Introduction: The Twin Edison 'Steampunk' Lamp

About: I am a full time I.T guy and part time musician. More recently I have discovered that I like to build things out of stuff. Strange things from normal stuff, or normal things with strange stuff. I hope I can sh…

The twin edison was my first ever build and inspired by similar projects found on this wonderful site, such as this fantastic Eye of Rah lamp. This steampunk Box Lamp and the steampunk Mad Scientist lamp.

I was playing a lot of 'Fallout 3' at the time, and am perpetually interested in the post apocalypitic and steam punk style creations that are becoming ever so popular now. I found myself itching for a go at making something cool but functional, without it being an expensive journey.

This simple lamp came together from a mixture of low cost parts, a re-purposed church prayer box, a re-purposed jewellery box, some drawer handles and about two hours of build time.

Step 1: Tools and Materials

I had an image in my head of what I wanted the lamp to look like, but two things were key. I wanted the edision style industrial light bulbs as the main feature, but I also have a soft spot for sliver toggle switches, so that was going to have to be involved somewhere.


The main parts I used were :


x1 Church Prayer/Money Box - £4.99 - eBAY

x2 Vintage/Edison Light Bulbs (Squirrel Cage) - £5.97 (ea) - eBAY

x2 Edison E27 shade rings - £3.00 (ea) - eBAY

x2 Edison E27 lamp holders - £11.00 - eBAY

x2 Heavy Duty 25A Toggle Switches - £5.65 - eBAY

x1 Illuminated Rocker Switch - £3.00 (10pk) - eBAY

x1 IEC male chassis C14 Kettle Socket - £1.49 - eBAY

x1 3 Pin IEC C13 Kettle Mains Cable - £2.40 - eBAY

x2 Mid-Gauge single core equipment wire (Red & Black) - (had already) - Maplin

x2 Cupboard door handles - £3.99 (ea) - Homebase

x1 Metal frame & Glass jewellery box - £8.00 - TKMax

Also picture - x1 Dimmer Switch (not used in final project)


And the tools I used were :


x1 Soldering Iron - Choose a good one, it will last forever.

x1 Hot glue gun

x1 Electrical Screwdriver

x1 Multi-Screwdriver

x 26mm Spade drill Bit (for the holes)

x1 10mm regular drill bit

Step 2: Tested the Circuit

This step seemed to be the obvious place to start for me, I have an intermediate understanding of the fundamentals of electric circuits and although the circuit used in this project could certainly be improved, it does the job for a lamp. Ultimately the entire circuit is safely tucked away inside the box when the project is done. If this build had elements of the circuit outside the box, or in a place where there could be access to it, I would have done things slightly differently and dare I say, safer.


So to begin with I simply wired up the IEC power socket, to the switches and the bulb holders. I started by making a one bulb circuit, then introduced the second using the same principles. Bulbs and switches are wired in parallel.


Once you are satisfied that the circuit operates in the way you need it, we need to start on the housing/box

Step 3: Drilled the Feature Holes

I wont tell you how to drill and cut safely, its obvious you need to take care at this stage, I recommend wearing goggles if you have them. The important thing here is to measure twice and cut once. I was lucky to find a great looking box to house my project, if i messed up here, it would have ruined the job and potentially put me off trying another. so measure , measure again then cut/drill.


This box needed x6 cuts/holes. x2 26mm Holes were on the top, measured to include the shade ring that would make the finish tidy at the end. x2 10mm holes at the front for the toggle switches. x2 'slots' at the back, one for the IEC socket so that it makes a nice tight fit, the other for the illuminated rocker switch (used to turn the circuit on or off).


Once drilled, I tested the gaps for their size and adjusted/sanded as needed to get the fit right. Time to start assembling the parts!

Step 4: Assembled the Parts

This is the best step, when you can see the project come to life.


take your pre-wired bulb holders (easier to wire it outside of the box, then add them later) and add the completed tops with the shade rings (for neatness). Fixed the toggle switches using the bolts that come with them. FIt and wire the IEC socket and the Illuminated rocker switch.


Once all the parts are in and looking how you need them, its time to close the box off and get it switched on. Lets see what the bulbs look like.

Step 5: Let There Be Light !

Powering up both the bulbs made it very very bright. I was glad that I had wired two switches into the project so that I could have them on independently of each other.


At this point the lamp was done, but I wanted to do more with it, to make it look more tactile and ready to use. That to me meant handles to move it easily and a shade so that the HOT bulbs were not exposed to fingers etc.. I didnt have anything that would fit , so spent several weeks keeping my eyes open everywhere for a glass top. I considered vases turned upside down, various cases , clear boxes etc.. My girlfriend spotted a metal and glass jewellery box that opened from the top with a very simple clasp. Better still , the base measure the EXACT same as the top side of my box. (I carried the measurements with me ready for when I found potential objects that I could make work). is that sad, or preparedness? Well you are on this site so lets just call it awesome and move on..

Step 6: Finishing Touches

I bought x2 drawer handles from Homebase. These were inexpensive and easy to fit (x2 screws each). It gave the box a nice look of a juxtaposition between modern and old, which I think has helped make it look more 'steampunky'.


Lastly I removed the bottom of the jewellery box and sat the glass frame over the top of the bulbs. This is fixed in place using a hot glue gun, both on the inside and outside of the glass to make a solid connection with the wooden base. The glue did well hear as the surface wasnt completely smooth, there was plenty of grip and the finished piece is solid. I gave it a good shake and tipped it a bit to make sure it was on there.


The bulbs can still be access by opening the jewellery box clasp (pictured) and makes a nice feature.


And thats it ! I hope you like it and that it inspires you to have a go and get creating!

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