Introduction: Steampunk Copper Lamp With Rock Base
This is a fun lamp and starts some great conversations. It is unique especially since it has a rock as its base. It requires a little effort and a lot of creativity.
Rock for the base
Dremel and diamond tipped pieces to shave the rock
Copper pipe and couplings - I used 1/2 inch pipe
socket holder for light bulb
switch - I used a rocker switch that turns red when the lamp is off and green when on
mason drill bit - I used a 5/16 inch drill bit
lightbulbs - I wanted something unique and found the perfect Edison bulb
LEDs - 120v green LEDs from Radio Shack
Step 1: Rock Selection
One of the first steps is finding the rock with which to make your lamp. Luckily, there is an empty field behind my house full of different types of rocks. I have made several lamps that use rocks as a base but this rock has been my favorite so far.
I loved this rock. It is full of color that is rich and metallic.
The base of the lamp could be a rock, concrete or even a paver from your hardware store.
Note* different types if rock will be harder to drill through than others.
Step 2: Drilling the Hole in the Rock and Making a Track for the Cord
I used a 5/16 inch masonry drill bit. This particular rock took forever to get through. I didn't want to burn out my drill or make the drill bit so hot that it would damage it. I had a lot of water in hand that I would run over the rock and the drill bit and took my time.
For the bottom of the rock, I didn't want rock to see-saw back and forth on the cord, so I filed a track down the rock that the cord could sit in. I did this with a few diamond tipped bits and a Dremel. I filed it down nearly a quarter inch. This part isn't necessary if you use some sort of rubber or cork stickers to put on the bottom. I just wanted to make sure that the cords were flush with the rock.
Step 3: Install the Post
I used a brass piece that is shown in the picture above. After I drilled a hole in the rock I used a diamond tipped Dremel piece to make the top of the hole a little wider to accommodate this brass piece. This step took a while, but I wanted to make sure that it fit perfectly in the rock. Once the piece was snug, I used gel super glue and slid it into place.
The piece that I used fit perfectly with the 1/2 copper pipe that I used for the lamp. Designing the lamp was the hardest part because there were so many elements that I wanted to include in it.
Step 4: Run the Wiring
This step was complicated as there were many electrical elements involved in this particular build. For this lamp, I have two light bulbs, 4 LEDs and another LED inside the switch. The rocker switch illuminates red when the lamp is off and green when on.
The copper pip that I used was 1/2. The coupling that fit perfectly for the light fixture was1-1/2-in x 3/4-in Copper Slip Coupling Fitting. I was able to slip the light fixture in just right and put some gel super glue in to set it in place. I then used a felt like piece that came with the fixture to hide the white part and give it a better look.
I bought the LEDs from radio shack. They were created for 120v so luckily, I didn't have to use anything to reduce the electricity. I drilled a 3/16th inch hole in the copper covers and mounted the LEDs in them.
I ran all the wires through the pipes without glueing the pipes first. There were so many bends in the pipes that it would be very difficult to run the wires through.
Step 5: Antiquing the Gauge
I wanted to include a gauge to give it a steampunk appearance. But when I got it out and put it next to all of the other copper pieces, it just looked to new and shiny. So, I got some paint out and blotted over it with a few different colors in order to make it look a little more weathered and worn. It would have been fun to open it up and include a light in it to make it illuminated in the dark.
Step 6: Glue It All Together
You do not want to glue it all together before you run your wires through it. I tried to run some wires through a very small section of pipes and bends but couldn't. So, make sure that all of your wiring is through all of the pipes and bends. I used the gel superglue to put it all together. I prefer the gel because the regular kind bleeds a lot and I didn't want to get super glue all over the wires.
Step 7: Resin the Base
After i had glued all the pipes in the position that I wanted and everything on top was firm, I decided to use some resin to hold the wires in place. I hadn't really used resin before so it didn't turn out as neat as I was hoping it would, but it holds all the cords in the groove that I made just perfectly.
After the resin had dried and the cord was secure, I purchased some rubber feet and stuck them on the bottom. I didn't want to scratch everything that I put my lamp on. They keep the lamp about a centimeter off the table.
After I used the resin, I got a cement water proofer/glaze. I really wanted to make the rock a little shiny and appear wet. When the rock is wet, it shines beautifully.
Step 8: Turn It On!
After you have drilled your holes, filed out a groove for the cord, cemented the posts in the rock, wired all of the fixtures, glued everything in place, filled the groove and covered the cords on the bottom with resin and put the rubber feet on, PLUG IT IN! I decided to use Edison bulbs as I enjoy their soft glow. These particular bulbs are unique and fit well with such a special lamp.
If you have any questions, please feel free to leave a comment here and I will get back to you.