I made it at TechShop
This is being entered in the GreenTech contest. If you like it, please vote for it!
Solar-powered landscape lights (mine are from the dollar store)
Scrap 2 x 4 lumber
Drill Press with large diameter bit
Belt Sander (optional)
A little bit of background here
Not only did I make at TechShop
, but I would not have been able to without TechShop
. At 5:00 am, Thursday, July 5, 2012, lightning struck the tree in my back yard. A large limb broke off and fell directly on the power line connecting my house to the utility pole. The line ripped the electrical meter right off the back of my house, and it goes without saying, but we lost power completely.
The storms that occured in the three-day period knocked out power for 325,000 customers in Southeast Michigan. Because my problem only affects a single residential customer, I am at the bottom of the list for repair. Best estimate is that power will not be restored until 11:30 pm, Sunday. That's 3 1/2 days without power.
So since I could not work from home last night (Thursday), I headed into TechShop
right after work. Not only do they have light, but AIR CONDITIONING
! While I was there, I made a few of these to take back home for the night.
Grab some scrap 2 x 4 lumber. There were a few pieces in the scrap bin at TechShop
. Using the Mitre Saw, I cut a few squares. The dimensions where not critical, so I just eye-balled it.
With a large diameter wood bit, I drilled through holes on the drill press. Not knowing the diameter I would need (my lights were still at home), I again eye-balled it. Notice that I clamped the workpiece down to the drill press table to keep it from spinning out of my hand.
Finally, I cleaned up the cut edges and corners on the belt sander.
Once I got home, I just pulled my solar-powered landscape lights out of the ground, removed them from the mount stake, and stuck them in the holes in the 2 x 4's. Because I didn't have the lights with me when I made the bases, the holes where a bit over-sized, but it got the job done. I can always make new ones the next time I'm at TechShop
Let there be light!
Since I made 4 of them, I had plenty of light inside my darkened house to get by before going to bed, and was WAY safer than candles. The bases are stable, and can be placed around the house, either on the floor in hallways, or on tables and countertops When I got up this morning, I made sure to put the lights back outside to recharge for tonight.
Again, there was no way for me to make this without TechShop!
I have been designing products in the automotive, aerospace, medical, defense and consumer products industries for over 30 years. I am an "Inventor for Hire", so if there is something you need designed or built, just send me a message, or stop by http://www.lime3D.net
, and maybe we can do business!