My wife came home the other day with an old paraffin lantern that she had found at the local Op Shop. Now this thing hadn't worked in many moons and she wanted me to "get the thing started" so instead of trying to fix something that was clearly never going to burn a wick again, I decided to "electrify" the old lantern and bring it into the 21st century.
Pretty simple instructable really but the end result looks great and now I never have to fill it up with paraffin to keep it going!
Step 1: Parts and Tools
You will need the following parts to make your Electric Lantern:
1) Paraffin Lantern
this can be any old lamp as long as it is big enough to hold a globe.
2) The light socket and power cord from an electric lamp.
I used a lamp with an on/off swich attached to the cord for easy access.
3) Plastic cable ties
I used the following tools but just use whatever you have that will do the job
2) Needle nose pliers
4) Stanley knife
5) Hot glue gun
Step 2: Pulling Apart Your Electric Lamp
Electric lamps are pretty easy to pull apart - just unscrew the light socket from the lamps body and the power cord and light socket should just come out as one peice.
Or - you can always just smash it out!
The first lamp that I pulled apart had a really large light socket which didn't fit into the parrafin lamp. I was lucky enough to have another old one sitting around so I used the light socket from this one and the power cord from the other.
Step 3: Pulling Apart the Paraffin Lantern
These lantern are usually only made from tin (the one I have is anyway) so they are easy to manipulate and pull apart.
1) Take out the glass and remove the cage that the glass sits in from the main body of the lantern. This should come off easily with some pliers.
2) Next get your dremmel and remove the centre peice that holds the wick in place.
3) Once this is removed you can jimmy open the surround which is joined to the main body by a couple of tags. Make sure you don't break these as you need to put it back later on.
4) inside the main body of the lantern you will see the main wick holder - remove this.
Step 4: Making Room for Your Light Socket
Once you can see into your lantern you will notice that there is another, smaller tank inside which holds the parrafin. this will have to be cut away or grinded back before the light socket will fit.
1) I first used a dremmel to try an make the whole bigger.
2) I soon got impatient with this so I just grabbed the paraffin tank with my pliers and twisted the tin. It ripped easily and I was able to make a big enough hole for the socket.
3) The light socket should fit snuggly into the lantern.
Step 5: Adding the Power Cord
You can add the power cord any way and any where you want. I wanted to hang my lantern so I made sure that it came out from the top. If your lantern is going to be on a table then you could easliy have the cord coming from the base.
1) Drill a hole through the top of one of the arms - this is where your power cord will come out of.
2) Make sure that there is enough clearence at the other end of the arm which is in the base of the lantern. I had to bend the paraffin tank back some more to enable the cord to come through.
3) If you can't thread the power cord through, heat up the end of some wire and poke it through the end of the cord. Thread the wire down the hole and it should come out through the other end easier. It's then just a case of pulling the cord through.
Step 6: Wiring Up and Construction
1) Once your wire is through the arm, wire-up the socket to the end of the wire.
2) I cut a groove through the plastic screw cap which goes onto the end of the light socket so the cord would sit flat in the lantern.
3) Put the light socket into the lantern and make sure that it is sitting straight. Glue in with some hot glue.
4) Replace the surround that you pried out in step 3. I had to cut away some of the glue before it would fit.
5) Before you replace the cage that the glass fits into, you need to widen the middle of it so the globe can fit into it. I just used my dremmel for this.
6) Getting the globe in was a little tricky but it went in eventually.
Step 7: The Final Bits and Considerations
Now that you have everything together, it's just a matter of using some cable ties to secure the cord along the handle of the lantern. I used the electric cable itself to hang the lamp, once the cables are on there's no danger of it pulling it out of the light socket.
- You could easily rig this up with a solar light such as the ones you use in your garden.
- What about adding one of those candle globes that flicker?
- You could add a sensor so it turns on as soon as someone approaches.
If you make your own, please make sure that you post a picture of the final product in the comments section.
Thanks for reading - and happy making.