Steam Punk Pipe Lamp




Introduction: Steam Punk Pipe Lamp

Full time chef Part time mechanic and carpenter I like anything that gets my hands dirty

I had seen a lot of these lamps, but none really appealed to me. So I built by own. Follow along and let build it.

Step 1: Electrical

Start by figuring out the wiring setup. I found it best to get the lamp working before trying to figure out containing it all inside the pipes. Good luck getting the wires correct in there I used a normal socket and a salvaged power cord. Everything started right up. Just splice and solder the wires up and shrink wrap with electrical tape. Done.

Step 2: Playing With Your Pipe......

Gather your parts of pipe and really just play around until you find a shape you like. I must have done 6 different shapes until I decided on this one. Just take your time and play around. Once you have a shape decided on, you need to figure out where the electrical cord will exit the lamp. I decided on the rear of the center support brace. I was able to put the pipe in a vice and drill out a hole large enough to easily pass the cord through. Hint: make sure you smooth out the drilled hole or you will cut into wire. Not good.

Step 3: Final Paint and Assembly

This is the final shape mine took. Build the lamp halfway and then with each piece of pipe pull the wires through. Repeat until you'll assemble the lamp completely. After several light coats of flat black paint it was starting to look good. Also painted the handle bright red. This should give a pleasant contrast of colors. Wrap your power cord in painters tape to ensure it doesn't turn black as well...

Step 4: Attaching the Switch

The on/off switch was wired into the valve in the front. Found a switch at Home Depot that was small enough to fit and I "glued" the inner valve stem to the switch. Crude yes but it works. The entire valve assembly is attached with industrial epoxy. Clamp it over night and it should never come off

Step 5: Enjoy Your Cool Lamp.

Here is the lamp fully assembled and working for the first time. Don't mind my dirty bench, that is from a chest of drawers we are resurfacing. Finally here is the lamp in its home on my table and usually on my desk for work. I chose a low wattage Edison bulb merely because I likes it. I may add a shad to it one day, I doubt it though, I like it a lot. Keep working and moving forward. PS. I have a few orders for more of these things from my coworkers, I guess I'm on to something.



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    19 Discussions

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    Hi, I've been reading a lot of these instructables and will eventually give one a go. i was wondering what the switch was that you used inside the valve? i'm looking to make this lamp but the HD website doesn't seem to stock anything i think would fit inside the pipe.



    I have been playing around with different size pipes, sockets, etc., as I'm just getting started to make these for my own house. Can you show a close up of the socket and how you put it into the T piece (plus sizes). The only thing I've thought of so far with what I have is to glue the socket into the larger end of the reducer and I don't like that if for some reason down the road I need to replace the socket. Is there a brand that screws into a certain size pipe that provides the stability it needs? Thanks so much for putting this together!

    1 reply

    Was you able to figure out how to get the socket to stay in the fitting?

    I know it's been a year since you posted this, but you can get them at Home Depot for around 9 bucks, or order them from Amazon.

    You should really make some instructables. Even for things like this that have already been done. In comments alone, you are much more informative than many of the 'ibles that have already been made, though I do appreciate their sharing. Either way, thanks for the extra help :)

    Thanks! im def gonna try the j&b weld. So if the faucet is glued to the rotary switch then where is the screw/bolt show that is through the faucet attached to?

    Hi!! This lamp is awesome. I created something very similar but I just cant figure out how you attached the on/off switch to the faucet switch. You said you glued it but doesn't the faucet switch have a threaded casing that wont allow it to keep turning to the right ? I tried gluing the faucet switch to the on/off switch but after a few weeks it broke off without being properly seated in the lamp. Can you please let me know how you did it? Thanks.

    If you look at the first photo I attached, you can see that the faucet is literally just the handle. It's not actually a "valve" just the knob. The white part is the on/off switch (rotates on then off). You probably already got all that, I just wanted to clarify. I think the info you're looking for is this: use J & B weld. I use this stuff for everything. I've tried epoxy glues, craft glues, gorilla glue etc. But J & B weld is seriously underrated and amazing. I think no one knows about it because it's been around forever and goes under the radar. I put pieces of my car back together with this stuff though. It has amazing holding power even on slick parts (case in point: I got some on my stainless steel metal sink and it is still there, a year and a half later, bonded straight to the slick metal). I then sprayed the white part with red spray paint to match.

    Another tricky part (after getting them glued) is to keep them in the pipe without falling out but still having enough wiggle room to turn. What I ended up doing is wrapping the white part of the switch with red ductape until it fit snuggly inside of the pipe opening. It's not perfect but it works pretty well. Feels pretty firm in there.

    Let me know if you have any other issues!

    @lifeinbeats: Where did you get those switches? Or do you know what they are called specifically? (so i can search for them) Thanks

    I got them at my local hardware store. It's not a chain though and I didn't find anything like it at Home Depot. This looks to be an updated version of what I used:
    But don't hold me to that. If that's not the right size you should be able to find something that is using that description.

    I made a couple of these this weekend for my girlfriend and have a few tips if anyone is going to try this ible:

    1) don't go to Home Depot. I figured since they're a large chain that their black iron pipe would be cheapest. So I spent about $110 on pipe. After assembling everything I went to a decent local hardware store the other day and discovered that their black iron was about half the cost of HD. Ugh.

    2) If you're using 1/2" pipe, you can get a 1/2" to 1" reducer piece that fits a regular sized light socket well. You might have to look around at different stores for the socket though. You need one that is basically no bigger than the metal threaded part (also known as the shell). My local hardware store had these as well as really thin cardboard insulators that made the whole thing a perfect fit. I'm not sure the insulators are necessary for heat, as the pipe is pretty thick, but I was worried about conductivity since the metal shell of the socket is actually the negative power for the lightbulb.

    3) search around and find switches like the one I've posted here. Its a rotary switch thats about 1/2" in diameter and is not much more than just a knob. I thought long and hard on this problem and was so overjoyed when I found these. You could also use a momentary switch inside of a working on/off gate valve. the problem i saw there is that if you overtighten youre sure to smash the switch to pieces.

    These rotary switches glue perfectly to Home Depots valve handles and then are a decent fit into a 1/2" tee connector. I used gorilla glue to hold them in place inside the tee. They ended up with a little more wiggle room than I had hoped so I wrapped some tape around the base of the valve.

    4) don't tighten anything until the end. I made the mistake of putting everything together and tightening with wrenches just to find out that my wires were not too happy snaking through the whole assembly. So I had to take everything apart piece by piece.

    5) get some j&b weld or loctite. Inevitably you will have pieces that you want in a certain position but the way that the threads were made are either too loose or won't make another full rotation. If that makes any sense. Just trust me on that one.

    Thanks for the Ible! I had a lot of fun on this (although I spent a lot more than I was intending to. Down with Home Depot!!!! Ra ra ra!)

    where did you get the edison bulb? It is pretty awesome.

    Look up antique light bulb, vintage, or Edison bulb. Found mine in town, but can be had cheaper online

    Nice lamp! Love the Edison bulb and the funky switch!! Be mindful of polarity.