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.
• Hole saw set
• Power drill
• Rotary tool
• Block of wood
• Hollow dowel
• Cabinet handle
• Black paint
• Clear varnish
Step 1: Drill wood block
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.
Step 2: Drill handle holes
Step 3: Cut dowel
This piece of wood has a really cool checker pattern cut into it, and is nicely stained and painted. I knew I would put it to good use one day;-)
What's perfect about this piece for this purpose is that it has a hole drilled through the middle, which is almost exactly the diameter of the solar lamp head!
I cut the leg of wood about in half, to suit the desired height of my lamp.
Step 4: Sand dowel
Step 5: Paint and stain base
Try not to be impatient, and let the paint and stain sit as long as they need to in a dry area, away from wind that may blow dust into your paint job.
Step 6: Paint grommet
Step 7: Paint handle
For a tighter fit and some additional bling, and I included a pair of brass finished washers, salvaged from a discarded lamp.
The handle serves a few purposes: First it balances the overall look of the lamp; Second it handy to hold on to when carrying the lamp, and third, it looks cool;-)
Step 8: Assemble parts
Note: These wooden handles are delicate so screw gently;-)