Introduction: LED Mason Jar Lantern
Step 1: Design the Cutting File
In between helping kids with homework, I sketched up the design. Laying out the circles was easy to do in AutoCad. From there, I opened the file in Carbide Create and set all the tool paths. The upper and lower circles are equal in diameter. Since the jar is tapered, the inner circle for the lower cap is smaller then the upper circle.
Step 2: Cut the Wood
I used a stair riser for my material. The nice thing about this is it comes in 1" thickness and is less expensive then gluing up stock oak. The oak riser is 11.5" wide. I cut a 9" piece off and screwed it to my waste board. I ran the file, leaving enough room to make another on the upper half of the oak.
Step 3: Round Over the Edges
I turned my router upside down and used it as a small router table. I added an 1/8" round over to all the corners I could access. The ones I could not get the bit to were sanded down in the next step. Make sure to always work within your experience.
Step 4: Drill Holes
I used my rotary index table to position all the holes. The upper handle has holes 180 degrees apart. The upper and lower pieces have holes every 45 degrees. Just be careful not to drill into one of the jaws.
Step 5: Sand
I sanded all parts on my mini lathe. I went from 120 grit to 220, then 1500.
Step 6: Add the Upper Handle
The upper handle was formed on a large socket. The lower ends were bent at 90 degrees and trimmed to length. It fit just right into the predrilled holes.
Step 7: Add the Vertical Wire Guards
I used a 6" plumbing fitting to wrap the wire around. From this coil I cut 8 pieces. After marking the correct length, I bent and trimmed each guard. The wire ends are just short of the distance between the holes. This gives them a slight clamping action when installed.
Step 8: Add the Horizontal Wire Guard
I used a quart paint can to form another circle out of wire. Then, I placed it over the center of the lantern and soldered it in place.
Step 9: Apply Wood Polish
I applied wood polish and buffed it out with a paper shop towel. This particular bottle came from Lowes. It's called "Howard Feed N Wax". I also added a toggle on a string to keep the lid from getting lost.
Step 10: Add an LED Throwie
The light source inspiration came from this Instructable . I added an LED bulb to a CR2032 battery and taped it in place. I also used a magnet to attach the battery to the screw in the lid. Thanks for reading. Brent
First Prize in the
Mason Jar Speed Challenge