My friend found a huge Coca-Cola glass bottle near a garbage container, it probably was some kind of advert from a bar whose owner decided to get rid off, and so we decided to make a nuka-cola style lamp out of it, maybe the biggest one that has ever existed.
The construction of a lamp of this kind is pretty simple, you just need a base with a light at the center of it, the light shines inside of the bottle so it's reflected by the water and the colorant, making the whole bottle to shine as it was irradiated.
To built it I used:
- Wood board (about 1.5Cm thick, pine)
- 12v LED module
- 12v power supply from an old router
- 250v 3A toggle switch
- Non grounded power cord
- White glue
- Wood screws
- Wood dye
The tools I used were:
- High speed drill & carving bit
- A jigsaw (I had to borrow one because a jeweler's saw isn't too appropriate for this task)
- Electric sander
- Ruler & compass
- Solder & tin
We begin by making the basic shape of the base, I measure the base of the bottle and then I mentally add two centimeters to each side, I make a line to get the reference for the compass and with it I make three circles over the wood board, one of the circles will have another circle inside of it with a smaller diameter.
Once I'm sure the jigsaw's blade is straight I begin to cut them, at the end they should look like the first picture.
After a bit sanding I add a generous amount of glue to the piece of wood that will be at the top and I glue the ring, the third piece helps to distribute the pressure of the clamp all over the ring.
TIP: Sand just enough to remove the imperfections the jigsaw could have left and to clean the wood a bit, we'll sand the exterior when all the pieces are joined. I used glue instead of screws to give it a neater look.
NOTE: Dimensions are not usually specified due the rarity of the bottle.
After leaving the glue to dry during the night it comes the hard part of sanding the edges, for this occasion I borrowed a high power electric sander.
Before we start sanding we want to screw the bottom piece to the ring, that will make sanding easier. I marked 4 points at 1.5Cm from the edge and inserted the screws.
Try to keep the sander straight, it took me nearly one hour to even all the layers of wood.
After the edges are sanded, I make a depression with the size of the bottle's base, this will allow the bottle to fit in and it will make it more difficult to fall if someone accidentally hits it. With the compass I trace the circle and with my homemade drill press and a carving bit I hollow that part about 0.6mm.
I also make another depression, it will hold the LED module in place.
At the bottom I make a rectangular depression to fit the power supply and keep it in place. This power supply gives off 12 volts and a maximum current of one amp, enough to lit the 12v LED module. The power supply was originally from a router.
Now it's time to add some color, pine wood is cheap, but it's whitish and quite dull. To make the wood look better I apply several layers of walnut-like dye, and I let it dry.
The circuitry comes next, I've taken the power supply from an old router. I just disassembled the plug it was encased in and took it out, I also make several holes to pass the toggle switch and the power chord.
After this I connect the live and the neutral to the corresponding places at the power supply, but with a toggle switch in between one of the wires, the same applies for the negative and positive wires for the LED module, I hold the wires in place with some staples, I don't want to have high voltage wires wiggling around.
You can always leave the power supply as it is and use it to lit the LED's without doing this whole thing, but chargers are constantly draining energy as long as they are plugged, even if you aren't using them, that's why I preferred to put a switch before the power supply, that way no energy is lost.
Make sure your connections are sturdy by applying generous amounts of tin.
DANGER:You'll be working with HIGH VOLTAGE, proceed only if you have a solid knowledge and experience, if you're not used to work with high voltage don't do this, seek help instead.
Always work and test the circuit with the chord unplugged, it's easy to forget about this and get electrocuted.
After the circuitry is added we can close the enclosure, the bottom's depression will hold the power source in place.
I add 4 screws to hold the LED module in place.
We finally add water and some food coloring, too few will make the light pass right through it, too much and the light will stay at the bottom.
After the water is ready we place the bottle over the light source and it's all done.
PD: I've not added a picture of it full with water because it was a gift to a friend, I'll try to get a picture when I can.