Lighted Liquor Bottle Display Base




Introduction: Lighted Liquor Bottle Display Base

I had been making those cute liquor bottles filled with the battery operated LED's and everyone loved them.Then one of my friends challenged me to make a lighted bottle with liquor in it. This is what I came up with. It's very simple in operation, you set a bottle of liquor on the base and it will light up. When you remove the bottle, the light will go out. Well, we might as well get started.............

Step 1: Decide on Your Design

Michael's has a large assortment of wooden plaques. Here's some of them with various bottles on them. I decided to use the square one for my project.

Step 2: Let's Gather Up Some Parts...

For the light, I am using 1 watt led bulbs that run on 3.2 to 3.4 volts at 300mA. I already had those and heat sinks left from some undercabinet lights that I was making. I raided my old electronics kit from school for resistors. The micro momentary contact switch came from electronic goldmine. I purchased the wooden plaque and 1" wooden disk from Michael's, plus I had to find an old ink pen that I could rob the spring out of.

Step 3: Got to Raid the Toolbox Now...

This project didn't require many tools. I used a drill and various size drill bits, pliers, knife, soldering iron and solder, thermal epoxy, gorilla glue, and wood sealer. Now comes the fun part, lets make something!

Step 4: Attach the Led to the Heat Sink

I used thermal epoxy that I purchased from Amazon, then I soldered the connections. Make sure you get the positive and negative right because the led won't light if wired backwards. If you don't have thermal epoxy, regular heat sink compound would work.

Step 5: Measure and Drill the First Hole.

I measured from corner to corner to find the center. For this hole, I used a 7/8 Forstner bit,drilling a little at a time until the hole was deep enough to drop the led into.

Step 6: Measure Hole for Switch and Drill Hole for Button

I started out by measuring the bottoms of a couple of liquor bottles. I wanted to get an average a larger variety of bottles would work on lit. The value that I came up with was 2 3/4" so I measured 1 3/8 from the center hole towards one of the corners. I started drilling with a 1 " Forstner drill bit. Drill a little at a time checking with the wooden disk to see when it sits just below flush.

Step 7: Drilling Hole for the Switch

Now that the hole has been drilled for the button, it is time to drill one for the switch. I used a 3/4 Forstner bit to drill in the center of the 1" hole. Drill a little at a time checking with the switch to see when the lever is at the lip that the button will rest on. Not quite deep enough. Be careful not to drill too deep

Step 8: Drilling Holes for Wiring

I marked where I wanted to drill next.I needed to go from the switch to the outside for the power cord. The size drill bit will depend on what size the power cord is. Then I had to drill 2 angled holes from the bulb to the switch. Then I flipped the plaque over and drilled from the bottom to connect the 2 holes. This gave me room to run the wiring. I ran the wire through the first hole.

Step 9: Check the Power Supply

I never take it for granted that the label on a power supply is correct, so I always check the voltage with an electrical meter. This was supposed to output 5 volts. It was very close at 5.05. Make a note of which wire is negative so you connect the led correctly.

Step 10: Assemble the Button

I removed the spring from the ink pen. Using a pair of wire cutters, I cut it in half. Then I took a drill bit the diameter of the spring and drilled 2 small holes in the 1" disk being careful not to drill all of the way through it. I used 2 drops of gorilla glue to attach the springs to the disk. Make sure the holes are spaced where the springs will fit inside the 3/4 hole. I then used the same drill bit to drill 2 holes in the bottom of the 3/4 hole. Be careful not to drill all the way through. Let the springs dry checking occasionally to make sure the springs are still straight.

Step 11: Check the Circuit and Start Soldering

Now it was time for research. I got on the internet and searched for a led calculator. It asked for the incoming voltage, led voltage, and the led amperage. According to the calculator, I needed a 5.6 ohm resistor for the perfect match. I had a 10 ohm resistor, so I hooked it up and checked the voltage across the led. It was in an acceptable range. I started by feeding the wire into the base. I pulled the negative and positive apart and fed the negative into the bulb hole. Then I soldered one end of the resistor to the wire and the other to the negative on the led. I took a small piece of wire and soldered it to the positive on the led. I pulled the wires back through the hole going to the switch. I glued the heatsink to the wood with a drop of gorilla glue. Now, on to the switch.

Step 12: Solder the Switch

Once I reached this point, I realized that I should have soldered the wires on the switch first. The wire was so short that i had no room to work. I decided to improvise. I had a small butt splice that I cut in half. I used each half on the wires and switch connections using pliers to crimp them. Then, I heated it with the soldering iron and filled it with solder to make solid connections. Time to plug it in. It worked! I worked the switch into the bottom of the hole and tacked it down with a drop of gorilla glue. I also coated all electrical connections with conformal coating.

Step 13: Attach the Button

I used a drop of gorilla glue in the 2 holes in the bottom of the switch hole. I sat a bottle on the button to keep pressure on it while the glue was drying.

Step 14: Finishing Up

I decided not to stain the wood. I liked the grain on the plaque and didn't want to take away from it. I used a clear sealer to make it more durable. Hope that everyone enjoyed this project.

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    3 Discussions


    3 years ago

    This actually looks elegant, but I don't understand what kind of light you used. Please provide details.


    Reply 3 years ago

    It's a small 1 watt led mounted on a heat sink. There's a good picture of it in step 4. It's been so long that I don't remember where I got mine, but I did see some on eBay. Set of 10 for $6


    6 years ago on Introduction

    I'd be using this to display my favorite tequila, Corralejo. Very cool project, could easily be extended into a whole surface...I like it!