Introduction: LED Night Light From Oak Pallet

This is a simple project that looks great.

Materials:

  • Pallet (or some other source of lumber)
  • Sheet of acrylic
  • LED strips
  • 4 bolts
  • 4 cap nuts
  • 8 washers

Step 1: Prepare the Wood

Working with pallets is tough because the wood usually isn't in good shape. This project is an ideal use for pallet wood because you can rip the pallet apart quickly and you don't have to pull any nails.

Grab a circular saw and cut the deck boards along the stringers.

Then plane the wood to reveal the best lumber.

Step 2: Cut Pieces Down to Size

Joint one side of all your pieces. A simple table saw jointer jig will work best. If you don't have one yet, it's worth the time and effort to make a jig. I've created a small jig and a large jig and I use them several times a month.

Now that you have one straight edge, use it with your table saw fence to rip the acrylic and wood to the correct height.

Finally, use a table saw sled to cut all three pieces to the same length. You can easily get all three pieces to the same length by clamping a stop block onto the edge of the sled.

Step 3: Carve the Name and the Slot for the LED Strip

I used a CNC machine to carve my son's name, but a scroll saw would work just a well.

After you have the name done, carve a line in the acrylic for the LED strip. It has to go all the way through the acrylic and be just a little bit thicker than the LEDs. The line should be near the bottom of the acrylic so it will be hidden after you've bolted the three pieces together.

Step 4: ​Assemble the Pieces

Clamp the three pieces together and drill four holes near the corners for the bolts.

Drill a small hole in the back panel for the power cord.

Insert the bolts through the back plate and the acrylic.

The clamp on the LED strip will be too big to fit in the center of the assembled piece, so cut it off. Insert the power cable through the back hole and soldered the power cord directly to the LED strip.

Push the LED strip into the line you cut in the acrylic, and put some hot glue on the ends to help hold it in place.

Finally, slide the front plate on and attach the cap bolts.

Comments

author
LSU1977 (author)2017-05-11

A suggestion if the glow around the boards distracts from the name would be to create a frame around the boards to repel the LED light from shining outward. This would allow for all light to be concentrated on the name only. I would think the heat from the LEDs would be miniscule.

Having the aura around the project as it is, is cool too. I'm glad your kids like it - they should. Great job!

author
Canvas of Dreams (author)2017-05-11

This is so cool !!!

author
FrançoisF4 (author)2017-05-09

Nice project indeed! I also love your push stick!

author
douglasroyal (author)FrançoisF42017-05-10

Thanks. The push sticks were fun to make.

author
marcchart (author)2017-05-08

Do you cut completely through the acrylic for the slot the LED sits in? You say "...carve a line in the acrylic for the LED strip. It has to go all the way through the acrylic." This would mean you are attaching the strip to the wood base, correct?

author
douglasroyal (author)marcchart2017-05-09

I added the extra photos to the last step. I hope they clarify the instructions.

author
douglasroyal (author)marcchart2017-05-09

I can see how that step was a bit unclear. When I get home I'll take a couple pictures to help illustrate.

Yes, I cut completely through the acrylic for the LED strip. I didn't attach the LEDs to the wood. The acrylic was about the same width as the LEDs, so after I cut the slot, I put the LEDs inside the slot.

author

Very neat!

author
Yonatan24 (author)2017-05-06

Beautiful!

author
douglasroyal (author)Yonatan242017-05-06

Thank you.

author
DIY Hacks and How Tos (author)2017-05-05

This is a great idea. My kids would love to have something like this.

author

Thanks for the compliment. My kids actually said "thank you" when I built them. WIN!

author
Swansong (author)2017-05-05

That's a really nice personalized solution, it turned out beautifully :)

author
douglasroyal (author)Swansong2017-05-05

Thanks Swansong, I'm glad you like it.

About This Instructable

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Bio: I'm a software engineer. I spend my days building things, and my nights tearing things apart.
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