SOOOOoooo for my sister's 18th Birthday I wanted to give her something special that she could use in her future college dorm. She's a huge fan of the Legend of Zelda, so i figured it would be the best birthday present theme. I got the inspiration to make a Triforce lamp for this from a guy who did something similar but made a batman lamp, though the fact that its a lamp and is elevated off the wall is kind of where the similarities end. But still you should check out his lamp because it's pretty awesome too. Here's the link:
And I hope you enjoy this instructable :).
Step 1: Prep
IMPORTANT:This can be dangerous, you will be working with potentially harmful machines. Take appropriate safety precautions, ALWAYS wear safety glass and other protective gear as needed. PLEASE be safe, if you got hurt I would be very sad :'(
First you have to get all the materials and tools ready.
- Birch plywood (or like basically any kind of plywood you have or can get)
- Metal wood joiners
- Wood glue
- Silicone and Caulking gun
- Gold spray paint
- Hot glue gun/ glue sticks
- LED lights (I used Tingkam LED)
- Scrap pieces of wood at least 7 inches long
Now these are just the tools that I used, if you have others that you feel would make the job easier I encourage you to do so.
- Saw/Circular saw (which ever you have)
- File or chisel (both are helpful)
- Machine Sander or hand sander (machine sander is recommended)
- An engraver may also be helpful if you have one
A lot of the materials I used I already had so the few things I actually needed to buy were only the plywood, wood glue (cause I ran out), spray paint, and the LED's. I got the LED's from amazon.com and I have prime so they only cost like $16 which is really cheap for the good LED's I got. In all I only spent around 40 US dollars since one of my goals was to keep it low budget.
Step 2: Cut Your Wood
So the Triforce logo is made of three separate equilateral triangles put together to form one larger equilateral. The problem with that was is there's nothing in the middle to hold them together. My solution to this was just to make the middle another actual triangle, it seemed like the only thing that I could do.
- Cut 4 equilateral triangles with side lengths of 9 inches
- From the extra wood cut 3 pieces that are 1/2 by 5 inches, these pieces will be used to join the four triangles together. If you're having trouble cutting the wood this thin try cutting them a little bigger and then sanding them down to the correct size
So now that you've got your wood cut you're gonna want to start carving out a slot for the connecting pieces.
- Measure 2 inches in from the ends of the triangle at the side of the triangle, this should mark a 5 inch long space for you to carve out. Do that for 3 of the triangles but on the last one do such on all of the three sides, this piece will be the middle Triangle.
- When carving out the slot, it should be less than 1/4 of an inch deep, so that the piece can fit into both slots of the two triangles it's joining while allowing for space in between
- For the actual act of carving I used a drill and attached a file I had that was made for use with drills. When needed I used a chisel or different drill bits to get the depth I needed. A lot of this process is just finding what helps you get the job done the way you find most comfortable.
Step 3: Sand and Assemble
Now that all of the pieces are cut your going to want to go ahead and sand the wood. I used my machine sander and 150 grit sand paper. Once we put the silicone in sanding will be more difficult.
Now that the sanding is finished it's time to assemble.
- First begin by putting wood glue in one of the carved out sections of the middle triangle, then put the small wood piece into the crevice. Apply wood glue to one of the carved out sections of one of the other triangles and connect it with the middle triangles wood piece. The piece should fit snugly into each crevice you craved out.
- Do the same for the other two triangles, making sure to attach them to the middle triangle.
- Once you've connected all the triangle its time to fill in the gaps with silicone. ALWAYS USE A GAS MASK WHILE WORKING WITH UNCURED PRODUCTS, NEGLECT TO DO SO COULD LEAD TO INJURY. With your gas mask on fill in the space between the triangles with silicone, wiping away the excess. When dry (read label for dry time) flip over and do the same to the back.
Step 4: Attach the Support
Now that the 'look' of the Triforce has been achieved we have to turn to practicality. Silicone and small pieces of wood will not be able to hold this thing together. So this is what we're going to do
- Get 3 scrap pieces of wood and cut them to 7 inches in length. Drill together or use wood glue, whichever you prefer. Just make sure they are attached together.
- Then get 4 metal joiner like the ones pictured in the beginning as well as 8 screws. Make sure that four of them are not longer than the thickness of the wood or the screw will go through the wood and come out the front, which is something we don't want.
- Place the triangle we made from the 7 inch pieces in the middle of the Triforce. Now take the joiners and make sure each one of them is on a different triangle. Use the screws that are less than the thickness of the wood to drill in, attaching the joiners to the triangle. Now drill the other four screws into the 7 inch pieces, attaching the joiners to such.
Step 5: Spray Painting TIMMMEEE!
So give your wood a nice wipe down to remove any dirt or unwanted particles from the surface to prevent it from getting stuck there by the spray paint. Grab a tarp or a bunch of newspaper to put under the Triforce so you don't spray paint whatever's below you. Make sure you do this OUTSIDE, once again if an excess amount of this is inhaled it could cause harm to your body.
- Grab your spray can and give it good shake for about a minute. When you begin to spray make sure the nozzle is at least a foot away from the wood. Move your hand in a sweeping motion across the wood for an even coat, do this until the surface is thoroughly covered. Allowing for it to dry (look on the can for dry time) and then repeat for at least a second coat
- Spray paint I used left a powdery residue behind so if yours does also just wet a paper towel and wipe it off
- After the paint has dried and you've cleaned the surface its time to chisel of the spray paint that covered the silicone. After I realized that covering the silicone with painting tape was not going to work I resolved to just paint over it and then scrap it away once it was dry
- I got a small screwdriver and just kind of peeled it off bit by bit. It definitely was not hard it came off pretty easily, just make sure you don't chip off any of the paint on the wood. Keeping a glass near by with some water and paper towel may be helpful for you to wipe away the paint as you chip it off.
Step 6: Install LED's
This part is the fun part! You get to see the project come together and really admire your work. I ordered Tingkam LED's that have a bunch of different colors and such but if you don't want them that fancy you can get over cheaper lights too.
- So first check the lights to make sure they work before you install them. If you cut your pieces to 7 inches then you can measure 21 inches of the LED and cut at the closest line for cutting. IMPORTANT: only cut where the instructions say to cut, cutting anywhere else will damage the LED's.
- Fire up the hot glue gun and get ready, I found that if you put the glue on all at once then the beginning drys by the time you've finished putting glue on the end. So go in small increments, putting glue on a small area then attaching it to the wood, and so on until you reach the end
After plug that sucker in and look at it glow.
Step 7: Admire
Hang it on the wall and pat yourself on the back while you admire the fine work you've done. Enjoy your handmade Legend of Zelda Triforce lamp :)!