DIY Spinning Bike Wheel Lamp

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I was given a small wheel and thought I'd attempt to make something out of it.. a lamp wasn't the most obvious option, but I had more use for a lamp than a really really small bike. It's not the most complicated construction in the world, but it was awkward to build at times so hopefully this guide will help if you ever decide to build something similar.

The exact parts list may be difficult to find so where possible I've given both my exact steps, and more general instructions to make things more useful. Hope you enjoy reading/making this and if you have any questions please let me know.

Step 1: Tools and Parts

Tools:

  • Screwdrivers
  • Saw
  • Wire Cutters / strippers
  • Pliers
  • Clamp or similar
  • Scissors
  • Files (large and small)
  • Glue / Tape

Recommended:

  • Gloves for the cable cutting
  • A drill would be very useful but you could maybe manage without one if you find a base with a hole in it

Parts:

* This list gives the exact parts I have in the final design, but it should be easy to find alternatives and finish up with something similar.

  • 1 Wheel............................................... 30cm diameter, 1cm hole in center, 20 spokes (10 /side)
  • 1 Circle base....................................... 18cm diameter, 3cm height
  • 1 Pole.................................................... hollow, diameter ~1cm, length ~50cm
  • 1 Cable.................................................. 3mm diameter, length ~4m
  • 10 Fasteners for cable ends.......... 5mm
  • 1 Wire................................................... strong enough to bend into the lampshade, ~1.4m
  • 2 Hose clamps................................... 1 x 2.5cm, 1 x 5cm diameter
  • 1 Plug / Switch ................................. see image
  • 1 Bulb/ Socket.................................... 7W LED, warm light + screw terminal
  • 4 Screws and nuts............................ 4x16mm
  • Material to make lampshade.......... tracing paper ~ 20x60cm
  • Spinning top and "cap".................... see further down or get creative for this part
  • Acrylic/Plastic sheet.......................... ~10cm2 ~3mm thick

Step 2: Wheel Prep

1) Remove the pin that goes through the centre of the hub (middle part of the wheel) to allow the pole to go here instead. Unscrew the nut holding the pin in place and take it out. You might have to clean the wheel a bit here since it will probably have oil inside.

2) Remove all the spokes that attach to one side of the hub. Basically, every other spoke needs to be unscrewed as circled in the picture

Step 3: Center Pole

1) Cut the pole to be 44cm

2) Cut a hole [1cm tall and 0.5cm wide]in the pole at a height of 35cm. The cable will come through this hole to the bulb socket.

3) Cut an arch [1cm tall and 0.5cm wide] in the bottom of the pole. This part will go into the base and the cable will go through the arch under the base.

IMPORTANT: Make sure the holes are filed or sanded well since the electric cable will go through these parts. If they are not smooth the cable could get cut.

Step 4: Base

I bought a round wooden base from a hardware shop. If you can't find one you can try to cut one yourself, or use a square block, just make sure it is wide enough to be stable when the pole is attached.

1) Drill a hole in the centre of the base. My pole was 1cm in diameter so I made the hole slightly less than this. That way it will not be loose and wobble when the wheel spins later on.

2) Cut out a track on the bottom of the base. The power cable will go in this track so make sure it is deep enough that it does not stick out, if it does the base will wobble. I cut in a "V" shape then filed down until it was deep enough.

3) Put the pole into the base. Make sure to line up the arch with the track so the cable can get through. If it is not completely steady, put some glue around.

4) Put the wheel over the pole. I preferred when the side of the hub without spokes faced down, but its up to you.

Step 5: Spinner

It was difficult to find a part that would suit for this. In the end I got a swivelling wheel that you find on the bottom of furniture, broke off all the plastic, and used the remaining metal part. I've included pictures of this and I think it is the best solution, but if you think of something better let me know.

1) Break plastic off wheel and keep the metal part. The long part will go into the centre pole and spin freely.

Step 6: Height Finding and Cables

Before cutting the cables it is a good idea to test what height works for your setup.

1) Place spinning top into pole.

2) Tie string to the wheel (through the holes made in step 3 where the spokes used to go)

3) Put the other end of the sting through the holes on the spinning top. You only need a couple of strings since this is just to test the height.

4) Secure the strings at the top with a clamp as shown, then adjust the lengths of the strings until you find a height that works for your setup. I found that it looked good when the bottom of the hub sat 4cm off the base. Remember that the light bulb will come through the hole in the pole, so make sure the wheel is low enough that the bulb will not touch the wheel!

5) Measure the length of string from the wheel up to the clamp. This length +1cm is the length of cable you will cut in number 6. (The added 1cm helps us position the hose clamp later on)

6) Cut 10* pieces of cable the length you found in step 5. *10 for my setup since there 10 holes on my wheel.

****** This is the part where you should probably wear gloves.. I managed without, but got blood all over myself and the lamp (and it hurt) ******

Step 7: Electronics and Attaching Bulb

In my final design I decided to use the unnecessarily large white switch you see in the picture above because I thought it looked cool. For this I had to do some wiring myself, but there are complete plug + switch + wire sets you can buy (for example the one I put in the parts list). In these instructions I'm going to explain that second option.

1) Push the wire up through the pole and take it out the hole cut in step 4. Make sure there is enough wire through the hole to connect and position the bulb. About 6cm should be fine.

2) Tape/Glue the other end of the wire into the track cut underneath the base.

3) Strip about 1cm of wire and connect this into the screw terminals of the bulb socket. This youtube video will help if you don't know how to connect a bulb (useful part 0:30 - 2:10).

4) Secure the bulb socket onto the pole using the hose clamp.

5) Screw in bulb and test.

After testing, unplug from the wall and set everything made so far to the side. Next we will make the part that spins.

Step 8: Cap

For the cap I used a bulb socket that looked like it could be useful. I hollowed out the inside and drilled holes in the sides. If you have access to a 3D printer you could make something better, but if not get creative.

Whatever you find, basically make sure there are 3 things:

  • Enough room inside it to hide the tops of the wires that will be held here.
  • A way to screw into the bottom piece (explained in next step). The bulb socket I found conveniently had two 4mm screw holes in it.
  • Drill the same number of holes in the cap as there are holes in the wheel (the holes you made from step 3 when you took out half the spokes - for me this was 10). Make sure they are evenly spaced so the cables line up to the wheel later.

Step 9: Spinner and Bottom of Cap

Here we assemble the part which will sit on top of the pole and hold the cables attached to the wheel.

1) Draw a circle on the acrylic the same size as the top of the cap from the previous step. For me diameter 7cm.

2) Place top of cap onto the circle an mark holes for drilling.

3) Place the metal spinner in the centre of the circle and mark points for drilling.

4) Drill holes for screws and cut.

6) Screw metal spinner into the cut out circle piece. Best to put the screws pointing upwards so they don't poke out the bottom.

7) Screw the piece from point 6 into the top part of the cap from the previous step. An example of that this should look like is shown below (ignore the cables coming out if it for now, we'll cover that in the next step)

Step 10: Attach Cables to Completed Cap

1) Put the 10 cables through the holes of the cap. Tape them up to make it easier to handle. This will give the squid-looking thing below.

2) Bind the 10 cables together in the 2.5cm hose clamp. Screw the clamp as tight as possible and put it as far up the cables as possible.

3) Un-tape the cables and place the now-more-octopus-than-squid-looking part on top of the pole. At this point I put yellow tape over the top cause the cables were sharp. Later we will make a more complete top, but this will do for now.

Now we will set these pieces to the side and move on to create the lampshade.

Step 11: Lampshade Frame and Cover

There are other ways to do this part, including just buying a pre made lampshade, but here we'll make one by bending wire.

1) Take measurements of the setup you have. The lampshade should cover all of the bulb, but not hit the cables when the lamp spins. To find out what works you can draw it roughly as seen in the following picture. For my measurements a cone (well actually frustum) of height 23cm, top diameter of 4cm, bottom diameter 15cm worked.

2) Bend wire for the frame into shape. The shape to hold the lampshade can be made from one piece of wire. Follow the instructions in the pictures by bending the wire back on itself, around in a circle, up and across, down, and around the bottom circle to complete the shape.

3) Cut a cone from the tracing paper and glue into shape. The outline for this can be seen in the left picture below. If you have different dimensions to me and don't want to do any calculations yourself, you can use this online cone calculator. After cutting it out, glue it closed.

4) Place the cone over the frame to make sure it fits well.

5) Remove the paper cone, open the frame, and put the frame onto the pole. Opening the frame basically means making it look like this.

6) Glue / Tape the top of the frame to the pole at an appropriate height, then close the frame again. For me that meant the top of the frame was 4cm below the top of the pole. To make the connection better, I cut a small notch in the pole to push the wire into before taping over it.

Step 12: Attaching Cables to the Wheel

Now that the bulb and frame are attached to the pole, the cables can begin to be put through the holes of the wheel.

**In the first picture above I have left the lampshade off to make things easier to see, but you should put it on before you start to fasten any of the cables **

1) Bend the cables down and put them through the holes in the wheel. Secure the cable ends with the fasteners.

2) When all 10 cables are fastened into the wheel you can paint them (and anything else like the base, pole etc) white. It's good to cover the lampshade when doing this so it doesn't get covered in paint.

3) Cut a circle of Acrylic out to fit the top of the cap. Glue this piece down and you're done!

Step 13: Completed Lamp

Thanks for making it this far - I hope you enjoyed / understood / learned something from the instructable. If you have a go at making the lamp then please share the results cause I'd love to see how it turns out!

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