Introduction: Metal Flower Lamp
Finalist in the
I made this guide retrospectively, so some of the steps will have to use cardboard mock-ups or drawings instead of photos I'm afraid, as I wasn't about to make another one just for the instructable! If any parts don't make sense, please massage me and I'll do my best to clarify...
Tools required: Welding gear, a drill, tin snips, pliers, small ball ended hammer, round file, hacksaw.
Helpful: Angle grinder, milling machine
Materials required; Thin sheet steel (0.5mm ideally), some tubing of different sizes (but around 10-16mm OD ideally), a GU10 bulb holder, wiring connectors and wire.
Step 1: Making the Stalk
OK, so for the stalk I used three different things: some 16mm OD tube, some 10mm OD and some 6mm rod.
First, cut the length you think looks about right of 16mm tube, and using an angle grinder or hacksaw cut a cross about 6mm deep into the end.
Using a drift of some kind (you can even use the 6mm rod) flare out two opposing sections as shown in the photo. Also slightly squash in the other two. Your 10mm tube should fit nicely in at an angle. when choosing the angle to fit it at, bear in mind you have to feed some wire through it, so don't make it too acute! Tack weld it in place.
Then fit your 6mm rod in place and weld at an opposing angle, however you like. Weld all round and weld the slots up, grind/ file the welds back to make it look better.
I bent a slight 'S' curve into the 10 and 6mm stuff, and left the 16mm straight. But do whatever looks right to you!
I finished the stalk by cutting slight striations into it with an angle grinder to make it look more organic...
Step 2: Bulb Mount and Petal Support.
So this is what I came up with to mount the petals and bulb onto, it seemed the simplest way.... Sorry this section is in card, but the original one I made is sort of hidden now!
Cut a circle out of your sheet steel. About 7cm diameter will do. Drill a 9mm hole in the center, then mark and drill small holes for the bulb holder. If you plan on using self tappers to fix the holder down, make sure you drill an appropriate size hole!
Then cut slot out at 90 degree angles, deeper where the holes aren't. (Pic)
Bend the edges up so you have a shallow dish style thing, and weld it together.
Weld it onto the top of the 10mm tube.
Step 3: Petal Mould and Petals
OK, so the petals on the flower I copied had an interesting shape, you can sort of see it in the photo of the flower head below. They bend backwards, and at the same time form a bowl like depression in the petal, which then curves up from there. I've tried to show a petal from a good angle, so hopefully you can see what I'm getting at!
The best way I came up with to easily make the petals was to create a little mould to form them first. It saved a lot of time in the long run, and I'm pretty sure the end result was better than it would have been trying to form them without it, so it's worth doing.
I used a milling machine and made one out of steel, but I tested for this guide and you can make a reasonable mould out of wood without too much effort. Use the hardest wood you can find though, a bit of oak would be way better than pine.
So using a rotary file/ grinding attachment, or just a file if you don't have those, you're trying to make a trough with a smooth curving bowl to start. Again, see pics for hopeful clarification!
Once you've got this done, it's time to start cutting petals!
See the photo for the rough shape I used, but when cutting them out I deliberately varied the size and shape a little. Also as the petals get closer to the center, you want them to become longer and thinner with smaller folded back areas at the top so it looks in proportion. I started with them about 9cm long, and 2.5cm wide.
Get cutting! A decent pair of snips really helps here, it should be like cutting strong cardboard. After you've made about 15 petals you'll probably be bored of that, so let's shape some and get back to cutting the out later...
Choosing a point a few cm from the tip of the petal, place it over the mould as shown in the photo, and using your ball ended hammer, whack it until it looks nice and curvey.
Then take some snipe nosed pliers and bent the tip up a little.
Using straight jawed pliers, bend the petal back just below the 'bowl' area.
Finally, bend a curve into the lower part of the petal by hand, so it matches the dish on the top of your stalk.
You've made a petal! Now make many more....
Step 4: Welding on the Petals
Basically, that. Just spot weld the petals to the upper side of the dish as shown in the photo. You want to overlap them a little, and try to vary positioning a little so you aren't just making a spiral, because you soon find due to the thickness of the metal and welds they start to rotate and don't look right.
Make sure you don't obscure the mounting point for your bulb holder, and work your way in. After the first row you'll be welding petals to other petals, but that's fine.Just to remind you, the petals should become longer, thinner and have a smaller 'bowl' as you get closer to the center.
The tricky part comes when you want to put the petals on the underside to obscure the dish you're welding to. These petals are smaller and flatter. Again, making sure not to obscure the holes for the bulb, work around welding just at the very end of the petals, by the stalk, or on an edge that will be covered by another petal. after they are all fixed on you may want to add some weld around the stalk to make the whole thing neater.
Step 5: Wiring
Sorry about the photo being sideways, it seems the website can't display portrait images! Never mind, you get the idea...
So, you want to cut the wire so you have a much longer earth wire you can connect using the same bolts as the bulb holder. You should stagger the connections to the live and neutral so they can fit down the tube.
I used compression electrical connectors, which I'd recommend, but you can just twist the wires together. If you don this, please tape them up very securely and make sure your earth is good!
Now poke the wire down the tube and out the bottom, then screw the bulb holder down. Don't put the plug on yet though. Done? Good.
Step 6: Base
OK, so time to make a base for the light. I used a slice of a log (it's still not quite dry in the pics actually) but you can use anything really...
Another idea I had was to use a terracotta plant pot and hold it in with some cement, then top the cement with small gemstones or something like that.
Assuming you want to make the same as me, find some suitable wood and cut a slice. Alternatively use a plank and cut it into a more interesting shape... Sand it smooth if you have the patience! But it'd be a shame not to, after all that effort cutting petals ;)
Drill a hole, file it out so the stalk fits, cut a slot in to bottom so the wire can exit to the side. Use some small nails bent over to hold the wire in it's groove.
I used some woodglue just to make sure the stalk wont come out.
To make it sit flat and not damage surfaces, I glued some rubber washers to the bottom too.
All that's left is to wire a switch and plug into your cable and you're done!
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