Introduction: Posable Lamp From a Broken Cafetière Base

About: By day I am a mechanical engineer; I innovate solutions and design everything from disposable mechanisms for medical devices to payload attachment and deployment mechanisms for space vehicles. The mechanical …

Many people have had the disappointing day that their cafetiere (or french press as some call it) breaks. To make matters worse it feels as though most of the functional parts are still there, but you can never find a glass beaker that fits perfectly so the bin seems the only option...

But wait! These parts are perfect for making something...

I looked at the remains for a bit and decided the cage looked a bit like an old industrial lamp shade. The curved metal handle gave me the idea of making the angle adjustable. I had some useful parts around from other projects I could use to make this a lamp, including:

  • Ceramic G4 bulb socket
  • Panel mount switch
  • Old 12V wall wart PSU
  • Panel mount barrel socket for PSU plug
  • 2 core wire

Step 1: Fit the Switch to the Plunger Hole

Remove the plunger if you haven't already. Mine unscrewed easily. My ex-cafetiere had a bushing/guide tube where the plunger rod slid through. This could be removed by unscrewing the nut on the inside, leaving a hole exactly the size needed for the switch. Poke the switch through and tighten the panel nut and this part is done.

Step 2: Solder the Very Simple Wiring

The wiring of this project is both very simple and low voltage so relatively safe. The switch is soldered in series with the bulb socket, and both ends are wired to the socket.

Positioning the socket where it will go allows the required length of 2 core cable to be measured. The socket is easiest soldered when loose so if like me you have a slot it can be slid back onto after soldering, remove it solder it and then slide it back on once finished.

To attach the bulb socket I cut the leads very short so that the stiffness of the wires is enough to support the weight of the bulb. I then soldered these stubs directly to the switch.

Before assembling, check that no bare contacts can move enough to touch.

Step 3: Glue the Lid on the Body of the Cafetiere

Once happy with the internals, glue the lid on and the body of the lamp is done.

I used a glue gun to do this, although had I had some I would have opted for clear silicone sealant for extra thermal resilience. I might redo this when I get some more in as glue gun should peel off pretty well.

Step 4: Angle Adjustable 3D Printed Base

To design the base I first felt the would-be lamp assembly to feel the centre of mass at different angles. To match the industrial styling I opted for a V shaped foot.

The interface with the handle is two arc grooves that clip onto the handle. The arc of the handle isn't perfectly circular and very difficult to measure the radius of curvature, so I stuck a post-it to the inside of the handle and eyeballed the perpendicular at various positions. The brain is pretty good at telling this and the perpendiculars roughly converge at the centre of curvature.

Once designed I printed it on an UP! Plus v2 and it fit nicely first time

Step 5: Finished

Plug in the power supply, flip the switch and that is the lamp finished.

Not bad for what could easily have been consigned to the bin.

I'm really happy with how this turned out. The lamp's shade gives an interesting stripy shadow effect, it looks pretty cute and I have even ordered a G4 led bulb to make it more energy efficient.

If you enjoyed this instructable please vote for me in the Trash to Treasure,Metal and Maker Olympics Contests!

Maker Olympics Contest 2016

Participated in the
Maker Olympics Contest 2016

Trash to Treasure Challenge

Participated in the
Trash to Treasure Challenge

Metal Contest 2016

Participated in the
Metal Contest 2016