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Check out my Etsy shop: igloostudioinc.etsy.com

I have wanted to build a V̶8̶ V12 engine coffee table since I first saw one on Top Gear. My livingroom workshop is not equipped to handle such a large project but I was inspired to make something from a small engine.

When the user turns the crank it raises the piston which presses against the switch. Voila!

Step 1: Disassembly and Cleaning

  • Disassemble your motor and clean every part thoroughly. If you have access to a sand blaster then use that. If like me, you don’t have a sand blaster you can use alloy wheel cleaner, dish soap, wire brushes and steel wool to clean the parts.
  • This motor wasn't seized but it was on its last legs. Don't murder healthy motors. Go after the old ones. They are easier to find because they smell bad and they can't run away as fast so they are easy to catch :)

Step 2: Cutting and Sanding

  • My motor had a convenient flat section on the back to keep it square. I used the rig made from a cardboard tube shown in the above picture to ensure the cut line was perfectly parallel to the table.
  • I cut the motor in half with a hacksaw.This was surprisingly easy. The alloy was very soft but there was steel cylinder insert in the middle. It only took 30 minutes to cut. If you want to make this step easier you can go back in time and work out more often so your arms don't get tired.
  • Mount emery cloth or a cut up sanding belt to a board using spray adhesive and sand out the saw marks. Don't worry too much about a perfect smooth surface at this stage. The objective is just to get it flat.

If i had access to a lightsaber or a machine capable of cutting this for me I would have used it. However, I advocate learning how to use hand tools before moving onto machinery and power tools. It's important to be well practiced with hand tools in case one day you need to cut an engine block in half and all you have is a hacksaw. No problemo ;)

Step 3: Painting and Sanding

  • After scuffing up the surfaces mask off the areas you don't want to be painted. Using quality paint is essential. I used Krylon Dual Paint and Primer. With good paint and proper surface prep a separate primer isn't needed. Use numerous thin coats over many days to build up a good layer.
  • Mount some wet and dry sandpaper to a board to sand the paint off the flat faces.
  • Finish with several layers of clearcoat.

I lost track of how many layers of paint are on this motor. There must be at least 20 thin layers. I can be impatient when it comes to letting paint and glue dry and I have caused myself many setbacks by not letting things fully cure. It helps to have more than one project on the go at once so you don't get too wrapped up in the excitement of one project and move forward too quickly. Plus, the more projects you do, the more awesomer you are :)

Step 4: Wooden Components

  • Once you have figured out how you would like your lamp to be configured you may need to cut some wooden components to use as a base or as mounting points for the light fitting.
  • I made some spacers from aluminum pipe and assembly bolts.

Step 5: Leather

This step is entirely optional. I could have just finished the wood and skipped this step but I decided to give it a try.

To wet-form leather you will need:

  1. Hammer and nails / staple gun
  2. Sharp knife
  3. Vegetable tan leather
  4. A form to mould the leather around
  5. A base to nail into
  6. A tool with soft round edges to form the leather. I used a letter opener sanded smooth.
  • Start by soaking the leather in warm water until it drowns. When the little bubbles stop it is ready for forming. This should only take a minute or so.
  • Form the leather gradually around all the edges with the smooth tool and put a nail or a staple in place as you progress.
  • Place in the oven at its lowest possible temperature (mine was 175f/80c) for 10-15 minutes until it starts to dry and then reform the leather over the wood. Repeat once or twice and leave in a warm place overnight to ensure all the moisture has gone. i used a cable tie as a band clamp to keep everything in shape.
  • Cut off the excess and use contact adhesive to glue the leather to the wood. Dye the leather with a colour of your choice. I didn't have any leather sealer or finish so i used furniture bees wax (works great).

I could make an entire Instructable for wet-forming leather but instead I will refer you to Ian Atkinson's youtube channel. He provides exceptional instructions for great projects. He is a step above many other leather workers. He is able to design projects and figure out problems. He doesn't just make projects found in old leather working books… he creates using all the skills he has learned over the years and transposes the information into new products using a modern teaching medium. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCLkCG-505-1t0rYl...

This is his Ian's wet-forming video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SIOGDykXJFQ

Step 6: Wiring

  • I butchered a Walmart lamp to get the fitting, rod and lamp wire.
  • There are many ways to wire this lamp. I considered soldering, crimp splice connectors, terminal block etc. After many hours of head scratching trying to find an efficient method i realised that both the switch and the lamp wire were 18 AWG and i had a IDC splice connector for 18 AWG. Easy peasy lemon squeezy!
  • I cut and dyed some leather to use as wire clips with some assembly bolts.

Splice Connector: http://www.te.com/catalog/pn/en/293545-2

Step 7: Assembly

  • Now for the really fun part. Assembly!
  • To hold the rod in place i drilled through the top wood/leather piece. I then used a thread cutting screw as a tap to thread the rod. This allowed me to use a break-off screw to hold everything together. The rod also holds the switch in position when the piston presses against it. The tight wiring on the back stops the switch from moving forward.
  • This engine block was full of very convenient ¼” x 20 threaded holes which made assembly bolts the obvious choice to hold everything together.
  • I also scavenged a rubber grommet from the Walmart lamp which helped to finish off the base nicely.

Now enough lampoonery. Go and motor along with some more enlightening endeavours!

Check out my Etsy shop: igloostudioinc.etsy.com

<p>Thank you for the most creative idea!</p><p>I altered you idea a bit by using parts of a cheap (&euro;8) Ikea lamp and I put the on/off switch on the armature.</p><p>The armature was made by myself from some leftover LED strip and a piece of an old welding transformer, the switch has three positions: off, on 50 % and on 100%. For the foot I used a counterweight from an old lamp and both an adjustable wrench and a regular wrench.</p><p>I cheated a little by cutting the engine with a water jet cutter, however the carburetor was cut by hand. </p><p>It took me about 4 full days in total to finish the whole lamp.</p><p>Thank you very much again for the amazing idea, it was a lot of fun to make!</p>
<p>Wow! That looks amazing. Great job! Thank you for posting the pictures.</p>
Genius! What a bright idea!
Here is my version of your lamp.<br>I used an old 4-stroke lawn mower engine I found that had been on fire. The valves still open and close as I have left the cam in place, I had to cut down the crank case cover as support was need for the cam and to keep it meshed with the crank, as these are a side valve engine there are no chains to mess with, this means that the head can be sectioned to show the valves opening and closing. To operate the lamp I fixed a small micro switch below the camshaft to be operated by the lobe for the inlet valve, when you turn the crank the engine goes through the 4-stroke cycle and then switches the lamp on.<br>I even made sure I set the timing correctly so it cycles properly which looks cool. <br>I bought a lamp off eBay that looks like a radio valve when lit which I think looks great.
<p>Looks awesome. Great job! Thank you for posting</p>
<p>Where did you find the small motor? or where are the best places to look?</p>
<p>It is an outboard motor from a small boat. A friend gave it to me!</p><p>Where you get one will depend on where you live. The best thing to do is just ask around. Eventually you will track one down.</p>
<p>That is awesome looking. Some other options for engines may be air cooled lawnmowers, generators, string trimmers (like weed eaters), and other gas powered lawn/garden tools. That looks like it might be a 50cc motor. String trimmers would have something smaller like 21cc to 32cc. Lawn mowers have a whole variety of sizes. The Briggs and Stratton site shows push mowers to be 125cc to 190cc. </p><p>Single cylinder 2 cycle engines would be the easiest for a non-mechanic to figure out.</p><p>4 cycle engines would add complications of the valves, cam shaft, etc. They'd look awesome if you could do them though, with more moving parts. :) Besides removing the rings, they may want to grind down some of the moving parts a little so they're loose enough to easily turn.<br><br>For those who don't know engines, the size rating is total displacement (the volume of space displaced by the movement of the pistons). Like, the big part in the middle that moves up and down.</p><p>Sometimes you can get them free on Craigslist, or just spotting them by the trash on the curb. <br><br>Now I wish I hadn't given away my broken push mowers. My GF doesn't really approve of me keeping broken junk around, if I can't at least claim there's a purpose for keeping it. :)</p>
4-stroke engines work well for this project, I used a Briggs and Stratton Quantum engine, all aluminium so easy to cut and its also possible to leave the cam in place so the valves operate. It looks really cool and you can use the cams to operate a micro switch for the lamp.
<p>You know, I really need some better lighting in the garage. A couple nice B&amp;S twins would give just the right ambiance I might even be able to actually find tools without using a flashlight. I think my girlfriend may ban me from visiting Instructables. ... and Harbor Freight. ... and surfing Craigslist for broken stuff that I can fix and never use. </p>
<p>I can sympathise brother. My GF threw away my entire cardboard collection because 'there was no purpose for it'. I had previously made a foot stool, a bedside table and a shelf out of cardboard. As soon as i ran out of ideas to make with it my stash was taken from me by the queen of the house! It was a terrible day :(</p><p>I shouldn't complain. She does tolerate my living room workshop. I do miss my carboard though. it was soooo useful.</p>
Hi, I was wondering where you sourced your switch from, could you please link it or give any ideas of what to search <br>Many thanks
<p>Its a push button lamp switch. I found mine in an old parts bin at work but it is the same type as this:</p><p><a href="http://www.ebay.ca/itm/PUSH-BUTTON-ON-OFF-BRASS-PLATED-CANOPY-SWITCH-SINGLE-POLE-LAMP-PART-NEW-30051J-/151558514550?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item2349976776" rel="nofollow">http://www.ebay.ca/itm/PUSH-BUTTON-ON-OFF-BRASS-PL...</a></p>
<p>Good work. The light switch is clever but the marker in the cardboard tub is ingenious! </p>
<p>Funny to see 47 reactions and not a single one by a woman! Haha, when reading this 'structable I found myself looking for an engine block to cut up on the web in a matter of minutes!</p><p>Very very cool lamp, I bet you can sell these at motorshows for plenty money (I would never sell it though!)</p><p>Thanks for this one.</p>
<p>Thank you. I am considering making more. Although, i recently found out from a hackaday.com article about this lamp that I cut up a rare and potentially valuable motor. I'm going to check what I'm cutting up next time :)</p>
Hahaha! Great story! Do you have a link to this article?<br>Well, you made yourself one unique, rare lamp, that's also great. And well, how much value does a motor have?<br><br>Talking about that, I was wondering what kind of motor this was, it's a 2-stroke, that's obvious because of the absence of valves and a camshaft. But I actually never saw an engine with the cylinder and the cylinderhead as one piece, normally the head is separate from the cylinder as most old 2 stroke motors are made of cast iron and the head of aluminium as they didn't have the materials (like Nykasil) in these days to make the aluminium hard enough for the pistons.<br>So I was kind of expecting it to be a rare motor or at least not very common.
<p><a href="http://hackaday.com/2014/12/31/bisected-engine-makes-cute-lamp-still-cranks/" rel="nofollow">http://hackaday.com/2014/12/31/bisected-engine-mak...</a></p><p>One of the comments says its a West Bend 580. i don't know if its a good motor but i do know its great for making a lamp out of! :)</p>
<p>Did you have to add additional crankshaft support on the backside of the case (since presumably a thrust bearing was lost on the cutoff side of the case) ?</p>
<p>An engine is built very strong, of course 1 bearing is not enough for an engine to run, tremendous forces are put on the piston and crankshaft when running at a few 1000 rpm's, but for this application it's plenty strong enough so I'm quite sure there's no free play at all when rotating the piston to turn the lamp on</p>
<p>I knew it was a possibility when i was figuring everything out. However, there is a 1-1/2&quot; brass/bronze bushing on the remaining section which provides plenty of support for this application. There is a lot of metal left to hold it all together. </p>
<p>That is quite cool, very nicely done.</p>
<p>Check around at paint shops for powder coating service. Not real expensive and lots quicker. Tougher than paint also.</p><p> Nice idea. Great gift for the gear head!</p>
<p>Did you cut this perfectly in half or off center a little bit to hold in the piston? If not I would suggest to do that just enough to hold it in.</p>
<p>That was my question/suggestion also. Leaving a bit of the curve back around the front of the cylinder seems like it would help keep the piston in place. Especially if you want to have it operating as a switch. </p><p>It'd also be nice to see some sort of handle on the end of the crankshaft to aid turning it. </p><p>But otherwise, bravo for a nicely done piece of work. And thanks for taking the time to write it up!</p>
<p>Well spotted. It is cut slightly off center because i wanted to leave the threaded bosses at the top intact (they fall on the centerline). This does hold the piston in place although having removed the piston rings it is looser than i expected. The crankshaft is held in place with a retaining ring at the back. The piston is held in place by the crankshaft.</p>
<p>As another already mentioned, I'm surprised you could make a straight cut with a hacksaw. Whenever I try, it starts to wander. Any tips? BTW, awesome idea and execution.</p>
<p>Thank you. If your cut is wandering it could be one of 3 things. <br></p><div> <br><div>1. The blade tension isn't right and the blade is free to move a little. This reduces the amount of control you have. It should be tight enough so it pings like a guitar string.<p>2. Too much force. Even with the blade tensioned correctly if you push too hard the blade will bend. You do need to put a fair bit of force behind a hacksaw but you shouldn't attack it. Firm, controlled strokes.</p><p>3. Take your time and check your progress constantly. If your eyes aren't on the cut-line on the front then they should be on the cut-line on the other side of the piece. Make tiny corrections as you go. This took 30 minuets and probably 2000 strokes to cut though. Don't rush it.</p><p>That's just my two cents. Hope it helps.</p></div></div>
<p>Love your scribing tool! (how many rolls gave their life?) Until now, this was my favorite : http://www.rockler.com/accuscribe-pro-scribing-tool</p>
<p>Looks very cool, good job. </p><p>But where is the engine from?</p>
<p>Awesome!</p>
<p>Your Instructable is every bit as special as the lamp. Wonderfully well-written.</p>
<p>Thank you. I tried very hard to make it informative, concise and entertaining. This ain't no scientific journal am i right?! :)</p>
One of the most personally appealing and creative instructables I've ever seen, very inspiring. Do those flat hex nut things you used to route the cable and secure the wood/leather bar have a name? They (and so many other small, thoughtful touches) really make this so great to me.
<p>Thank you very much. They are called joint connector bolts. Commonly referred to as JCB bolts, assembly bolts or furniture assembly bolts.</p>
<p>Oh, that is proper Man Cave lighting!</p>
<p>If your wife won't let you put it in the living room, get a new wife.</p>
<p>That's not how it works, youngling.</p>
<p>Love it. In a similar vein, I have a V8 crank and flywheel in the basement that I'm aging for a lamp. </p>
<p>Brilliant. I may have to make one. </p>
<p>Awesome! And inadvertently, very dieselpunk. Leather, wood, metal, electricity. Very cool!</p>
<p>2-Strokepunk! :)</p>
<p>Yeah, that too! A new genre!! 2-strokepunk!</p>
<p>I've had problems with animated GIFs on this site as well. It wasn't really clear to me in the write-up. I think it is one of the key features of the lamp and it definitely gives it that cool factor. </p>
<p>i got it working. i found this instructable. he says how to do it with the new layout in the comments</p><p><a href="https://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-Embed-Photos-in-an-Instructable/" rel="nofollow">https://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-Embed-Photo...</a></p>
<p>Totally clear now. Great job!</p>
<p>great idea !!! thank u</p>
<p>I know some people who would love this. Good job. </p>
great work.....
<p>You are an engine master :-)</p><p>Why didn't you connected another motor that can spin the manual motor?</p>

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