My 5 year old granddaughter wanted a night light for her bedroom. Recently I have been building things with a Steampunk look, so this give me an excuse to build another project. This project uses some recycled materials that can be found at your local thrift store. Vacuum tubes can be found on Ebay
and other components such as resistors and leds can be purchased at Mouser
or Electronic Goldmine
Step 1: Find a box
I found a suitable box at a local Thrift store and paid about a dollar for it. You can re-stain and finish it if needed.
Step 2: Glowing Vacuum Tubes
I used surface mount white leds to illuminate the vacuum tubes. Even standard T1 or T1-1/2 leds would work too. I cemented the surface mount leds with super glue. Standard size leds could be hot-melt glued on. I attached #30 enameled wire to the surface mount leds and super glued the led to the tube. When doing this, note the polarity of the led and mark a stripe on the wire with a sharpie. Then later, when connecting the leds, you will know the polarity. You can find the vacuum tubes on Ebay.
Step 3: Plan your layout
Layout the gears and tubes on the top of the box. Mark with a fine sharpie and drill and tap holes for the screws. I used #4 hex head allen machine screws to fasten the gears. Holes will need to be drilled for the tubes. The gears were purchased from a local arts and craft store. They are part of the Tim Holtz collection
Step 4: Attach the tubes
Series connect the leds and hold down the wire end to the top of the box with hot-melt glue. Drill holes for the tubes in the top of the box and secure down with hot-melt glue.