Introduction: Wall Lamp From Old Computers

Picture of Wall Lamp From Old Computers

This is my first instructable, don't be harsh.  If you have any questions I am happy to answer.
I've been building things from electronic waste for years now, for more examples visit my site:
www.jonwald.com

Turn three dead computers into a wall lamp.

Tools:
screwdrivers
allen wrenches
needle nose pliers
wire cutter
wire stripper
solder iron
solder
flux
drill & bits
electric tape


Materials:
3 computer towers - you can find obsolete electronics at local recycling facilities or businesses if you don't happen to have a surplus of electronics.
- or ask a neighbor - around 2/3 Americans have dead computers  taking up space in a closet.

16 gauge wire
wire frame/shelf (from closet organizer)
3x light socket (< $3ea)
3x cfl bulb (bulk $1ea)
1x small light socket (+ cord in my case / as-is ikea $1)
1x small cfl bulb ($4 2pack)
15' extension cord ($2 ikea)
switch ($2)
 If you can find an old radio, they have great capacitors.


Please DO NOT attempt this unless you have some experience with basic electrical wiring.

Step 1: Disassemble Everything

Picture of Disassemble Everything

Disassemble the computers and all components.

Step 2: Connect the Three Cases

Picture of Connect the Three Cases

Drill holes and bolt the three cases together to form a triangle.  I used three 2" bolts.

Step 3: Install Sockets

Picture of Install Sockets

I was lucky enough to find this metal plate attached to a floppy drive with the perfect hole for a socket I bought from ikea's 'as is' section for $1.

Drill holes to connect the metal plate (holes 1 & 2).

Drill holes for the three main lights (holes 3,4 &5).  See image for placement (near center of each shell).

Connect the center socket, metal plate and body.

Connect three regular sockets using the wire from 15' extension cord.
My sockets came from lowe's and were easy to install.

Connect all positives, all negatives.  (Save space for a switch)
 Review basic wiring for light fixtures if you have questions.
Cover with electrical tape.

Step 4: Attach Hanging Wire

Picture of Attach Hanging Wire

drill four holes to attach a hanging wire.

Separate the two inner holes by 18-20 inches so it can hang from two studs (assuming studs are 16" apart).

Step 5: Attach the Circuit Boards to Frame

Picture of Attach the Circuit Boards to Frame

This step may be time consuming, but you get the hang of it fast.
For a frame I used an old wire shelf (probably from a closet organizer).

First, remove all capacitors from the boards.  Use hands or pliers (beware, pliers can damage the capacitors).
Set the capacitors aside for later use.

Next, cut  pieces of wire ranging anywhere from 5" -15" long. 

Connect the circuit boards to the frame.  Mess around with placement first.  I started with large pieces on the outside, smaller boards toward the center.  I recommend using at least three connections on larger boards.

Don't forget to leave an opening in the center for the small light socket.

Step 6: Attach Center Piece

Picture of Attach Center Piece

Metal parts from disc drives, hard drives, and various other casings can be stacked.
The photo below is an example from another piece that more clearly reveals the process.
I attached a similar form to the center of the 'circuit board assemblage'.

The second image shows the heat sink attached to a simple hinge.  This will cover the center bulb and make it easily accessible for replacement.

Step 7: Attach Capacitors

Picture of Attach Capacitors

Cut a 15" long piece of wire for each capacitor.  (I had around 40).

Insert a wire into each capacitor.  The wire should go about half an inch in and be snug.  You may need to use pliers to hold the wire while inserting into the capacitor. 

Step 8: Disassemble the Hard Drives

Picture of Disassemble the Hard Drives

Disassemble the hard drives if you haven't done so already.
This will require tiny screwdrivers and allen wrenches.

Image 2: Attach hard drives to 'ext slot holders' in a similar way.

Step 9: Attach Capacitors and Hard Discs to Frame

Picture of Attach Capacitors and Hard Discs to Frame

 attach the capacitors and hard discs to the wire frame using the same  method as before.
twist the wire around the frame using needle nose pliers.  

Step 10: Connect the Two Parts / Install Switch

Picture of Connect the Two Parts / Install Switch

 Drill at least three holes into the main structure so you can attach the circuit board frame.  
I bent wire to fit around a bolt w/ washer and attached it to the wire frame.

Then, find an appropriate place for the switch and attach.

Step 11: Finished

Picture of Finished

The lamp is ready to hang on the wall.
I recommend using two studs.

Install the bulbs after hanging.

Comments

Electrospark (author)2014-10-07

good idea!

bobiffer0123 (author)2010-03-14

 Thats tight

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