Introduction: Wooden Lamp - Steam Punk Style

This is my first instuctiable so be easy on me.  After browsing through the steam punk section I came up with this lamp.  It is made out of oak and uses a combination of wooden gears to turn on the light with a dimmer switch.

Step 1: Materials

Here are the following supplies and tools you will need:

I got most of the following supplies I needed at Lowe's Supplies:
1.  Oak Board 48" x 5 1/2" x 1/4" - about $10 (we will use literally all of it)
2.  Brass nuts and bolts of the following size: 6-32 threading 3@1", 1@1 1/2", 1@2", 4@ 3/4" flat head bolts and 12 brass nuts, and two brass toppers for the handle. Total about $12
3.  A 90 degree 1" galvanized steel elbow $3
4.  A light bulb socket $2.50
5.  Wire nuts $2
6.  Small brass hinges $3
7.  A medium amount of electrical cord and plug end or an old cord extension with a plug on the end.
8.  A dimmer switch usually about $7
9.  2 small nylon spacers $.50
10.  Wood Stain [optional] (I usually get the mis-tinted stuff for about $3)
11.  2 nuts for the 90 degree elbow $1
   Grand total ~$40

Tools you will need
Band saw
Table saw / radial saw <- what I used
Scroll saw
Orbital sander 
Dremel tool  (I could not have been able to it without this, it is invaluable on all of my projects)
90 degree corner clamps (one will work but two or more is better)
Various sizes of C clamps
Wood glue
Steel wool (I used #00)
Various screw drivers, wrenches, hole punches
Pliers or socket wrenches to fit the brass nuts
Drill bits of various sizes
and a good battery operated hand drill

That should cover all of the main tools as well as some of the smaller things you will need

Step 2: Measuring an Building the Housing for the Components

First measure all of the wooden parts you will need.

My finalized box is 10" x 5" x 2 1/2" and it has 45 degree angles cut into all of the sides except the very bottom of it, but you can build it just by pressing lining up the corners and building it like a normal box.  The 45 degree corners are very hard to do on small pieces like this one.

The shade is 10" long and is tapered from 2" at the top to 1" at the bottom the following pictures will show all of the lines and cuts.

Step 3: Assembling the Box

I lined up all of the pieces and sanded them down evenly to get completely even angles (the long and tedious part. Defiantly use a power sander to even everything out. Next, I joined together all of the sides and the top of the box with the corner joints and wood glue.  For the glue makes sure you get the kind that can be stained with wood stain if you are staining.

Step 4: Preparing the Other Parts

While we have the glue drying on the box we will work on the hardware for the light.  The light socket I picked up was able to easily slid into the 90 galvanized steel elbow...when the socket was upside down in the packaging at the store.  when I got home I found out the the socket had a 1/8" tapered flare to the base of it.  So I had to sand it down to fit into the elbow but not before grinding out the threading inside.

Step 5: Making the Wooden Gears

OK, this is the hardest part of the build, the gears are tedious and hard to do by hand but here we go.  I looked online and found a site that will let you print out templates for gears here is the site:  http://woodgears.ca/gear_cutting/template.html
You can make them as big as you want and with as many teeth as you want, but remember with more teeth comes more cutting.  I made 5 gears for my light with only two of them being the same.  Here are the steps:

1.  Print and cut the gear template out
2.  Use wood glue to glue them to the wood
3.  Let dry, and I found it easier to drill holes in all of the valleys in the teeth
4.  Now use your scroll saw and cut every tooth out and if you chose to have spokes on the gears cut them out as well.
5.  Smooth the teeth and spokes with the Dremel and a wood cutting bit or sand them
6.  Sand off the paper template and you are done

Step 6: Stain the Box

Here is one of the easy parts.  Attaching on of the tapered shades to the side with some wood glue and C clamps.  After it dries sand down all of the excess wood glue that is on the outside of the box.  Next we just need to drill an opening for the elbow.  I just set the elbow on the wood and traced its circumference then you can use a hole punch or 1" wood bit to drill through.  I used a Dremel to smooth out the edge of the hole.  There are many ways to stain wood I usually use a paper towel or an old rag and just dip it into the stain and brush it onto the wood to eliminate brush strokes on the wood. After it dries just lightly sand it down with steel wool (I used #00) to eliminate any bumps in the stain, and it will be smooth and shiny.

Step 7: Installing the Dimmer and Gears

Now we are ready to start on the hardware.  For the dimmer switch we will need to drill a hole through the box and have the shaft of it poking through...Giggity.  next we will install the elbow.  To attach it you will need a coupler or to just screw it on both sides of the hole and it will be held in place.  To attach the gear just drill the center hole a little bigger but not all of the way through and push it onto the switch.  If the hole is to big just drill a hole through the shaft and attach it with a screw or glue it in place.  Then after you have on your main gear (that being the dimmer gear)follow suit with attaching the other ones GOING ONE AT A TIME!! to make sure they were working I would hold a hole punch in the center and let it freely rotate and if it was smooth I just hit the hole punch marking the wood and drilled through it and fixed the gear to it.  to keep the gear freely rotating I put the gear on put a brass nut close the the gear but not against it and then tightened another nut to the bottom and tightened it locking it in place.

Step 8: Wiring the Light & Finishing Up

Now all that is left is to wire the light and the dimmer, attach the shade, and attach the back. check the picture below for wiring.  Next take the brass hinges and place them on the shades.  The best way is to use a piece of masking tape and an small drill bit for pilot holes.  I used a total of 4 hinges for the shade.  After that we need the back to stay in place I just used scrap wood and glued it in the corners just big enough to hold the brass nuts.  I measured where the screws needed to go and drilled through. and the last thing to do is attach the 90 degree elbow and wire the lamp.  I designed it to be a hanging lamp for my desk but if you adjust the shade (trim the bottoms of them) you will be able to have it sit on a table if you want.

Step 9: Final Notes

I wanted to add in an analog AC meter that would go up and down as the power increased or decreased from the dimmer but I could not find one cheap enough thats why there is a blank space near the top of the gears.  Maybe if I can find a cheap one I will add onto it and put one there.  I hope everyone liked the instructable and will look forward to my next one.  Hint: another Steampunk item.

Comments

author
abstracted (author)2012-03-06

luv the gears, i just did an ible on hand making brass gears, be an awesome upgrade...great job!!

author
cogbots (author)2011-07-12

Congrats on a nice job on hand cutting the gears. You are right, this is the hardest part of the job, especially when you want to make them functional. Be sure to check out http://cogbots.com where you can buy precut wooden gears of many sizes for your build...
We hope that by doing this heard step, more people will make really creative items like this.

author
BrefelanDesigns (author)2011-03-16

Neat idea of using the gears to turn the dimmer switch!

author
fire_drakon117 (author)2011-01-02

Good job but I think it would look better if the pipe was painte copper

author
SeamusDubh (author)2011-01-01

Another thing you could do is add polished steal or brass to the hinged sections for a reflector.

author
VadimS (author)2010-12-31

Looks good.

Nice photo's.

author
NatNoBrains (author)VadimS2011-01-01

Apostrophe FAIL!

author
VadimS (author)NatNoBrains2011-01-01

That's a really constructive comment.

author
NatNoBrains (author)VadimS2011-01-01

Sarcasm?

author
thewizard42 (author)2010-12-31

Thats pretty sweet. nice job

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