Instructables
Picture of Steampunk solar night light
I recently got a great deal on two boxes of solar garden/path lamps on eBay - 8 lamps for US$15 bucks, including shipping! These lamps are great for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is they use rechargeable batteries, replenished daily by the sun, and require no expensive electricity! 

So I've been looking for various ways to use this lamps to provide some evening light in our Brazilian beach house. My first foray into solar night lights was my Solar veranda roof lights. My next project was a Gothic gargoyle solar night light.

It was only a matter of time before one of these lamps go the makeover of my real passion - Steampunk;-)

So here's how I turned a boring solar garden light into a work of steampunk art.

Tools:
• Hole saw set
• Power drill
• Rotary tool
• Clamp

Materials:
• Block of wood
• Hollow dowel
• Cabinet handle
• Screws
• Grommet 
• Black paint
• Clear varnish

 
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Step 1: Drill wood block

Picture of Drill wood block
hole saw set.jpg
drill large hole.jpg
first hole drilled.jpg
concentric circles.jpg
holes drill and sanded.jpg
For the base of this lamp, I used a piece of Brazilian hardwood called "Massaranduba," the same type of wood I used for my Steampunk 3rd Hand and my Steampunk incandescent USB lamp.

What makes this wood great for a lamp base is it's density, which provides the necessary weight for the base of a lamp. It also makes it very difficult to drill!

Critical for this build is a good set of hole saws and a clamp. Cheap hole saws would likely have snapped in this process. And the clamp is absolutely necessary to prevent the block of wood from spinning around.

In the picture above, I had already painted the edges of this block of wood, which was a mistake. I should have waited until all the sanding was done, as I had to paint it again.

Once the wood is securely clamped, use hole saws to drill a set of concentric circles, as seen in the photos above. Use a file, knife or other sharp tool to scrape away the excess wood. I chose not to drill all the way through the block of wood, as I wanted to mount the dowel into the wood block base.

The result should be a sort of donut drilled into the wood, that will hold the hollow dowel in place.

Nice use of reclaimed materials. Good photos. Nice work!

billbillt5 months ago

Great idea.... Makes me want to look around for materials to make one... Double plus good.....

jimmysymo1 year ago
Hi, Winged fist,I seem to have missed this One ,Better late than never.A great job
done with minimum hard work.Where I live there are no junk yards ,or 10 dime stores.:-)
JIMBO.
Winged Fist (author)  jimmysymo1 year ago
Thanks Jimbo! I thought this was a pretty creative project, but for some reason it seems to have ben mostly overlooked;-)