Step 2: Hollow out the light bulb

In the beginning I found the directions at TeamDroid to be a great help on how to do this. Now that I've done it over a dozen times it's routine. With practice this becomes quick and simple. There is another instructable describing how to hollow out a lightbulb here to get another perspective on it. Teamdroid linked to a GE tech spec on your standard bulb here.

A lot of the time you are poking around inside the lightbulb trying to break off the internal glass bits. Do this over a trashcan and often shake the lightbulb out over the trashcan to get rid of the glass shards. Wear safety glasses at all times. More than once some glass flew up towards my face when I was doing this.

First, grip the metal circle with a blob of solder in the middle at the bottom of the lightbulb with your pliers and gently pry it up from the dark purple glass insulator. This is pulling a wire in the middle that you want to break, so just pull it off.

Once that is done, take your carbide scribe and over a trash can, pry into the hole you just made in the purple glass insulator and break up that purple glass. You want to remove all the purple glass insulator from the lightbulb body. I use the scribe to start some cracks and lift off a section of it, then I follow up with the screwdriver to get the rest. Turn the lightbulb upside down and shake out all the glass bits that have fallen inside.

Inside there is a small glass tube that pokes up into the glass insulator. You might or might not have already broken that off by now. If not, just lever the screwdriver against it until it snaps loose. Empty into the trashcan.

Now you have a hole in the bottom of the lightbulb. At this point I take my pliers and gently bend over the metal tabs on the inside of the hole so there is no "lip" on the inside. Later when you have broken up the rest of the inside pieces, there isn't anywhere for the bits to catch and stay in the lightbulb when you shake it out.

There should be a wire visible inside that's soldered to the side of the metal screw piece. Take your wire cutters and cut the wire as close to the side of the bulb as possible.

Now, the inside has a glass cylinder you need to break off and clean up the edges to finish the job. Take your scribe or screwdriver and put it down into the lightbulb until it meets resistance. Tap it gently until something breaks. Then using the screwdriver, lever against the side of the lightbulb to clean out whatever remaining glass bits are left. You want the neck of the lightbulb to be clear from the hole all the way down the body. Turn the bulb over and shake it out one more time to get rid of the last of the internal glass pieces floating loose.

Take a toothbrush and while dry, push it into the lightbulb and start loosening up the dry white powder. Especially in the neck of the bulb. Don't worry if you can't get the stuff the toothbrush can't reach at this point. I found the bulb cleans out easier if you do loosen up the white powder in the neck before it gets wet.

Now take it over to the sink and add a little soap and water. Scrub around with the toothbrush and shake the bulb to get the water everywhere. Pull out the toothbrush and then wash out the soapy water from the bulb. At this point it's all nice and clean inside without any soapy residue. Set it aside to dry out. Now it's time to mix up the concrete.
Could you use blown bulbs instead of using a new bulb
<p>Just a little late to the game......</p><p>Haven't put the bolt in yet, but you get the idea.</p><p>How much would you pay for one like this??</p><p>Let me know what you think...yes, no, maybe so?</p>
<p>Is that resin? Because I love the colour of it - almost honey-esque!</p>
<p>Yes, it is resin. To get this golden color I had to experiment with the resin:hardener ratios. I had done a clear one in the proper ratios as per manufacturers instructions, but it doesn't have nearly the same visual appeal to it.</p>
<p>How did you fill it while keeping the stem intact? Did you make a small hole within the stem only? And one last question, is this with the glass still on? it's an absolutely gorgeous piece.</p>
<p>Thank you.</p><p>No glass on there at all, solid resin. Extremely difficult to make, but will provide an Instructable shortly....</p>
Have you done an instructable for these resin bulbs yet? I wou love to do them
<p>Yes I did.</p><p>Type:</p><p> &quot;The Ultimate Light Bulb Wall Hook&quot; into the search area.</p>
Fill the bulb about halfway with salt, put your finger over the opening and shake. All of the powder coating the inside will be removed in about 5 seconds, no toothbrush needed.
<p>That looks so totally awesome. Sadly, we can't buy edison light bulbs anymore. :(</p>
<p>This is so cool! I love this idea, and I've been really into concrete projects lately. It's a cheap hobby, and it results in modern but useful stuff like this. I do love the resin/honeycomb colored bulb shown below, too. There are too many things I want to do, haha. www.mastercutconcrete.com.au</p>
<p>Looking amazing :D Very fun idea !</p>
That caption on the last picture of this step threw me off. I have a tendancy of not finishing what I start, so I went to my oven and set the pre-heat to 375. Then, after setting the timer as well, I came back and finished reading the caption. I did my first ever, REAL facepalm today.
<p>Made my day :D</p>
You can clean the lightbulb with salt. Pour some salt into the lightbulb and shake it around. The salt removes the white powder
I made a door handle of gypsum instead of concrete. I wanted the glass to be on the handle, but the gypsum got realy hot under the hardening, and the glass cracked. So I took the glass of and the result was better than i hoped for
nice <br>
Benny8025,what is gypsum? Plaster of paris? I know it's found in drywall.<br>Where did you buy it for your project?Thanks Elljayq
Hobby shops
serious winter gear? for me that means wearing socks with my sandals...loved the intructable...nice work
Here in sa <br>Winter entails :<br>Sleeveless t shirts<br>short pants <br>and crocs
here in des moines Iowa we have gotten about a foot of snow in one night... everything closed down except for the des moines public school district (dmps). they never close for anything..... also I do not like the cold at all!!!!! I lived I tucson Arizona before Iowa and I am used to highs of 110 degrees F.........
Sadly, that's what my winter hase been like this year--and I live in Colorado. It's a sorry state of affairs when I can wear a short sleeve shirt in Febuary. &gt;_&lt;
sorry to hear that...I am looking at 75 degree days but 40 degree nights..could use some rain...drive the tourists away and make beach parking easier..Perhaps you will get the snow you need
closet door handles<br>
yes..... you just added more brilliance to already existing brilliance... ☺☺☺☺☺☺
<p>AWESOME! :0)</p><p>I need to make 1...or 3....dozen. :0)</p><p>these would make great stocking stuffers for Christmas!! Birthday presents! I can think of a million &amp; one reasons for giving as gifts!</p><p>TY for sharing. :0)</p><p>When separating the glass from the concrete hanger, I was thinking, about why you can not use a rag to wrap the hanger/bub in?</p><p>It will stop the glass from flying, contain the glass in 1 area/spot/whatever, and when finished, just toss the rag into the trash.</p><p>Granted, you still have minute particles of glass to deal with, but as you said, a shop brush should take care of that.</p>
<p>Nice Idea!!!</p><p>In one side I've been thinking on how to recycle soiled light bulbs but I didn't find it any easy myself.</p><p>In the other I love to hang my stuff on doors to get them more availableand keep a roomier wardrobe, but this kind of hungers aren't so easy to find, most of them fall down to the floor within the first week.</p><p>Good luck selling them!!</p>
This looked like fun so I gave it a try. unfortunately I could only find hydraulic cement which sets in about 5 minutes. to add to my woes, I got the piece all put together (bolt not straight but, all else looked good for a first try) but then dropped it the following day. the bulb came off easily but it is !missing the shininess of the one in the 'ible. Someone suggested using polishing compound which helped some but I think I'll end painting this one to cover the flaws. <br><br>After painting, I intent to drill through a porcelain fixture and insert the cast into it as if it were a real light. I wonder how many folks it'll fool! perhaps I should use space under the porcelain fixture as a safe. talk about mixing content. <br><br>For a first try not too bad though. I've now got some mortar mix and am anxious to give my next one a try. <br><br>Does anyone know how to safely dismantle a cfl? I think one of those would be fun to try as a cast.<br><br>happy casting<br>
Instead of a toothbrush &amp; soapy water table salt will take that white residue right out just put a spoon full of salt in the light bulb hold ur thumb over the end &amp; shake it it will clear it right up!
<p>Cool!</p><p>the way we go through lightbulbs around here, I won't have to buy any...</p><p>Very nicely written, very educational,....can't wait to make a few(dozen) myself. :P</p>
<p>Absolutely great! This is one of the finest exponents of creative thinking. Reminds me on Picasso abstract paintings: so simple, everybody can do it. But only good old Pablo actually could.</p>
<p>one question, how do i make it?</p>
<p>one question, how do i make it?</p>
<p>My mind was blown by it for a couple of seconds, but the longer I looked, the more it seemed like a concrete doorknob. Still, it's a really cool idea. I'd definitely like to try it this summer. Thiago | &lt;a href='http://www.sceniconcepts.com/' &gt;http://www.sceniconcepts.com/&lt;/a&gt;</p>
<p>This is a fantastic idea actually! My husband and I are trying to go with a very contemporary, modern style in our home. Having concrete lightbulbs for coat hangers would go perfectly with our theme. I will have to check first, but I think that my husband will love them too! <br>Cambria Rhay | http://www.heritageblds.com </p>
<p>I wonder if a different, less messy (no broken glass each time) way to do this would be to perhaps make a 2-part urethane mold of a lightbulb. You get the same accuracy, and can pull many parts from the mold over time. Also, there are good concrete mixes that will cure in under an hour with very nice results.</p>
<p>This was my first instructables that I watched here,back in the days. Now I found it! </p>
<p>blending of concrete in an everyday shape like a light-bulb is genius. congrats..</p>
I hope you don't mind...I placed a link to your site on my site... http://cehalles.wordpress.com/2014/03/13/my-simple-creations/...I needed good instructions for hollowing out the light bulb and urs are very clear...thanks
<p>That is a pretty awesome idea. I love to learn about little things like this that really improve on a lot of the things you would just buy in the store without thinking about it. I'll have to try that.<br><br>Thanks!<br><br>Xavier Smith | http://www.jbsroof.com </p>
<p>That is very cool and very creative to do something like that. That is very unique and I have never seen something like that before in my life. I do not know if I would ever have one in my house or get it for someone, but it is definitely cool. I am just wondering who owns one of these or even purchased it for someone else.</p><p>Jak Manson | <a href="http://www.bdexteriors.com" rel="nofollow">http://www.bdexteriors.com</a></p>
<p>That is really cool! I remember learning how to make clay vases by wrapping the clay around the bulb, then baking it and breaking the light bulb. It was very cool</p><p>George Puzo | http://www.anviliron.net </p>
<p>This is really cool. I can't wait to try this out. I hope my wife likes this. http://wen-designs.com/index.php/services/</p>
<p>I really like that. It is very unique and would give a little personality to things. </p><p>Jean | http://www.burbachexteriors.com/projects/type/renovation</p>
<p>I really like that. It is very unique and would give a little personality to things. <br>Jean | &lt;a href='http://www.burbachexteriors.com/projects/type/renovation' &gt;Renovation By Burbach&lt;/a&gt;</p>
That looks awesome! I should do something like that around my house, I think that it would be kind of funny, but effective. <br> <br>Jason. <br>http://www.4cornersfencingco.com/

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Bio: Named "Emblematic of the Instructables Universe" by the New York Times, I'm a maker and designer who enjoys looking at things sideways and playing ... More »
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