together, its not like it needs to be waterproof...  I'd like to see a picture of the finished lamp under other lighting conditions so the details can be made out
lemonie l8nite5 years ago
The original image is big, apart from the areas in shadow you can make it out pretty well. But another shot in different light would be good.

kelseymh5 years ago
Very nice!  Dystopic is a great word, especially if you wear glasses ;->  

(I think "dystopian" is the formal term)