Elemental LED Materials List:
2 ft. Flexible LED Strip Lights: Solid Colors in red, blue, green, amber, warm white and neutral white
12V Adapter - 12W
LED Adapter Splice Cable - female
12V Inline On/Off Switch
16 ft, Two-Strand Lamp Wire - 18/2 AWG, clear
Wire Nut Connector Pair
.5" X 2' X 4' - MDF sheet
1" X 3" X 6' - Pine board
qty: 4 - .125" x 9" x 9" frosted acrylic sheets (from TAP Plastics)
Rosin Core Solder
sm. can - Oil Based Glossy Black Paint
sm. box, black - 2" phillips head wood screws
qty: 12 - 1" ,#8 phillips head machine screws/bolts
qty: 12 - .5" nylon washers
sm. box - 18 gauge 1.25" brad nails
sm. box - 18/2 AWG wire staples
8' length of brass chain
TOTAL TIME OF PROJECT: 18 hours
(No safety information will be provided in this Instructable. Review your owners manual for each of your tools before proceeding with this project)
Pneumatic Finish Nail Gun
Step 1: Overview
Step 1: On a table saw, rip the 1" X 3" X 6' pine board (actual size is .75" x .2.75" x 6') into 3 strips at .75" each. This will give you 3 strips of .75" x .75" x 6'.
Pic 2: At this time, you will also want to mark your holes to be drilled in the side piece. You will mark three total holes: two on opposite corners of the inside square of the side piece and one hole that is centered on the inside square (4.5": from each outer side, see second picture in this step). Make sure your hole markings are centered in the middle of the .75" grid. Please note: All of the 6 total sides will need the two holes on the opposite corners of the inside square. Only four total sides will need the centered hole on the one side of the inside square. The corner holes will be pilot holes for the screws that will bolt down the acrylic side panel. The centered hole will be the pilot hole for the screw that will connect the side piece to the wood spacer. Drill and counter sink the marked holes before continuing to the next step. Counter sink to accommodate the screw head on the outer side. Counter sink slightly on the inside side as well.
NOTE: Don't copy the diagram from the picture exactly. I ended up erasing and redrawing certain details. However, this is the type of diagram template that you will want to create.
My acrylic sheets were custom cut at a TAP Plastics retail store. These sheets came with a protective paper (see photo). I recommend keeping this paper on the sheets for ease of marking and protection.
Take your drilled acrylic sheets and place them on the back of each painted mdf side, lining them up with the corresponding holes on the mdf side, so your 1" machine screws are sticking through. Make sure that the sides of the acrylic are flush to the sides of the mdf. Take a nylon washer and a metal nut and, with minimal force, hand tighten the nuts. Don't overtighten! You could crack your acrylic panel.
First, have a look at your reference markings on each side. You will wire each side to the next, connecting all six sides to form a continuous circuit. Figure out which side you would prefer start your circuit on. This is where you will connect the 18/2 lamp wire that will run to the outside of the lantern and ultimately connect to your power adapter. You will want to make sure that this start point is as close as possible to one of the wood spacers. When you are completely done with all of the wiring, you will tack the 18/2 wire to the wood spacer a couple times. That way, if the completed lamp is accidentally picked up by the wire, the wire tacked securely to the wood spacer will bear the stress, instead of all your wiring getting ripped from the inner cube.
Since you picked up 2 feet of each respective color of Flexible LED Strip Lights, you will need to cut each two foot strip in to four 4" sections. Cut only where you see the scissor icons on the strip light.
Draw a continuous line on your inner mdf cube that indicates where you will adhere your Flexible LED Strip Lights (the strip has an adhesive backing). Make sure to think about your starting point based on the notes above.
Take the acrylic side with all four pine edges: the side with all four pine edges that doesn't have the corner hole for the 18/2 lamp wire to escape from. Take a 2" black wood screw and screw the first side piece (through the "centered" hole on the side) into the wooden spacer: the spacer on the opposite side of the spacer with the wire tacks (see photo).