Introduction: DIY Mason Jar Lamp W/ Switch
MATERIALS & COMPONENTS:
- lampcord, roughly 6-9 feet
- on/off toggle switch (mine happens to be a thumb switch. floor switches also exist)
- lamp socket (Mine is standard white porcelain. porcelain is better with dissipating heat than plastic)
- light bulb (I used a vintage-look edison bulb)
- lampcord strain reliever
- mason jar
- rubber plug end
- Drill, 5/16 bit", 3/8" bit, 1/8"bit (these may vary, they just happen to be the ones I used)
- Wire strippers
- Xacto blade / box cutter
- Soldering iron, flux paste, solder, and some kind of non-wood surface to solder on, I used a brick)
- electrical tape
- work goggles
Step 1: Prepping Your Materials
1. Precisely cut away fabric and plastic sheathing with a Xacto knife. Expose about 1/2" of wire on the ends of hot (black) wire and neutral (white) wire using wire strippers set to 18 gauge
2. Unscrew porcelain socket. If necessary, enlarge the hole in the washer with a 5/16" drill bit.
3. Drill holes into mason jar lid. Mark out hole locations in pencil, use center punch to make dimples in the lid so that your drill bit does not travel, and then drill the center hole with a 3/8" bit and ventilation holes with a 1/8" bit (or any bit around that size).
4. Put assembly on wire. in this order: top half of strain reliever, mason jar lid, bottom half of strain reliever, top of porcelain socket.
Step 2: Soldering the Lamp Socket and Wall Plug Onto the Lampcord
1. Twist exposed of wire and bend into little "hooks".
2. This next step is called "tinning" the wire. Brush some flux onto the exposed wire "hooks", heat it up with soldering iron, and when the copper wire is hot enough touch the solder to the tip of the soldering iron and it should flow into the copper wire. This will solidify the shape of the "hooks" so that the wire does not fray.
3. Using a screwdriver, attach the wire ends to the leads in the porcelain socket. Hot (black) wire goes to the brass screw and the neutral (white) wire goes to the silver screw.
4. Reassemble the porcelain socket on the lampcord.
5. repeat step 3 on the other end of the lampcord, and attach the plug end in the same way, Hot (black) wire goes to the brass screw and the neutral (white) wire goes to the silver screw.
6. The light should work now! Test the connections by screwing a lightbulb into the socket and plugging it into the wall. It should light up!
Step 3: Installing the On/off Switch and Finishing Touches
1. Figure out where you want your switch to be, this may vary by your particular application.
2. Wrap two pieces electrical tape about 1.5" apart around the wire and remove the fabric sheathing between the centerlines of the two pieces of tape. Do this with a Xacto blade (preferably something precise. I used a box cutter and it was a bit clunky)
3. Cut the HOT (BLACK) wire and strip off 1/2" off the ends using a wire stripper.
4. Bend the wire ends into a sharp "V" shaped hook and "tin the wire" so it holds it's shape.
5. Get the hooks on the HOT wire into the leads of the switch, and cold-work (bend, and form) the metal with a flathead screwdriver so that the "claws" on the switch make a good connection with the wire.
6. Snap on the top of the thumb switch.
1. Screw in your lightbulb.
2. Screw the mason jar to the lid.
3. Find a place in your room/house that needs good mood lighting, and place the mason jar there.
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