Everyone knows that monsters spawn in the dark.
Keep your home safe with this simple, mancave-suitable rendition of the most valuable resource known to Steve: the torch.
Step 1: Materials
- flathead screwdrivers
- masking tape
- wood-cutting tool of choice (hacksaw/jigsaw/circular saw/bandsaw, etc.)
- PVA/wood glue
- wood files
- sandpaper, sanding block
- wooden mallet
- Dremel or equivalent multi-tool
- power drill, drill bits
- tin snips
- hot glue gun
- four 25 x 25 mm hardwood garden stakes (or anything that can result in a 50 x 50 mm length of wood)
(I used the dimensions of the official plastic Minecraft torch, which was about an inch per pixel)
- small-to-medium sized light bulb (incandescent/"warm" ones have the best effect)
- wood stain of choice
- small amount of acrylic paint/paint marker
- cheap IKEA lamp (I used the Lagra, which was $4.99), this provides:
- - light bulb holder
- - cable
- - on/off switch
Step 2: Dismantle IKEA Lamp
Be careful with how much pressure you apply when prying stuff apart, as one slip could lose you a few hearts.
You'll need to extract the light bulb socket, the cable and the on/off switch.
Put away the spare parts for future projects (like holding up some Poke-baubles while they dry)
It helps to separate the light fitting from the switch - prying open the switch enclosure and undoing the connection was all it took for this lamp.
Step 3: Cutting Wood
Steve from the game uses his bare hands to do this, but we have the luxury of an amazing invention called a saw.
To ensure you get a straight cut, tightly wrap masking tape around the four 25 x 25 mm garden stakes and mark out a 202 mm length. The finished product will be 200 mm long, but the extra material gives you room for error.
Saw on the outside of the line.
(If you already have a piece of wood in mind, e.g. an old table leg, go ahead and use it. The best part of interpreting things into real life is the infinite variety it allows. Post yours in the comments if you decide to tackle this project.)
Step 4: Shaping the Insides
a. Dry-fit the stakes together in a square bundle, ensuring they fit together cleanly.
When doing this, consider any imperfections in the wood you may want to hide on the inside, such as damaged edges.
b. Number each inner face as a reference, and mark the top and bottom of the bundle with the size of the cavity you need for the cable and light fitting.
Refer to the diagram for my measurements!
c. Take the bundle apart and score a line along both inner faces of each stake (corresponding to the circle you drew on the top and bottom surfaces).
Chisel off the resulting corner.
d. Repeat this process for the larger cavity, but stop at ~50mm deep.
Make sure you see how well the socket fits before you start gluing.
You will probably have to reshape it.
Step 5: Glue Stakes Together
a. Be liberal with the PVA here, you want to ensure a good bond is made.
A squiggly line of glue across the surface usually works well.
b. Hold it together for a minute to allow the glue to sink in, then wipe off the excess glue with a damp cloth.
Wrap it tightly with masking tape and clamp if it feels necessary.
c. Wait overnight for the glue to cure.
Step 6: Cleaning Up
File and sand the wood so each surface is flat and smooth.
Make sure to check the top and bottom for squareness - rocky surfaces may be good for Steve, but not for us.
While you're at it, clean up the large cavity using a Dremel.
Step 7: Shaping Wire Mesh
Decide on the orientation of the wire mesh and shape it with pliers, etc.
You can add a personal touch when it comes to the "lampshade".*
Mark a spot in the least attractive side of the torch for the cable to pass through.
Keep it close to the base of the torch.
Place a piece of masking tape on the side of the wire mesh that corresponds to the torch side that will have a hole in it.
*My initial idea was to create a translucent enclosure from acrylic or use an existing plastic cube.
However, the wire mesh method is much easier to achieve and looks very "designer furniture" (i.e. something you can make yourself, but is sold in-store for 200 bucks).
If you used mesh with 1-inch square spaces, it would have a more distinct Minecraft look.
Step 8: The Boring Part
a. Use increasingly larger drill bits on the mark you made until you think the side-hole is big enough.
b. Apply paint on the bottom of each spoke of your wire mesh.
Press it down on the top of the torch so the paint dots indicate where you should drill.
Drill the holes and dry-fit it to determine if any holes need fixing.
Step 9: Staining
Using your stain of choice, follow the directions and stain your torch.
I wanted a dark-ish colour, so I brushed two layers onto the wood.
Step 10: Install Electronics
Thread the cable through the top of the torch and, using needlenose pliers, pull them through the side-hole.
You can glue the light socket in place if you want.
Reattach the cable to the switch. Make sure the enclosure is closed as it was originally.
You don't want any nasty shocks.
When everything is 100% safe, test the light.
Step 11: Install Wire Cage
Glue the wire mesh into the top of the torch (in the holes you drilled earlier).
I found it easiest to dip each "leg" in PVA and insert the entire thing at once.
Remember to match the masking tape with the side that has a hole.
Step 12: Place Torch
Select the torch on your hot-bar and right-click to place it.
(This model is unable to be placed on the wall, but it's not too difficult to convert [see diagram])
So long, monsters!
Step 13: Bonus: DIY Wood Stain
Here are some Instructables that discuss alternative wood staining processes in detail - keep in mind the type of wood you are using, and test your chosen method on a scrap piece so you don't end up with a completely black Minecraft torch like I did (I had to start over).
Mikeasaurus's Tea staining
Chiok's Introduction to Wood Staining