Pterodactylus Desk Light




Introduction: Pterodactylus Desk Light

We all know those perfect flexible swing arm desk lights. For years it seems the best solution to get good light on my working surface. But lately I noticed its a bit outdated and all too familiar. It's "so 1980's". Its time for a new twist. So I transformed it in a "Pterodactrylus Desk light". Just as versatile, just as useful. But in daytime as well as at night a lot more fun to look at. Costs almost nothing, work about an hour. Fun for years to come! Until it becomes extinct of course.

Step 1: What's (waste) Needed:

Empty plastic bottles:
One very large detergent bottle (5,9 litres)
One almond shaped detergent bottle (3 litres)
One toilet cleaner bottle ( 1 litre)
One flat model bottle
Two tie-wraps

and of course the old desk light

Simple tools:
Pair of scissors
Small hacksaw
Drill with big hole appliance

Step 2: Dismount the Old Shade

With a small turn to the left the shade unlocks and can be pulled of. Be sure to remove the bulb first. The rest of the desk light stays intact. You can always transform it back to its original shape.

Step 3: The Head

This was a big 4.5 liters detergent bottle. Take a look at the pictures and figure out witch piece is needed from the big bottle. Plunge the pointy end of the scissors in and start cutting. It should result in a clean bow-line. The rest of the bottle is not used for this project.

Step 4: Mount the Head on the Lamp Frame

Make a hole in the back of the head (= the bottom of the bottle). The most easy way is with a drill and an adjustable hole saw. But it can be done with scissors or punched out with an awl. Be sure the hole is exactly the width of the lamp socket. I found a hole saw that fitted nicely so the bird head could be slotted onto the socket without any glue or other attachments.

Step 5: The Body

I call this type of bottle "almond" shaped. It is a 3 litres detergent bottle. Its perfect for the body. Cut of all black parts in the second picture. I used a hacksaw to cut of the bottle top and started cutting with my scissors from there. Where the neck comes out of the body I cut a big circle to allow the frame of the lamp some movement. The body is put over the joint of the lamp leg. It is not attached with anything. It stays in place because the two side of the breast almost close the body.The wings are explained in the next step.

Step 6: The Wings

The wings or arm-bones are cut from a 1 litre bottle of toilet cleaner. First cut the bottle in two parts along the seam where the platic parts are welded together. You should now have identical (mirrored) front and back side. Draw the shape with a pencil or marker. Cut out with scissors.

The wings are attached with two tie-wraps to the body. So punch hole at the right places and tread the tie-wrap trough. The shoulders should stick out a little on top of the body.

Step 7: The Feet

I don't remember what once was in this bottle. Look for a flat shaped bottle with an oval bottom. Cut out two rings, more or less the same shape. The don't need to be exactly the same. Make a zig-zag cut on one of the ends. the three pointed side becomes the front with three toes, the two pointed side is the back. One of these toes is cut of so there remains only one toe. First cut straight strips. Refine later in more bone-shaped toes.
Cut a hole where the foot meets the leg. My lamp has a wall fixture. I simply pulled the light out of the wall fixture. Threaded the two feet over the bottom part of the lamp and put it back again.

Step 8: Enjoy

Reïnstall the light bulb. I used a candle shaped saving bulb. The point fits perfect in the top of the beak. Be sure to use saving or LED bulbs that don't become to heated. I haven't experienced any trouble with the heat of the bulb.

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    8 years ago on Step 5

    as cool as this looks...(and I'm a HUGE fan of your creative work!!!)...I just am not positive that using a thermoplastic container in near contact to a lightbulb (producing heat at any wattage). There might be some appropriate LED lightbulb applications for this but I'd never ever use one of these in my kids bedroom until at least 1000 straight hours of testing in my fireproof test box (that I built to check out my own such questionable ideas and designs). No rain to your parade here, kudos for creativity, without which, Instructibles would be "Go Play Outside!"


    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    I want to ps: here.. My apologies, my old eyes did not pick up that you used a 220v/3w LED lamp. There are a couple issues to this. 220v lights tend to run much cooler for much longer with greater savings due to the lower 'line friction' of higher frequency 110v/60htz (what's up America? Why haven't you got that yet?) but I would still build a firebox with auto suppressant system for testing such devices at triple or more the anticipated wattage to be used. I hope to put up my own isle on building this box once my hot tub deck is in, couch is refurbished, jewelry casting station is re-organized and garage is saled out to the masses this stay tuned!

    Ruud van Koningsbrugge
    Ruud van Koningsbrugge

    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    Thank you for your remarks. Taking care of safety is always a good thing. If your firebox is able to test the 3w led close to a thermoplastic bottle you are very welcome to do so. Meanwhile I tested it for weeks each night ( may be not 1000 hours) and there is no trace of anything on the plastic bottle, and no heat to be felt. I feel safe enough to use this for myself.

    andrea biffi
    andrea biffi

    8 years ago on Introduction

    I love this re-use of plastic containers! I made a bike fender with that :-)