Introduction: Plumbing Pipe Desk Lamp
I figured for my first instructable I'd do something that a ton of others have done. After seeing these around on Instructables as well as elsewhere on the net (sometimes upwards of $300!) I decided that I would finally build my own. With a couple of common tools and a spare afternoon, you can have one for around $35. Admittedly, some of the awesome switches/toggles that others like the Kozo Lamps have are very cool, but something more complicated that I didn't end up trying. Anyways, I'm sure that there is an easy way to rig up some of the great plumbing fixture switches out there if you've got the will to do it.
You will need:
-Assorted plumbing parts (I used 3x 3/4" T-joints, 2x 6 inch lengths of 3/4", 6x 3/4" 90 angle pieces, one 3/4" to 1 1/2" bell reducer, and 4x 3 inch lengths of 3/4")
-Drill (dremel could probably work in a squeeze)
-Standard lightblub socket
-A cool lightbulb (I got a full spectrum 60 watt round bulb)
Step 1: Buy Some Plumbing Parts
Buy some plumbing parts. You can find these at your average home repair store. The best thing that I can recommend is to just build the whole lamp while you're in the store. Don't be afraid to open up any packaging and play around with a ton of different pieces. Try to make something that you think looks cool and fits the purpose of your lamp. You can use some flanges like in the picture here to do wall-mounted lamps as well.
Step 2: Buy the Rest of the Stuff
Take the plumbing fixture that you picked to be the end of your lamp (the one that the bulb will be in) and find a standard light bulb fixture that will fit inside of it. Using bell reducers to get up to a large diameter at this point looks really cool. The bulb socket that I ended up buying was surrounded in ceramic, and it would have actually fit a lot more snugly to a 1 1/4" end piece. Regardless, just be sure that the socket will fit inside of the end piece.
Step 3: Wire the Lamp
Affix the light bulb socket to the inside of your end-piece bell reducer. I used hot glue from the back end so that it wouldn't be visible from the front, but you could use whatever. JB-weld might be a smart option.
Drill a 1/4" hole in through a convenient spot on your lamp. Be sure that when you're drilling through the metal you drill slowly.
Run the power cord through the body of the lamp and up to the joint where the bulb socket and power cord meet each other. Strip back about an inch of either of the power cord wires. Solder the bulb socket wires and the power cord wires together, then reassemble the lamp.
Step 4: Insert the Rotary Switch
Once the power cord and bulb socket have been soldered, the lamp should be screwed together the way that you want it to, and light up if you plug it in to an outlet.
For the sake of convenience I went ahead and picked up a rotary switch much like the ones that some cheap lamps have. To install the switch, cut one of the two wires on the power cord, and leave the other intact. Run the continuous wire along the top of the rotary switch (should be fairly obvious, using the plastic walls inside the rotary switch as a guide) and the cut wire should run into two separate areas inside the switch where the wires terminal. Be sure that the two brass prongs that clench the wire when you screw the switch shut again come down in the center of both ends of your cut wire so that a solid connection is made.
Step 5: Use Your Funkin Lamp
Enjoy! You just saved at least two or three butt-tons of money and your friends will think you're really cool. These make great cheap birthday presents.