Upcycled RetroPhone Lamp

4,976

150

32

Introduction: Upcycled RetroPhone Lamp

About: Hi, I am Gosha, I am originally from Moscow but studying and living in Germany now. I love making stuff with my hands :)

I've found an old phone on a flea market the other day and decided to build a lamp out of it. It turned out pretty nicely so I want to share the process with you. Please be careful with all the tools, do not mess with electricity unless you know the safety measures and realize the dangers.

Supplies

Step 1: Put on Your Safety Glasses

Better be safe than sorry! Besides, they look cool. At least, I hope so.

Step 2: Disassemble the Phone and the Handset

Remove the screws from the base panel, unplug the cables.

Unscrew the covers of the speaker and the microphone, remove the magnets.

Step 3: Drill the Hole for the Gooseneck

Step 4: Prepare the Hole for the LED

My LED has a diameter of 5cm and it fits perfectly into the speaker of the handset. Note that the speaker and the mic covers are exchangeable and since the mic cover has a bigger perforated area, it is easier to cut a hole in there.

  • Take a compasses and set it at around 2,3cm, set the dull end into the center hole of the mic cover and scratch a circle into the plastic
  • Repeat the first step with the backside of the cover (remove the rubbery part, but do not throw it away!)
  • Deepen the circle scratch with a cutter
  • Drill the holes with a 10mm bit
  • Cut out the plastic with a wire cutter
  • Break out the rest of the plastic - if the circle scratch has been done properly, the plastic will break neatly
  • Clean up the edge with a cutter and a sandpaper

Step 5: Put the LED in Place

Step 6: Prepare the Wiring

  • Double the length of your gooseneck to get the right length of the power cable. In my case it's 2 x 20 cm = 40 cm. The inner diameter of the gooseneck is only 4,8mm so it's a tight fit for the cable - I decided to take off the black cover and only put the blue and brown cables.
  • Strip the wires from both ends for about 5mm

Step 7: Put the Wires Through the Gooseneck and Into the Handset

The original hole for the phone cable was a bit tight, so I had to drill through with an 8mm bit.

  • OPTIONAL - Drill a second hole below the main one. This will come in handy if you'd like to wrap the original black wire around the gooseneck like I did.
  • Secure the gooseneck both in the handset and in the base with nuts.

Step 8: Secure the Wires With a Terminal

Then close the cover

Step 9: Drill a Hole for the Switch in the Base

My switch has a 10mm neck = 10mm bit works great

In my opinion, this switch looks best on the right front corner, but it really doesn't matter where you put it - just make sure the cables are long enough to reach it. I learned it the hard way ;)

Step 10: Wire the Switch

I usually put the brown wires into the switch and connect the blue cables with a terminal

Step 11: Check on the Chicken - You Are Hungry and Don't Want to Burn It!

Looks good. Back to work.

Step 12: Test Drive

It works!

Step 13: Dirty Harry

Load the glue gun and secure all the connections, wires, nuts, etc.

Step 14: Almost There!

Step 15: Optional - Wrap the Gooseneck With the Cable

I like the look of the black phone cable more than the shiny metallic gooseneck, so I put a layer of black duct tape on the metal and then apply the double-sided tape on it. Then I tightly wrap the original black phone cable around the gooseneck.

I also realized that the white of the switch did not fit into the color scheme and painted it black.

Step 16: YAY!

Well done: less plastic went into the landfills and now I have a cool lamp!

If you liked the build, let me know in the comments :)

If you feel a bit too lazy to make one of these, you can get a lamp like this from my shop.

Support and feedback will be appreciated ;)

https://www.etsy.com/listing/832901893/

Step 17:

First Time Author Contest

First Prize in the
First Time Author Contest

Be the First to Share

    Recommendations

    • Tinkercad to Fusion 360 Challenge

      Tinkercad to Fusion 360 Challenge
    • Science Fair Challenge

      Science Fair Challenge
    • Trash to Treasure Contest

      Trash to Treasure Contest

    32 Comments

    0
    jeanniel1
    jeanniel1

    1 year ago

    First - fine a dial phone ... next, get chicken. Great instructible! Can't believe you're a first-timer! Good funny project!

    0
    Dubchinsky
    Dubchinsky

    Reply 1 year ago

    Hehe, thank you so much! :)

    0
    garfieldgurl
    garfieldgurl

    1 year ago

    What a cool idea! Love the look of the phones from the 70s and 80s.

    0
    Dubchinsky
    Dubchinsky

    Reply 1 year ago

    thank you! :) I agree, the designs of those phones are really something!

    0
    grahamhurford
    grahamhurford

    1 year ago

    Were you tempted to put in two lights - microphone and earpiece? Maybe overkill?

    0
    Dubchinsky
    Dubchinsky

    Reply 1 year ago

    Hi, I tried it once, but preferred the look with only one LED installed. However, It's definitely possible to install two of them if desired 😊

    0
    grahamhurford
    grahamhurford

    Reply 1 year ago

    If you had 2 lights, the phone might have to go horizontal so might not look as good as your design

    0
    Dubchinsky
    Dubchinsky

    Reply 1 year ago

    exactly! maybe there is another way to install two lights and make it look cool, but honestly, one of those LEDs already gives plenty of nice and warm light! Two would be overkill :)

    0
    grahamhurford
    grahamhurford

    Reply 1 year ago

    Where did you get the LEDs from?

    0
    Dubchinsky
    Dubchinsky

    Reply 1 year ago

    that might work for a phone as well :)

    0
    FilipW
    FilipW

    Reply 1 year ago

    You can put a webcam where the microphone was. You'll get a camera with very good illumination, and the phone can once again be used for communication.

    0
    grahamhurford
    grahamhurford

    Reply 1 year ago

    Could you put the webcam in the centre of the rotary dial ?

    0
    Dubchinsky
    Dubchinsky

    Reply 1 year ago

    Theoretically - yes, but I'm not sure if the upwards angle of the camera would be particularly flattering 😅 also, If one would prefer to keep the rotation of the dial, the wiring of the webcam must be well thought out so that it doesn't twist and break.

    0
    FilipW
    FilipW

    Reply 1 year ago

    You would get good control over the camera rotation, but not its pan and tilt. I think the latter would be more useful.

    0
    Dubchinsky
    Dubchinsky

    Reply 1 year ago

    Wow, that's a pretty cool idea! I have a broken laptop which I wanted to salvage for stuff like webcam, etc! I might try to out it into the phone and wire it to a USB cable!

    Thanks for the tip :)

    0
    azmejeff
    azmejeff

    1 year ago on Step 17

    Please please please don't do this to an OLD phone! Phones from before WWII, whether plastic, metal, or wood, are rather rare, highly valued by collectors, and often have significant monetary value, If you want to "repurpose" a relatively new plastic phone, as shown in this article, then go for it. Knock yourself out. But an old phone? Put it up on eBay if nothing else. Save that little piece of history. Thanks.

    0
    Dubchinsky
    Dubchinsky

    Reply 1 year ago

    okay, thanks for your tip! this phone is from the 80s, so do not worry ;)

    0
    Lennerton
    Lennerton

    1 year ago

    This lamp is OFF THE HOOK! Clever and very well done.
    Any thoughts about making the cradle hook switch posts the on/off switch?