Introduction: How to Make a Trumpet Lamp

I was helping my brother clean out his garage when I came across this old beat up trumpet. I did some research online and learned it was made in the 1930’s as a student model. I felt bad to see it so forgotten so I had to breath some new life into it.  

Needed:
Trumpet
Lamp
Paracord
Cotton Ball
Rubber Chair Feet
Hot Glue
Multi-Meter

Step 1: Thread the Trumpet

You’re going to have to run a power cord through the trumpet and in order to do that you need paracord and a cotton ball.

Gut a section of paracord long enough to run the length of the horn. Tie the cotton ball to the end of a strand of the inner paracord and start to feed it through the trumpet at the end where the mouth piece goes.

Use compressed air to blow the cotton ball through the horn. Once it’s through you’ll have a threaded trumpet.

In the picture you see the valves removed but leave them in when you do this.

Now tie the paracord strand onto the section of paracord you gutted. You should be working at the bell end. Take some all purpose cleaner (any soapy liquid will do) and lubricate the paracord.

Pull the gutted paracord back through the horn until it comes out the other end.

Step 2: Prep the Base

I bought this lamp brand new, with a shade, for $10. Take it apart so you can get to the cord. Make sure you use a multi-meter to identify the negative and positive wires so you put it back together right.

Take a rubber chair foot and drill a hole in it. The pack of four cost me $1. Place the drilled foot onto the shaft of the base. Trim another foot and place it at the top of the shaft so it the trumpet has two points of contact along the shaft.

Step 3: Pull the Wire Through

Tie the paracord onto the free end of the lamp wire at the bell side of the horn. Lubricate the wires with the same soapy liquid and begin to pull it through. This will take some effort. It helped to wiggle the valves a little as I pulled the wire through.

Just make sure you use a constrictor knot when you tie off the wire. You don’t want it to slip off mid trumpet.

Step 4: Prep the Top and Assemble

Drill a hole in the switch housing so that it fit’s snuggly on the mouth piece end of the trumpet. Re-assemble the lamp components and adjust the base into the horn.

Use hot glue to put the felt back on the bottom of the base.

Make sure your new trumpet lamp dries out before you plug it in or turn it on.

I would recommend using a larger base then I show. As it is right now it can be knocked over fairly easily. I’ll be adding a small wooden circle to the base to make it more stable. Update: I added a wooden base. You can see it in the pictures for the first step.

Thanks for viewing.

Comments

author
ghaines1 (author)2016-08-08

It does matter which wire is which. You want the switch to control the hot not the neutral. Otherwise the entire circuit is electrified and waiting for a completion, which could be a person if they are not careful. Which wire matters so much that new plugs all have a thicker side for the neutral to keep the polarity correct.

author
andrewcaseley (author)2012-06-11

i am so gonna do this but i am going to put a switch inside the top valve so you switch the lamp on and off using the trumpet itself

author
instructascott (author)2012-04-21

It's so great to see this trumpet under the spot light again. tee hee

author
alexstewart (author)2011-12-05

I like the Click very much. trumpets lamp is awesome..

author
Londonbrig0 (author)2011-11-29

I love the idea, but the music nerd in me cringes at the thought of such a beautiful antique not being restored to playing condition.

author
Mrballeng (author)Londonbrig02011-11-29

Trust me the case looks better then the horn. Someone had tried to fix it with some sort of bonding putty. Other repairs were done with a whole lot of messy solder. But you're right, I thought the same. I made sure not to alter the trumpet at all. That way I can undo the lamp and it will be just like the day I found it.

author
Londonbrig0 (author)Mrballeng2011-11-30

Ah that makes me happy. You sir are a gentleman and a scholar.

author
fweall (author)Londonbrig02011-11-29

Same here, as a trumpeter and lover of all that is brass, its a shame a youngster wont get to start the journey on this, like I did many years ago......a bassoon on the other hand would make a top standard lamp :-D

author
mgalyean (author)2011-11-29

This is a great idea. I'm already thinking trombone-floorlamp. One correction though; the lamp is powered by AC, or alternating current, so it doesn't matter which wire is which. Long time subscriber, keep up the cool stuff!

author
Mrballeng (author)mgalyean2011-11-29

Thanks for the comment. I always appreciate any advice.

author
mgalyean (author)Mrballeng2011-11-30

You are welcome. I always look forward to what you achieve with the most common objects. Truly interesting. Obligatory safety addendum: I should clarify for those reading that this is only true for most 2-wire corded mains-powered stuff. When it comes to 3-wire, here in the US anyway, it may or may not matter. With 3-wire it is best to be safe by always keeping the two non-ground/green wires correctly oriented. Generally, 3-wire stuff has color-coded screws where the green/ground will have green near or on the screw/terminal, white will be silver/chrome/lighter in color, black will be yellow/copper/dingier/darker in color.

author
n0ukf (author)2011-11-29

What keeps the valves from operating when pressed? The cord could potentially be sheared through, shorting it out.

author
Mrballeng (author)n0ukf2011-11-29

The cord passes through the valves so the valves don't move. I had to wiggle them to help the cord through. You'd have to really try to shear the cord but I guess it's possible. An option is to replace the springs on the bottom side of the valves with stop blocks.

author
action pig (author)2011-11-29

Very cool!

author
mgalyean (author)2011-11-29

If you wrap electrical or other smooth/strong tape around the wires and cord to form a smooth shape around the wire-ends and cord that moves through the horn it will be much easier to pull through. Wrap from the trailing end toward the leading end so that the edges of tape don't catch as easy when pulling (but even if you wrap the wrong way it will still work far smoother than without the tape). Put soap on it also. I learned all this from pulling network wiring through walls.

author
ninetes (author)2011-11-29

It's very classic.

author
dreamberry (author)2011-11-28

Awesome! I'm gonna do this with my old broken clarinet! You've inspired me!

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