Introduction: The Space Lamp - Featured Maker: Giaco Whatever
Hi Instructables Community,
this week I would like to share another collaboration with Giaco Whatever. Some of you might already have seen and read this Make featured project but maybe reading the Instructable will further inspire you to make something.
PS: Don't forget to check the last page for my extended giveaway!
Step 1: Intro
„What’s the best project to start making things?“
This is one of the most frequently asked question I get from my viewers. My answer is:
“Make a lamp!”
Step 2: What Is a Lamp?
A lamp consist only of three components a light bulb, a socket and a wire with a plug.
This leaves you with an enormous freedom for your creative approach. What you end up with is something you can either use yourself or give away as a gift.
Since I was a child I was fascinated with space, the stars and
everything related. I also like the look and design of space craft and items for use in space and was thinking long and hard to use it in one of my projects.
To demonstrate this I’ve decided to make a “space lamp” from a few cheap materials as well as some up-cycled items from my shop. The tools I’ve used make making easier and faster but the entire projects could be done with basic hand tools.
For this project I chose to combine the looks of acrylic, aluminum, plastics & Mylar (aka space blanket).
Step 3: The Acrylic Sheets
As a first step I chose a large energy saving bulb and used its dimensions to give me an idea for the size I had to cut the acrylic sheets into.
My chop saw worked really great or this step and I was able to use a wooden board as a stopper on the chop saw. This way all pieces where exactly the same width without requiring further measurements and markings.
Tip: If you do not have a chop saw you can score the acrylic sheets with a utility knife thus creating a breaking point. Place the sheets over an edge and try to apply even pressure (a wooden board spreading the force equally helps a lot). This should work fairly well but I suggest you practice this technique first.
Step 4: Aluminum Angle Bar
The length of the acrylic sheets gave me the length required for some aluminum bar I wanted to use for the corners.
Once again I used my chop saw with a stopper block to quickly cut four aluminum angles.
Tip: You can use a simple hacksaw to cut the aluminum.
Step 5: Preparing the Alu Bar
Looking through my assortment of rivets I found some that I wanted to use with the aluminum giving it that aeronautical look.
I drilled equally spaced holes on each side of each aluminum angle which would later be used to fasten the acrylic sheets with the rivets.
Tip: I prepared a length of aluminum with pilot holes. This saved the time and effort of measuring each hole separately.
Step 6: Fastening
Now I used some Clecos to hold the acrylic sheets and alu bars together while I drilled holes through both.
Tip: You can use clamps or corner clamps instead of the clecos.
I used my air powered rivet gun to permanently fasten the acrylic sheets with the aluminum.
Tip: Using washers between the rivet and the acrylic sheets will help reduce the risk of breaking the sheets. Also using a regular rivet gun will yield better results since the applied force is easily adjusted. (The air powered rivet gun was a little too strong and broke the sheets in a few places)
Step 7: MDF Base
Some MDF was cut to a square the same size as the acrylic/alu box.
A forstner bit was then used to drill a hole large enough for the lamp socket through the center of the MDF board.
Step 8: Attaching the Socket
Take the socket and glue it into the hole you just drilled. You can use any suitable glue for this but I chose Cyano Acrylate with some activator spray for an instant bond (I don't like to wait for glue to cure ;) )
Step 9: More MDF
I cut some more MDF with my chop saw to build a box in the next step. The size will depend on how big you want to build the base of your lamp.
Tip: It is obvious but you do not need a chop saw to cut wood/MDF you can use a simple wood saw for this job.
Step 10: Make a Box
Wood glue works great with MDF and to make sure I also used some brad nails to keep it all together.
Once the glue was dry I used a Japanese wood saw to cut the box into a more interesting and complex shape.
Tip: Make sure you check for nails before you start cutting - You don't want to ruin a good saw
Step 11: The Lauch Control
I drilled holes for a rocker switch and a phone socket into a square piece of Acrylic. Most switches have a counter screw with which I attached the to the acrylic sheet.
I also drilled a hole for an LED socket above the phone socket (not pictured).
Tip: You can choose whatever fancy switch you like for this part.
Step 12: Exotic Shapes Pt.1
I dived into my box of airplane parts in search for some exotic shapes I could use in the following steps. I found some hydraulic hoses with brass connectors.
Some polishing compound on my buffing wheel was used to bring the brass to a nice shine. Apart from its nice looks the brass also brings some weight with it which will be quite nice for the overall feel of the key.
Tip: If you do not have aircraft part you might want to look at plumbing supplies which might also provide you with brass or copper!
Step 13: Cut It Off
My hacksaw my quick process of cutting the brass part from the hose.
Step 14: More Parts
An old PCB provided me with another feature for my launch key. Using a soldering iron or heat gun makes the removal of soldered parts relatively easy and quick.
Step 15: And the Last Part...
...is a 1/4" jack which you could quite easily salvage from an old set of head phones or buy new.
I used a soldering iron to make a connection this way this jack can be used to close a circuit when inserted into a phone socket.
Step 16: PAINT!
You can use some glue all parts from the previous steps together (I recommend hot glue for the parts I used).
Painters tape can be used to mask of parts that you do not want to paint.
White spray primer/filler was used for the largest area and after two coats I waited until the paint was dry before moving on to the next step.
Step 17: More Paint!
To contrast with the white paint I chose a red spray paint and painted a thin ring of red just around the 1/4" jack.
Let that dry too and move on to the next step.
Step 18: Electronics
Ok this one might be a little more complicated than the previous steps.
I gave my best to draw a schematic of the actual circuit which you can find in the last picture.
Basically the circuit consists of a 12V power supply and a relay which is triggered when the 1/4" jack is inserted. This also activates the green LED and the rocker switch.
Only whilst the jack is inserted the lamp can be turned on.
Step 19: Prepping the Base
Using the socket i created another hole in the base with my jig saw. This hole would late be used to wire the socket to the other electronics.
Step 20: Side Panels
I created some stencils and printed them out on sticker paper with my laser printer. Those stickers where then attached to the acrylic side panels and control panel.
Unfortunately I do not have the stencil templates for upload but its really simple and you can be as creative as you want.
Step 21: Space Blanket
Spray glue makes it relatively easy to glue a mylar (space blanket) around the base of the lamp. No worries if it is a little wrinkled since that is exactly the look you are after.
Step 22: Enjoy
I riveted the side panels on but unfortunately forgot to film that part.
Your lamp is finished and you can either enjoy the looks of it yourself or gift it to someone who might.
Step 23: Giveaway
You can win a Leuchtturm1917 softcover notebook along with some quality sketch pencils, a few of my channel sticker and a 3-Month Instructables Pro Account.
All you have to do is to subscribe to my YouTube channel and leave me a comment at this video and include "I'd like one!" & your Instructables username. You have until the 30th June 2016 1800 GMT to participate after which I will announce the winner on my YouTube channel VLOG. (Only entries from the EU, Norway, Switzerland, USA & Canada are eligible to get the full package mailed (please understand that I pay for this myself), residents of other countries may only receive the Pro-Account).
We have a be nice policy.
Please be positive and constructive.