Introduction: DIY Iron Man MK1 Arc Reactor

About: Prop maker from the PNW.

This design is based on the MCU MK1 Arc Reactor. I purchased all items at my local ACE Hardware and through Amazon. Note that not all Ace Hardwares stock the same items but you can order online and choose free store pickup (meaning an online order can be shipped free to your nearest Ace. This can be easier than locating all of the parts in person.

*online order profits go to corporate not your local Ace

*the ABS pipe segment must be purchased in person

COMPONENTS/MATERIALS: $49.22 *before tax

$2.79 1 ½” x 2” ABS reducer (Ace Hardware)

$4.59 2” drain strainer (Ace Hardware)

$2.99 2” patio table plug (Ace Hardware)

$5.29 copper wire 22 gauge (Amazon)

$12.99 RGB LED strip x1 segment w/3 diodes (Amazon)

$2.79 1/2" cable clamps 12 pk (Ace Hardware)

$2.99 21/23 12V battery (Ace Hardware)

$5.59 21/23 battery housing 5 pk (Amazon)

$1 toggle switch from tap light (dollar store)

$0 scrap wire (a broken ethernet cable)

$7.20 silver leaf Rub'n Buff (Amazon) *or any kind of silver paint

$0 aluminum foil and a small piece of cardboard

$0.41 1½” of 1½” diameter ABS pipe (Ace Hardware) *in store purchase

$0.59 1½” ABS test cap (Ace Hardware)

$? scrap cord plug (broken electronics or random cord from a thrift store)

SUPPLIES: $19.95 *before tax

$4.59 220 grit sanding sponge(Ace Hardware)
$4.59 80 grit sanding sponge (Ace Hardware)

$7.20 silver leaf Rub'n Buff (Amazon)

$2.39 hot glue (Ace Hardware)

$6.99 heat shrink (Amazon) or $1.39 electrical tape (Ace Hardware)

$6.99 solder (Ace Hardware)


drill press, rotary too, or power drill

3/16” drill bit


hobby saw

hot glue gun

soldering iron


small-medium round file

helping hands (optional)

Step 1: Prepping the Frame

ABS Reducer, Pipe, and Cap

Tape the provided template onto the reducer. Drill out the six holes. Sand the raised letters off of the ABS reducer. Sand the rough edges of the ABS pipe as well as any text. Using a saw, cut off the end of the ABS cap, clean up the end using the sanding sponges and the inside using a round file. Tape off the lower half of the reducer and apply rub’n buff to the exposed exterior and all of the interior (this will help reflect the light). Apply rub’n buff to the ABS cap tester as well.

Patio Table Plug
There are two pieces to this, the plastic plug, and the vinyl grommet. Sanding the plug will help diffuse the light. Trace the bottom of the plug on to your chosen reflective surface and hot glue into place. You made need to glue cardboard onto the reflective material for reinforcement.

Cable Clamps

Cut off the curved end of the cable clamp leaving a half circle. You will need six of these (there are 12 in a pack).

Drain Strainer

Using needle nose pliers, bend and snap off the six tabs. Try to make it a clean break

Step 2: Wiring

There are four leads on the strip of lights, red, green, blue, and power source. Use the soldering iron to connect the three colors together. Cut two lengths of wire, solder one to the power lead and the other to blob of solder now covering the RGB leads. This will activate all three colors and produce and light blue. Remove the adhesive backing and place the strip on the inside of the plastic patio plug. The adhesive isn’t great so you may need to reinforce with hot glue. Now solder the toggle switch and battery terminal to the LED strip. Be sure to cover your connections with heat shrink.

Step 3: Assemble

Place the plug inside of the ABS reducer and hold it flush upside down while you tack it into place with hot glue. Use needle nose pliers to snap the pegs off the back of the strainer. Line up the pattern of the strainer to the holes you drilled in the ABS then glue in place. Put the vinyl grommet into the ABS. Place the cable clamps over grommet and reducer. Next, use copper wire to secure grommet to the reducer (measure six lengths of 42"). Apply hot glue into the gaps left where the copper runs through. Cut your "power cord" to length. Run the cut end through the ABS test cap and tie a knot, glue into place. Place wires into the pipe and put the cap to hold in the wires.

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