Introduction: Wooden Coil Spring Lamp
This is my submission into the "Glow Contest".
I'm a laser guy so this is my concept for a decorative laser cut lamp that stands out from the rest I have seen out there. I was initially inspired by the "Heng Lamp" which a really cool lamp that flips a switch by the using the force of two attracted magnets that are place in a location that is both functional yet appealing to the eye.
Kudos to this guy for some initial inspiration: https://www.instructables.com/id/DIY-Heng-Lamp/)
1/8 Baltic Birch
25T85 Style micro switch or similar
USB Cable and USB wall socket
0.030" x 24" x 47" natural polypropylene matte/matte (Light Diffuser)
5V LED tape
Step 1: Draw It Up in Fusion 360
Fusion 360 is my go-to for 3D modeling and it works excellent for generating flat DXF patterns which are needed to convert to SVG for laser cutting in my Glowforge. SVGs are attached in the final step.
You don't need to do that because I have uploaded the files you will need to complete this project, but it's interesting to know where these things come from.
Step 2: Cut and Glue Segments
I cut 10 segments out of 1/8th inch Baltic Birch Plywood using my Glowforge laser Cutter; however, any brand will do. If you don't have access to one personally I recommend looking into maker spaces to satisfy your laser needs. I buy my plywood at "woodcraft". Note that I put blue painters on my wood before cutting to prevent staining from the soot/smoke during cutting and note that all my segments are butt jointed together with super glue.
You could fairly easily edit my file to include more tounge and groove like connections which will make things slightly easier during assembly; however, I was trying my best to avoid the "laser cut look".
Step 3: Construct Magnet Holder
Next build a Magnet Holder by laser cutting several disks. You could greatly simplify this by using eye hooks, but I wanted a very discrete way to suspend the cylinders and did not want to see any hardware that would distract the eye. My cylinder is essentially a small case locking lid mechanism. This cylinder is 100% scale-able regarding the diameter so it's extremely easy to modify the height/size/etc. The fishing line can be threaded into the center hole and held in place by tying something to the end of the beneath the cap. The magnets shown in the picture are glued to the bottom of inside of the case.
Step 4: Stain Wood
Stain your coil lamp parts with any color wood stain of your choice. Probably a good idea to seal with a polyurethane type product after as well. Pro tip if you want to save yourself some heartache you can choose to stain BEFORE laser cutting, just use painters tape as I said to prevent staining.
Step 5: Install and Wire LEDs
Begin glueing your segments (I used super glue) together while incrementally attaching your led tape (mine had a sticky back). I further tacked on the tape with beads of superglue in case the stickyness of the LED tape failed over time (the cheaper LED tape certainly will). You'll want to use very flexible wire here...I used stiff wire at first and found that as I move it to solder my connections the LED tape pulled up. You will want to solder as you go because you will that it will be exponentially more difficult if you wait as you glue more and more segments together.
I have designed the input and output wire pass-thru slots to perfect align to each out so the proportions are aesthetically pleasing when things are lit up.
Step 6: Attach Light Diffusers
Next we're going to glue on our matte finish polypropylene sheet. The pictures here just show a prototype segment; however, you would have several segments glued together at this point as you would need access to the get the led tape installed in the previous step. Polypropylene is pretty melty in a laser cutter so I decided it would be simpler to cut this out with scissors. I figured a rectangle wouldn't be too hard. I went with super glue again, but found the it didn't leave the most ideal look as you could still see. One of those things that's not really noticeable from a distance, but would find something better or look into some sort of trim if I did it again.
Step 7: Install and Wire Micro Switch
Install the micro switch arm directly beneath the pinhole in the base plate. Strip your USB cable and solder it to the mircro switch as shown. You want to wire it so the light turn ON when the fishing line is pulled. The other end of the USB can simply plug in to a spare phone charging wall plug
Step 8: Final Assembly and Closing Thoughts
Finally you will glue the spring assembly onto the base plate. The base is simply 4 more segments (each segment is 90 degrees) glued together with the base plate glued on top. The base plate does have a wire output hole that feeds into the first coil segment. An after thought on my part was that I did not design in a port for the USB cable and had to cut that by hand which was not ideal.
-It would be super easy to take this a step farther and get an ardruino with some RGBs LED tape install.
-Keep in mind things are pretty scale-able one you get your head around what's going on. Want it taller? Add more segments. Smaller diameter? Scale things down a bit, just keep in mind the light needs some travel to diffuse properly.
I have attached the necessary SVG files here.
Please leave a comment, show me a picture of your build and shoot me a vote!
Thanks for looking, WAM
Second Prize in the
Make it Glow Contest