Today I'm going to show you how to make a steampunk pipe lamp! This lamp has a water valve light switch and a charging port for your phone. In this tutorial I will show you how to turn your water valve into a switch and how to attach your switch to the rest of your lamp.
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Step 1: TURNING YOUR VALVE INTO a SWITCH
The first thing you need is a water valve. There are two common types of valves, gate valves and plunging valves. For this project, we need a gate valve (see video for details). Once you've got your valve, use a wrench (you might need a torch to heat it) to take it apart. Take off the flat/round piece and leave the t-pipe portion aside.
Then take your rotary switch and feed it though the 1"t-pipe with a 1"-3/4" hex. Using 1.5" of clear vinyl tubing (1/4" ID 3/8" OD), press the tubing over the tip of the rotary switch and then push the tip of the valve in the other end of the vinyl tubing to attach the two pieces.
Once you have your rotary switch attached to your valve, place some JB Weld on the threaded part of the valve/hex pipe to hold the valve in place. Also place some JB Weld on the bottom of the rotary switch so it stays firmly in place inside the t-pipe.
Step 2: CONNECTING YOUR SWITCH TO THE REST OF THE LAMP
Here is a diagram of how your wiring should look. I found it confusing, until I drew it out and you can see that it’s really quite simple. Take a good look at, or come back to this diagram if you need to!
Once you've made your water valve light switch, make it so that one wire from the rotary switch sticks out on either end of the t-pipe.
Then feed your lamp wire through the flange and 1"x2" nipple pipe. Once you feel them through, split the wires at the end. I decided to use the wire from an old toaster oven, so that third green wire you see in the video is just a grounding wire that will sit under the base when I’m done.
Using crimp & shrimp connectors, I spliced one wire from my lamp cord to one wire from the rotary switch and used a heat gun to activate the glue.
Then I fed string through my pipe pieces in the desired order and glued them together using loctite. I used string rather than the wire itself to prevent the wire from possibly getting twisted while connecting the pieces of pipe.
I used 16 gauge primary wire and spliced it to my rotary switch. Then I spliced a separate piece of primary wire to the other wire on my lamp/toaster oven cord.
Then I taped both strands of wire to the string and pulled it through the pipes.
Then I connected my wires to the socket. My wires ended up being too long though, so I has to shorten the wires coming from my socket.
Step 5: THE BASE
I used a piece of live edge that I had for the base. I used a 1 1/4” spade bit to make a hole big enough for my plug on my lamp cord to fit through, and then drilled the four holes for the flange part of my base.
Then I flipped the base over and routed a straight line from the large hole to the end of the base to that my cord would sit flat on the bottom.
As an afterthought, I decided to add a phone charging port to the base. Click here to see how I added a charging port to my pipe lamp.