This is a project I have wanted to do for a while. Once a year we do a clean up at the fire hall. Last year when doing the clean-up we went through all of our gear so we could get rid of all of the expired gear. That's right, the gear has a "do not use past" date on it. Next time you think that us firefighters don't need to do another fundraiser remember that not only does each set of bunker gear cost upwards of $3000 a set, but it is usually only good for 10 years, then it must be replaced. Anyhow, I was able to snag a couple fire helmets, some pants, and an old fire hose. I knew right away I wanted to make a lamp out of it. I was not sure how, or what exactly it would look like, but I was sure that I wanted to make a lamp.
I was walking around home depot and found the round piece that I used for the table, I bought a few with the intention of making a nightstand, or endtable or something. I ended up with all of the pieces at the right time, and noticed the "lights" contest. I figured now would be as good as any to get this thing made. So Here is the process that I did to throw this table together. This project took me a few hours a day for 3 days, so not a particularly hard project or a long project.
Step 1: Parts and Materials
Here is a list of all of the parts ,materials, and Tools that I used to make this table lamp.
Parts and Materials
1. 17in Round pine table top -- Found this at home depot for $6
2. Fire Helmet -- Was Expired and no longer usable
3. Fire extinguisher Compartment Handles -- I have a friend that works at an auction house, he found these and knew that I liked to build things, anyhow, I ended up with 6 of these, they look cool, and say "FIRE" on them
4. 1in x 10ft Copper Pipe -- I bought this from my local ace hardware
5. 1 1/4in x 10ft PVC schedule 40 pipe -- Also bought this from Ace Hardware
6. Misc PCV Connectors, I used 3 90's, 5 T's, 2 Cross's, and a 1 1/4in to 1in reducer. All bought at Ace Hardware.
7. PVC Cleaner and Glue -- Here is a Link to it on Amazon
8. Light Fixture -- Here is a Link to it on Amazon
9. LED Bulb -- Here is a Link to it on Amazon
10. Clear Tabletop Epoxy -- Here is a Link to it on Amazon
11. Imperial Red Powder Coloring -- Here is a Link to it on Amazon
12. Minnwax Golden Oak Stain -- Here is a Link to it on Amazon
13. Red Spray paint -- Here is a Link to it on Amazon
14. Water- Based Polyurethane -- Here is a Link to it on Amazon
15. 5 min Epoxy -- Here is a Link to it on Amazon
16. 2 wire 20ft Extension cord -- Here is a Link to it on Amazon
1. Dewalt 20v Hammerdrill -- Here is a Link to it on Amazon
2. Dewalt Hole Drill Kit -- Here is a Link to it on Amazon
3. Dewalt Multisaw -- Here is a Link to it on Amazon
Step 2: Laser the Table Top
I have seen others who have done this technique with a CNC router, cutting down a design into a cutting board or whatever and then filling it with epoxy. I wanted to know if the same thing could be done with a laser. The thought was that if I could engrave with enough power then it would go down about a 1/4in. Then I would fill it with epoxy. So you do not have to have a laser cutter for this step. You could use a CNC router, or im sure there is a way that you could carve it out by hand. My current CNC is a Carbide 3d Nomad 883, so, not big enough, and my shapeoko 3 is still in the box it came in waiting to be assembled. I lasered the image above into the table round. I have included the Coreldraw file and the DXF file so you can use it if you want.
Step 3: Apply Colored Epoxy
After getting the table off the laser it looked good already. But I really wanted the table to be even, and I wanted the design to be red in color. So I mixed the clear epoxy together with a "dash" of red coloring. I say a "dash" because I was lazy and did not want to look up how much was recommended, and did not have anything to measure it with anyway. So i put, some, coloring in and it worked out fine. Sometimes in life just guessing is fine. I mixed it well and poured it into the design. I made sure to overfill all of the design, with the intention of coming back when it was done and sanding it smooth.
The next day I came in to the shop and it had set up very nicely, I sanded it down so that all of the table was nice and smooth. I went ahead and used the hole saw to cut a hole into the top of the design so that the lamp could pop through.
Step 4: Stain and Apply Poly
I wanted to stain it, and I was going to to go with a darker walnut, but I decided that it would look better if the stain was lighter so that the red would pop more. I stained it quick and then put on a few layers of water based polyurethane. That will keep everything safe.
Step 5: Build Bottom Frame
Ok, so to build the bottom frame I used the pvc and the connectors to build it as seen above, I knew the approximate height that I wanted the table to sit at, around 24in, and the lamp around 5ft. I really just guessed at the size of everything else, watch the video and you can see that I really never had much of a plan. It all worked out in the end.
Once I had everything cut and test fit it all together, I Cleaned and glued all of the joints together. After everything dried I took and spray painted the bottom half with primer and then red spray paint.
Step 6: Fasten Top and Install Fixures
I fastened the table to the base using conduit pipe clamps. I just made sure to use screws that were not long enough to go through to the other side. I wanted to attach the handles to the top of the table, not for any functional purpose, just for looks, I decided to use a 11/16 chisel bit and drill down a little in the spots where they were going to go, then I filled said holes with 5-minute epoxy, and then put the handles into the epoxy filled holes. Once these set up they seem very secure, I don't think these are going anywhere.
Step 7: Build Copper Lamp Post and Attach Helmet
Ok, For the Lamp part I wanted it to look a little nicer, so I used Copper, I bought a 10ft stick of 1in copper, and cut it to 5ft, I attached the elbows and made sure that everything fit right, then I used a torch and some flux and solder and soldered the elbows on so that they are solid and not going anywhere. I kindof forgot to film that part, sorry. The helmet had a bunch of padding and crap inside of it, that all had to come out. After pulling on it, and using various razors, pliers, and such, I was able to remove all of the interior helmet crap. Once the helmet was crap free, I drilled a hole in it with a 1in hole saw, in order to keep the helmet on the pipe I drilled 2 small hole into the end of the pipe, and put the helmet into place, then I put two screws through the holes. That seems to work well, and I like that the helmet is free to swivel.
Now I placed the lamp stand into the pvc reducer and it is ready to wire up.
Step 8: Install Wireing
Now the only thing left is to wire it all up, I bought a 20ft extension cord and cut off the end, Then I fed the wire through the copper pipe and out the other side. I connected the wires to the light fixture and put some hot glue into the copper pipe to keep the wires in there. That is all there is for the wiring, now it is ready, just install the bulb and plug it in.
Step 9: All Done
Well there it is, my Firefighter table lamp is ready to go. I really like this lamp, It was not that difficult of a project, and it turned out pretty cool. I appreciate you taking the time to read my instructable.
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