Introduction: Construction of a Steampunk Light Tube

About: I love to invent and create new things in a "steampunk styled way" working with brass, copper, vulcanized-fibre, brass gears and (ply)- wood. On one side I am fascinated in neon lights and small ele…

Hello everybody
Some days ago I presented my first project to you. The first incomming comments asked me to be more detailed in my next projects.
I thought a little bit and now I want to present you a very detailed description of constructing of a nice and universal usable Steampunk Light Tube.
Are you ready to follow me?
Let´s start:
We now build a Steampunk Light Tube with E14 brass sockets, acrylic tubes and copper fittings.
Later on we also create a tricky light using a drinking straw with two LED inside;-))

Step 1: First Preparations

Here you see what you need first:

Brass sockets from broken down bulbs and tubes.

To protect your eyes and your hands when working with glass please use leather gloves and eye protection.
The next step is to break the glass bulbs. All parts of the bulbs have to be put away.  

Step 2: Cleaning the Sockets

Next you have to clean the sockets inside.There is a sort of  "concreate" in the sockets which has to be scrapped out it works very well with an old screwdriver.

Step 3: All Pieces You Need to Build the Tube

We have to divide between the parts you need for building the tube itself and the lamp or electronical parts you want to place inside.
This is what you need for the tube:
-two brass sockets E14
-a copper tube connector for soldering with 15 mm diameter inside
-an acrylic  tube with outside diameter 15 mm  and 13 mm inside . The length deopends on what will come iside the tube but try it first with a piece of about 5-6 cm.

-a cork from a wine bottle
-some brass screws and nuts M4 and washer

As the tools you need a tube cutter from a plumber or a small saw with a blade for cutting metal like copper.
First you cut the connector. The two copper parts fit exactly in the brass sockets, and the acrylic tube fits directly in the copper ring.
If you now put these three parts together the Steampunk tube is build.

But tis is only the beginning, see next step:-)))

Step 4: Creating the Light

To create the light you need two LED´s eg 5mm in diameter and a white plastic drinking straw with the same dimension so the LED´s fit in.
Choose the colour you like, it´s up to you. I prefer a red and a green one together so in the middle of the small light tube there is a bright yellow light to see.
Now you can connect the LED´s seperately to the electronic (for jumping with the lights) or together. If you put them together it is very tricky to connect them with a very small wire inside the straw (nearly unseen). The Connecting wire to the electronic can either be on one side together or one each side (I prefer this way) it mainly depends of your whole steampunk object you decide.
If you don´t want to solder te LED-contact wires to the bottom contacts of the brass sockets you have to desolder the footcontact or break the innerglass parts of the socket away and fix a new contact with the screws. Plesae mention that than each socket side of the tube will lead electricity. The acrylic tube insulates the system.

Step 5: The Tube As a Batterie Holder

With these modern copper tube connectors  for crimping (you can get them at a the plumber) you can change the light tube to a batterie holder, or you can do it with soldering so it looks more steamy.

Step 6: Variety

At the end of this description I want you to show some varieties just to inspire you. Let´s start with a small sample for the pocket and a normal one to show others the idea of this tube.  Then you can see one with a single holder to screw in, than as a double tube, with covered wires,  with an seperate reflector, as a special steampunk tool with an resistor in to bring down a capacitor to zero or as a special tube to keep a very rare neon glow lamp safe and working inside.

I hope you enjoyed my little project and I wish you good luck to your steamy projects and constructions;-)))