Introduction: Make It - Wooden Light Bulb


Just a bit of holiday fun on the lathe!

Made with Padauk and Maple scraps, turned on my mini lathe.

If you'd rather just watch it come to life, please check out the build video below! Subscribe if you feel so inclined!

Step 1: Prepare the Blank

I raided my scrap box and picked out a piece of Maple and a piece of Padauk. I cut them down to roughly 2" lengths and then cut them again so the width was the same as the height. I glued and clamped them together using a high quality wood glue. Even with a high quality glue, gluing end grain to end grain is very weak. It's enough for a temporary gluing, but it wouldnt survive the harshness of my subpar turning skills.

To combat that, I drilled a 1/4" hole through the maple into the padauk. Then I glued a 1/4" wooden dowel into the center. I marked the length of the hole on the dowel to ensure I had it completely seated and used a drill to spin the rod all the way to the bottom. This gave a lot of side grain surface area so the glue can do what it does best. I trimmed them down with a pair of lineman dikes (pliers).

Step 2: Chuck 'n' Shuck

I clamped one end in the chuck and brought the live center up to the other end to add support while turning. I used a skew chisel to rough down the shape and a square carbide cutter to bring it home. I just guessed at the proportions and think it came out pretty good. At the very least you can look at it and know what I was trying to make. It's not just good, it's good enough!

I used a square file to put a groove into the base to look like threads.

Step 3: Sanding and Finish

I sanded the bulb down with 220 grit, then 400 grit. Once all the scratches were removed, I applied a coat of beeswax and mineral oil finish and polished it with a soft cloth.

Step 4: Parting Off and Make It Hang

I used a carbide detail tool to part off the bulb at a slight angle to match that of a real light bulb.

I drilled a very small hole directly into the dowel and threaded in a small brass loop into that hole. I used some waxed thread to make a loop so I could hang the bulb on my clamp rack. Job done!

Please check out the build video to see it come to life in under 4 minutes. Subscribe if you feel so inclined!

Homemade Gifts Contest 2016

Participated in the
Homemade Gifts Contest 2016