The tutorial below will show you how to make your own “Mawari-Doro” or Japanese turning lamp customized to look like a goblin from the arcade classic, Pac-Man.
Here's video of the lamp in action:
It makes a great night light!
The shell spins due to convection. Heat from the bulb causes the air around it to rise. The rising air passes through the slits in the top of the cylinder and the piece spins. There is no electric motor. It runs entirely on a single incandescent light bulb.
Here I will show you how to make a better version of what's shown in the video. The eyes and color will be projected using a heat-resistant photographer's gel that can be easily removed and reapplied if the bulb burns out. The pupils will be movable so you can have the eyes look in any direction. You have the choice of printing out a cylinder that spins clockwise or counterclockwise. You'll also be able to make any of the ghosts: Blinky, Pinky, Inky, Clyde and "don't eat me!" blue.
Step 1: Assemble your parts and tools
Cylinder template (clockwise or counterclockwise) PDF (You will need this to be printed out professionally on 17 by 11 inch, 80 pound cardstock at a Kinko's or similar business)
Photographer's gel (red, blue, yellow, pink, aqua blue for body; blue for pupils)
40W** (MAX!) clear incandescent light bulb, type A with a single strand of filament (see step 3)
Type A light socket with screw hole
Threaded nipple (length determined by thickness of wooden base)
Hex nut for threaded nipple (1/8 inch thick)
120V power cable with on-off switch
Cap nut for 3/16" axle (Ace Hardware #884-E Pushnut. They're cheap so buy a few)
Wooden base (wooden clock faces at Michael's have the center hole pre-drilled)
**I have not tested the paper with light bulbs exceeding 40 watts and would not recommend it. I haven't had any problem with temperature except when I put electrical tape directly on the bulb that one time. In fact, with a better balance point a much lower wattage could work. Please leave your comments below. **
Tools and supplies:
Drill bit (diameter is equivalent to metal rod above)
Drill bit (diameter is equivalent to threaded nipple above)