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Make A Pac-Man Ghost Turning Lamp

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This instructable was submitted by Xerocraft Hackerspace in Tucson for the Instructables Sponsorship Program.

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.
 
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Step 1: Assemble your parts and tools

Parts:
  • 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)
  • Colored gel template (Blinky, Pinky, Inky, Clyde or "Don't eat me!") PDF (Printed out on normal 8.5x11 inch paper)
  • 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)
  • Metal rod
  • Ballpoint pen
  • Wooden base (wooden clock faces at Michael's have the center hole pre-drilled)
  • Rubber feet
  • **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
  • Drill bit (diameter is equivalent to metal rod above)
  • Drill bit (diameter is equivalent to threaded nipple above)
  • Flathead screwdriver
  • Drawing compass
  • Needle
  • light grit sandpaper
  • Scotch tape
  • double-sided Scotch tape
  • Spray paint (for base)
  • Epoxy glue
  • #11 Xacto knife
  • Metal ruler
  • Scissors
  • Wirecutters
  • Pliers
  • Drill punch
  • 5/32" chrome ball bearing
  • Vice clamp
  • Metal file
  • Pencil
  • Glue stick
Thergox1 year ago
Whoooaaa! This is definitely something to keep in mind! Excellent Instructable!
GoodAsh03 (author)  Thergox1 year ago
Thanks a lot!
mosselixir8 months ago
You can also use one of those metal snap on buttons (for clothing) as the balance point :).
snotty1 year ago
Yeah!!

I've had trouble with gels in direct contact with light bulbs. They get burnt out. A 1" air gap would solve this.
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