Mind Gear Lighted Wall Fixture




Introduction: Mind Gear Lighted Wall Fixture

About: An artist by birth, a software architect by choice, a lamp maker by passion, a learner forever. Featured Author here:)

Hello Instructables Lovers :-),

Recently I had to get my wrist watch repaired as it fell down from stairs. Guess what, it was a small misalignment of a watch gear, so the watch guy repaired it in front of me. He used a a small lamp to see details inside the watch  and while I was watching it with curiosity, I noticed how cool all those gears were looking as the light was peeking from gear teeth. There my friend sparked an idea of making something like what I call as Mind Gear Lighted Wall Fixture.

If you Google watch gears, you will know how i got the idea.

Luckily I had enough cardboard left after I made this Lamp.  So I decided to use that. Initially my idea was to only make something that shows gears but as I progressed,the idea of making it Mind Gear evolved.

So lets get started. 

Step 1: Required Stuff

You are going to need the following stuff to make this:
  1. 2 big cardboard sheets (Mine is 45x25 inches), you have to decide this size by yourself as it depends on the size of the fixture you want to make. Luckily I had a Triple wall sheet of that size.
  2. A heavy duty cutter.
  3. Some glue like Elmer's or Fevicol.
  4. 2 Toilet roll cardboard rolls.
  5. Acrylic colors metallic shades of Black(Keep 2 bottles of 15g at least), Silver, Gold and Copper.
  6. Acrylic medium for color density.
  7. A big geometrical compass or engineering compass, luckily I got a wooden one from the store which was big enough for me.
  8. OPTIONAL: Hot glue gun and sticks (I chose this to speed up gluing otherwise normal glue is sufficient).
  9. LED strip lights (about a 3-4 feet).
  10. Some electric wire
  11. Soldering Iron and other related stuff like wire and flux. (If you can get the soldering done at a local electrical store, you may not need it)
  12. Some painting brushes (I used size 6 and 12).  
  13. OPTIONAL : A drill and hole saw (If you can cut good holes in cardboard, you can leave it. I found it useful).
  14. A Pencil.
  15. An insulated tape.
  16. Some very basic drawing skill (I am not really very good at drawing).
  17. Our best friend patience for  all time support :-)
  18. Lots of drinking water to keep our mind gears hydrated ;-)
  19. Some green tea, chai or coffee would be a plus :-)
All set? Lets begin.

Step 2: Making the Gears

We would need 6 cardboard circles of different sizes for the gears as follows:
  1. 1 Circle of radius 6.5 inches (The bigger)
  2. 2 Circle of radius 5.5 inches (The medium)
  3. 1 Circle of radius 4.5 inches (The smaller)
  4. 1 Circle of radius 2.5 inches
You can also use this online tool to generate gear templates for you, it is a very good tool. This will save a lot of time. I don't have a printer and also my sizes were big for the template. So I chose to go by old school methods.

Once the circles are cut using our heavy duty cutter, lets play geometry:
  1. Draw an inner circle of radius 5.5 inches inside bigger circle.
  2. Draw an inner circle of radius 4.5 inches inside medium circle.
  3. Draw an inner circle of 3.5 inches inside the smaller circle.
To make a gear do as follows :
  1. Draw lines as shown in Image 1, see details in Image 2
  2. Cut the teeths (Image 3)
  3. Repeat this for medium and smaller circle
  4. End result is shown in Image 4. The circles smaller in size relative to each of three circles are just placed to show how we will be using them.

I could not find or think of any better ways to cut the gears using some geometrical formula, if you have a better method, please share in comments.

Now do as follows :

WARNING: When you are drilling a hole in cardboard using holesaw. Do not do it on floor, put a thick scrap wooden piece right below the cardboard where you need a hole. Failure to do so may break the drill bilt and may cause an injury as well.
  1. Using hole saw drill a hole in the center of all the 6 circles large enough to fit the toilet cardboard roll. (Image 5). I think it create a very neat hole.
  2. Also drill three holes in the bigger gear as shown in Image 7.
  3. If you cut the cardboard the way I had explained you, you will find that many small pieces of different sizes and shapes as byproduct. Glue 3 pieces on medium gear as shown in Image 6
  4. Paint the gears as Bigger (copper), Medium (gold) and smaller (silver). Let the arrangement dry. The outcome should look like Image 6.
  5. Once paint dry glue the circles we cut for padding at the back of each gear and let them dry. Make sure to match the hole in the middle. 

Lets make small rotary gears (I don't know what else to call them:) ) in next step. Now is also the good time to grab some tea or coffee :).

Step 3: Making the Small Rotary Gears

I thought it would be cool to have some small rotary gears so I decided to make these for each of the gears, this is how you will do it:
  1. Take two toilet roll cardboard.
  2. Cut them into half (Image 1)
  3. Take some scrap cardboard and cut 24 strips of size 1 inch (Image 2)
  4. Glue the arrangement as shown in Image 3.
  5. Make 3 such arrangements (Image 4). Let the glue dry.
  6. Paint them using Metallic Black (Image 5)
  7. The final result should be like Image 6.
Lets make the head of mind gears :) in the next step.

Step 4: Making the Head

Take big cardboard sheet and draw an outline of the face. (Try it its not difficult, I am not good at drawing either, and I do admit that the head looks like human looking aliens in the movie Prometheus.. ha ha, lets call it modern art:))

Cut the drawing nicely (Yes, this is the test of your hand skills) and paint it using using metallic black.

My sheet has many wounds :),but once they are painted, I think it added to the design.

See the image above for the outcome.

While the head is getting dried, lets make some arrangements to light up our gears in the next step.

Step 5: Adding Some Lights to the Gears

Do as follows to add some light to the gears:
  1. Cut the LED strip into 3 pieces. Cut them such that they can stick around the circle we used as padding for each gear respectively. (Image 1)
  2. Cut electric wire into 4 pieces of about 10 inch() and solder them with LED strip pieces to complete the circuit. We are doing this so that we can have an evenly looking light effect for all gears (Image 2). You should solder the wire starting from the longest strip to shortest. I realized after soldering that my wires were too long and created a mess. If soldering is too much for you, get it done at a local electrical store.
  3. Remove the sticker of LED strip and stick it behind the copper colored gear (Image 3).
  4. Similarly stick the strip in other two gears.
  5. Test to ensure that they are lighting up.
  6. Heat your hot glue gun (or use glue if can wait for the glue to dry) and cut a small cardboard strip and join the copper and silver gears. Join the gears as shown in Image 4. (Sorry forgot to take picture of the strip used for join).
  7. Using some insulated tape, organize the wire mess (Who cares if they are hidden nicely :-) ) behind the gears (You can avoid this by using small wires) Image 5.
  8. Using hot glue stick the golden gear on top of copper gear so that it covers one of its three holes. 
Great!! You are almost there. Lets attach the gears in the head in next step.

Step 6: Giving the Head Some Gears. Finally :)

I wanted to keep the two (the head and the gear separate), so that I can detach the gears and use them independently as well. So here is what I did.
  1. Insert the small rotary gears(we created in step 3)  in each of the gear, if the hole in the center is perfect then you don't need to glue it.
  2. Cut small piece of wire (about 10 inch), put it inside the gap where copper and golden gear overlaps, then insert both ends of the wire in the cardboard head (See image). Pull the wire from behind and bend so that it does not get loose.
  3. Also make a hole using some pointed object in the cardboard head right behind the gears to pass electric wire (See Image)
  4. Also create a wire loop and insert in the cardboard head. So that you can hang the head using it (Sorry no picture:( )..
  5. Hang it on the wall and light up.
Congratulations!! Your Mind Gear Lighted Wall Fixture is ready.

Thank you for visiting and reading this instructable. If you like it, please share and vote for me in the Lamps & Lighting and Up Contest. You can use the voting button on the top right of this page which starts to appear within 24 hours of publishing this instructbale. (Please come again if its not visible yet, really appreciate it.)

Many Thanks :)
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    11 Discussions


    7 years ago

    Too cool! Defiantly trying something similar to this for Father's Day this year!

    Tarun Upadhyaya
    Tarun Upadhyaya

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks. Go head and let me know, should you need any help. Also please share a picture of your work.


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Good job Tarun! Awesome how you can be inspired by something like someone fixing your watch! My son and I were at a garage sale last summer and I found a little kit which had super tiny tools and I was fascinated by those - they were for watch repair! :) This looks very cool - I love it! The giant cup of coffee is funny too!

    Tarun Upadhyaya
    Tarun Upadhyaya

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    Thank you for the kinds words Holly:)
    One can be inspired by almost anything :). I believe learning should be fun, so I try to add little humor to my iBles. :)
    You have a great weekend :)

    Shubh V
    Shubh V

    7 years ago on Introduction

    Woow!! Absolutely fabulous piece of modern art. Found it very interesting too.


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks so much for sharing this! I may try making something like this using your idea! I wish you the best in the contest!

    Tarun Upadhyaya
    Tarun Upadhyaya

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    Thank you so much sunshiine for the kind words. Go ahead and please let me know if I can help you with anything.