Here is an instructable I have been wanting to do for quite some time now, hope you enjoy it.
Here I'll show you how to prepare or rather remove the insides of a fused filament bulb and retain the bulb along with the holder attached. The holder makes it safer and easier to handle the bulb for further use.
1. Fused Bulb (bayonet type holder)
2. Pair of pliers (handles preferably without pvc cover)
3. Pointed screwdriver bit or punch (optional)
4. Safety goggles
Instructables is a great place to start for putting the prepared bulb(s) to use. A few examples that come to mind are, use as a beaker, small flower pot, flower vase, convex lens, chandelier, LED bulb, tadpole aquarium, mosquito larvae incubator (the bulb filled with water magnifies the larvae inside, great science project for kids) etc. Of course I would like to hear what you did with yours.
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Step 1: Removing the Bayonets
The first step is to remove the bayonets or little pins sticking out of the bulb holder. Carefully and firmly hold the pins with the plier and pull, you shold have two holes left where the pins were. These are great for hanging the bulb later, if required, depending on what you want to do with the bulb.
Step 2: Breaking and Entry
The next step is the hardest, most dangerous and requiring an equal amount of patience. I hope you have remembered to put on the safety goggles.
Now, the resin in the bulb holder is very hard and brittle and splinters with very sharp edges, so be very very careful here. After doing this many times, I still managed to prick my finger.
To remove the contact pads, place the jaws of the plier on either side of the pad and give it a twist. If you try to grab the contact pad the plier will just slip off (thats unsafe). You might have to give this a few tries before getting a hang of it.
Once the contact pads have been removed, dispose of them appropriately, do NOT swallow or make jewellery out of them (solder=40% lead!!, 60% tin is not considered a precious metal).
Next, use the handle of the plier or some other similar object and tap the resin carefully. The resin will crack and splinter with very sharp edges and go flying around in all directions. DO NOT walk bare feet while doing this and sweep the floor before proceeding to the next step. DO NOT use your bare fingers to grab loose pieces of the resin from the aluminium cap. Lay an old newspaper below the work area to collect the pieces.
Since I can not predict how your resin will crack you have to keep tapping at it carefully till the pieces break and fall off the aluminium cap. You may need to poke a pointed screwdriver into the holes left behind by the contact pads and give a small twist to loosen the resin.
Step 3: Remove Vacuum Seal
If the previous step went well you are now left with just the glass bulb (intact) attached to the aluminium holder.
Now we have to release the vacuum inside the bulb to make it safe to break the glass stem in the next step. Sometimes while removing the resin the vacuum seal might break, if not then carefully break the seal with the pliers and with the bulb facing away from your face.
To break the seal hold the tip of the glass tube (seal) between the jaws of the plier and just crush the tip of the glass. This will release the vacuum inside the bulb, or are they filled with some gas? doesn't matter anyway.
Step 4: Almost Done
Break off the glass tube (seal) completely then use the handle of the plier to carefully poke the base of the fillament holder till it breaks as shown in the pictures. Break off some of the remaining glass at the edges, small pieces at a time. Be careful not to crack the entire bulb.
Use a file to remove any sharp edges that might remain. My plier has a chequered design on the handle for better grip which I use as a file in this case. As usual be careful and do not let any glass pieces get into your eyes or face.
Pour out the glass pieces from inside the bulb, you can use a nose plier to break the filament holder into smaller pieces so that it is easier to remove or just shake the bulb till it comes out. This is probably the only time in this instructable you need to use your imagination :-)
DO NOT put any of your fingers into the glass bulb !!
Step 5: All Done
Last but not the least, wash and dry the bulbs to remove any remaining glass pieces.
OK I might have been wrong about using your imagination earlier, you can give it another try now that the bulbs are ready to use for your next instructable.
I did try to use the remaining filament as a battery powered cigarette lighter but it was no good and neither is smoking.