Introduction: Turning Scrap Marble and Acrylic Into RGB Night Lamp
I don't think that this build would be possible if my brother didn't think about the reuse of the scraps. So back in the month of March, I started a build name marble and stainless steel raised planters. During the cutting process of that build, there are few scrap pieces left out and they are plenty enough and he found that it's easy to cut down those pieces into strips onto that multi-purpose saw we built. So after the cutting of the pieces for the planter, I cut down some strips and then after a long time to finish this into RGB lamp. Compared to wooden and acrylic lamps I have to say that these are much more difficult to build with ordinary tools. The main problem came because of using granite because even by using a diamond blade and water it's still very hard to cut and this reduces the cutting speed a lot. If you like the effort I made then it would be great if you share your views about this build.
Following are the list of material and tools I used in this build and if you don't have that tool then don't worry, there are a lot of ways to do a single work. So find the one which suited best to you.
- Multi purpose track saw
- Table saw
- Drill press
- Thread tap
- Drill bits
- Welding Set
- 304 Stainless steel Electrode
- Pickling agent
- Router molding bit
- Angle Grinder
- Cut off wheel
- Diamond core drill
- Marble and granite scrap pieces
- Acrylic scrap Pieces
- Two part Epoxy resin
- RGB Bulb
- Bulb Holder
- Allen Bolt
- Shrink Sleeves
- Stainless Steel Disk
- Stainless steel pipe
Step 1: Cutting Down the Stone Pieces
So to cut down the marble and granite strips I use my multipurpose cutting saw, don't worry if you don't have that. If you work onto the plywood pieces than it's not difficult for you to build. The cutting process is mostly the same the only difference is the use of water and a slow speed during the cutting. By following these things you can easily able to cut down strips from the granite pieces.
Step 2: Cutting the Acrylic Strips
So this part might not seem ideal for everyone because you might not be using the same waste material for the build, but if you are using them you can proceed with this way. To reduce the cost I also get some leftover scrap material of acrylic. To straighten all the pieces I made a straightening jig with the help of which I straighten out all the pieces. For hold down the material, I use some toggle clamps and then screwed them onto my straightening jig and start straightening my pieces. Once one side is completely straightened out I use the straight side and rip all the pieces into 1" wide strips.
Step 3: Gluing the Pieces
After the material has been cut down to the required width I start the glueing process of the material together. This process took a lot longer to me because all the pieces are of different sizes and some have a slight tapering to it, I can't do much at this stage. So to make a good bond between the marble and the acrylic I made scratch marks on both sides and start the process. First, I start the work onto the patterns. I found that it's not possible to make a similar design pattern onto all of the 3 lamps but I tried to keep colour combinations right. Before starting this I thought of making a random pattern but that will definitely not work in this case because of the difference in the thickness of the material because they all belong to different types of stones. After making a satisfactory pattern I mixed the two-part epoxy resin and start glueing up the strips together. It's like making a chopping board with marble and acrylic. Once the glue is spread onto one set I clamped them with the help of bar clamp but make sure that during this workplace a piece of plastic under the stones because of epoxy and the stone sticks to the surface then in the removal process it's stone who always loses the fight. So always place something under the workpiece during epoxy work. After that allow it to dry overnight until the epoxy cured.
Step 4: Grinding and Cutting.
Once the epoxy cures and a solid block is prepared then it's time to start the grinding work and that doesn't stop right here. From thereafter I start the polishing processes. I didn't polish it at too much high grit because the area which gonna lying inside is not visible at all. So for the grinding most heavy-duty work has been carried out with the help of coarse diamond wheel and angle grinder later on polishing work has been done by polishing wheel but only up to 600 grit.
The cutting process is quite challenging in this build for me when I start the work and I tried various different types of methods to do that but none of them seems to be worthy and suddenly I came up with this setup. So for the cutting i uses a stop block method in which first I used a surface which has a flat side so that I am able to take the reference from it during the cutting, in this case, the workbench I am using has a metal plate over it and have a factory cut on all the side which is suitable for it. Then I place some spacer pieces onto the bench and then place the blocks to cut them down into further pieces to make a hexagon. For the hexagon, I tilt the blade to 30°. Onto the fixed side, I clamped speed square with the help of which I am able to get a straight line. Then after every cut, I need to flip the piece and made a second cut and by repeating this strategy I am able to get pieces for the hexagon. During the cutting, it's highly recommended to have use of water for the better life of the blade.
Step 5: Joining the Pieces Together and Polishing
So from there after all the work is mostly easy to do. For the hexagon, I started joining the pieces together. For the temporary glueing of the pieces, I use ca glue to hold the pieces together temporarily until I made a hexagon shape. I use this technique because I found that the pieces I cut are making an angle less than 120° and it seems like the angle I set onto the circular saw is not precise and that's the reason I use ca glue. Later on, once the hexagon shape has been created I wrapped the tape around the hexagon and mixed two-part epoxy and poured it into the empty area's. The advantage of using thin epoxy is that I have a property to penetrate deeply. Once it's completely filled allow it to cure overnight.
Once the curing completed, I start the polishing process and it's a pretty time-consuming job. The starting wheel I choose is 60 grit which is a coarse wheel although I already polish the surface up to 400 grit. After the glueing process, there is a small amount of epoxy sticks to the outer side which needs to remove. So I started from 60 grit and ended this up to 2000 grit which is very fine grit.
Step 6: Creating the Top and Bottom
Since I decided to install them outside so there is something I need to cover the top and bottom. So first work I did make the bottom. For this, I use a 1 mm stainless sheet and place the hexagon over the sheet and trace the outline. Later I cut the sheet by following that path with the help of an angle grinder. This is the piece onto which I am going to install the bulb holder. With the help of core drill, I drill the hole and then start the work onto the base which is again going to made with stainless steel. I cut the pipe up to a length of 3". For the base of that pipe, I am going to use pre-cut discs whose diameter is around 4". I drill 3 holes around that disc for mounting it onto the surface and then start the welding work. I am not going to do a complete weld because the wall thickness is around 1.5 mm and it's difficult to weld it with the help of stick welder so it's better to make some tacks and other than that it's didn't need to hold a weight of hundreds of kilos. But before welding from both sides, I insert the cover plate so that the bottom area looks clean. With same procedure, I also cut down the acrylic but I cut it with the help of jigsaw. To make it completely flush with the sides of the hexagon I glued it temporarily onto the hexagon with the help of hot glue. Later on, with the help of flush trim router bit, I made all the sides completely flush. After that to create some design over the top acrylic piece I use a moulding bit to make a design. Make sure not to hog off too much material in one pass. Take a light pass to avoid any chipping and tear out.
Step 7: Assembling
Before assembling all the parts together, I found that the acrylic I use is very clear and it's not diffusing the light. So to do that part I made a setup with 150 grit sandpaper and start sanding the surface to increase the diffusion rate and this works perfectly as I wanted. The same thing has been done with the hexagon piece in which I cover the stones with masking tape and then sand the acrylic area with 150 grit sandpaper. After that to attach all pieces together I drill and threaded the holes which are drill onto the top and bottom of acrylic pieces of the hexagon with the M4 tap. The top acrylic piece also has countersunk holes because I am using counter Alen bolt for that. There is also a hole drilled into the top of the acrylic piece onto which I decided to use finial. For the bulb holder, I am using an RGB bulb and I glued the holder inside that hole and it's ready for the mounting. For that, I place it onto the pillar, mark the hole location and drill them with a diamond core drill. I can use anchoring plug but I did use it and instead of that I filled those holes with the epoxy resin and once it dries my plugs are ready and I make the electrical connection first and then screwed them to its place.
Step 8: Final Shoot
The final shots are really pleasing to the eye and it feels awesome to see that the final product came out as expected. If you like this build or have any suggestions than definitely leave them in the comment section down below.
Second Prize in the