Hello and welcome to my very first instruction (with hopefully more coming in the future).
I want to present a little project I created as a birthday present, done in about a day and despite the design being quite simple pretty impressive when accomplished.
Step 1: Step 1: Tools & Materials
These are just the components I used, feel free to vary to suit your needs:
- Sheet of 5mm thick "Acrylic Glass", frosted
- 30mm thick piece of wood
- thin sheet of aluminium
- 12V/3,6W Plug in Power Supply (Location Germany, take care of varying line voltages in other countries)
- fitting jack (5mm in my case)
- 3-way switch
- 10cm LED strap (6 smd-led, 12V)
- Candle LED
- Bench Saw
- Soldering iron
Step 2: Step 2: Creating the Case
Creating the box is actually fairly simple, the main danger is getting your measurements wrong:
First of all, decide on which size your box shall be and cut out the surrounding walls and the cap from your sheet of acryl. Turn the saw blade by 45° to achieve the bevel on the edges, otherwise it won't fit smoothly together.
Be sure to use proper safety equipment, the shavings will get absolutely everywhere (including, eyes, nose, shirt...)
After that, get some appropriate glue and put the parts together.
For the base, get some wood and cut out a square. (Mine was about 12x12cm)
Lower the blade to about 5mm und slide the upside of your wood block across. Use the external dimensions as a starting point and work step by step (I used pieces of paper for minimal, controllable differences) until the walls fit smoothly into the indentation. Always work from the out- to the inside, as minor mistakes (e.g. gap too wide) won't be visible from the outside and thus won't matter.
Now make sure to make room for the electronics:
Use a drill to bore a tunnel about 3cm deep for the jack as well as for the switch. These tunnels are for the cables, make sure to connect them to the inside of the square by using a smaller drill.
Make sure to sand down the whole thing using sand paper. This step isn't mandatory but creates a much smoother surface. Also you might want to add some kind of wood oil or varnish before installing the rest.
Step 3: Step 3: Electronics
Now to the most important part, the soldering.
At this step I had help from a good friend of mine, whose knowledge of electric curcuits is way more advanced than mine. Nonetheless, hooking the whole thing up is not too complicated, as only the candle LED needed a resistor to work properly. Make sure to use the right ones for your utilized LEDs.
Don't forget to test everything!
After everything is hooked up and running glue everything in place with hot glue.
To hold the jack and the switch in place I used a thin piece of aluminium, clamped with screws. I applied these on the other sides as well, but feel free to experiment in your design. (I used a wire brush on the alu, creates a nice "finished" surface).
Little note regarding the candle LED: due to the electronics controlling the flickering, the diode was a bit off, resulting in shadows being cast on the case. I used a piece of plastic to correct the refraction to get a much smoother light.
Step 4: Step 4: Finish
Congratulations! Enjoy your new mood lamp.
Feel free to contact me if there are any questions.
Have fun building!