The base for this project was in a box of old boat stuff and was the inspiration for this light. You could make a similar base using .060 copper sheet, notching the corners, forming the copper over a piece of wood and soldering the corners. It might even look cool to just make a 1" cut at each corner then form the base and lap the "flap" over the corner and then solder it up.
Step 1: Whatcha Gonna Need
50 pcs. .250" thick X 3" square.
One (1) copper base 3.625" square X 1" deep.
One (1) 110V AC to 12V DC generic power supply.
One (1) female 12V plug to match above male plug
One (1) Ultra-bright cyn (color) Luxeon star LED
One (1) High Power LED driver (Velleman K8078)
Some 16ga. copper wire
Step 2: The Glass
The glass is simply 1/4" scrap glass cut into 3" squares. The light used 50 pcs. so it is 12 1/2" tall plus the 1"+ base for an overall height of about 13 1/2". The glass must be very clean and dried with acetone. The edges are raw so watch your fingers cuz they are super sharp and can cut you.
Step 3: The Base
Here we see the raw base as well as a shot of the hole for the LED and the female electrical plug. The holes are drilled and the electrical plug hole was hand filed. Be carefull drilling copper, it will "grab" the bit and the whole damn thing can get away from you in an instant.
Step 4: The Electronics
A high intensity cyn (color) Luxeon Star LED was used and driven by a Velleman K8071 1W/3W power LED driver. A heat sink was attached to the back of the LED but that may be overkill because the mass of the copper is sufficient to dissipate any heat. The driver costs 16 bucks! and is in kit form. There maybe a cheaper and easier way to drive this LED and it would be great if someone out there in cyber space could fill us in??????? Anyway, all these electrical goodies came from All Electronics in Van Nuys, California. www.allelectronics.com
Step 5: Assembly of Base
It's kinda hard to see but the original base had holes in all four sides, one of them was turned into the female plug but the other three looked pretty ugly so some little copper wire snails were hand formed and soldered over the holes. Finally the LED, the driver, and the female plug were put in place with silicone glue.
Step 6: A Stack of Glass
You may be thinking; "shouldn't the glass pieces be glued together?" This opens up a BIG can of worms. First of all just stacking the glass up works perfectly fine and how often are you going to move it anyway? To dust it you simply remove the top piece and clean it. Sadly it is not easy to glue the pieces together because you get bubbles in the glass which ruins the look of the light. Many types of glass glue as well as transparent silicon were tried along with several methods of clamping, nothing really worked. There is a way but it involves the building of a special containment cage as well as a specalized UV curing glass. You may even want to design some sort of copper wire containment cage or ????? This light has been in use for 4 months without incedent but we have not have an earthquake either.