This year, my wife wanted an electric menorah for her office window. We didn't have one, so of course the thought was to make one. When I think of DIY right now, I think immediately of steampunk. :)
I would have preferred a copper metal one, but I didn't have the time or the tools for a few days notice. Thus this one is made of PVC and coated with a dark bronze spray paint.
Hope you enjoy!
Step 1: Parts
First, you need the following:
- 9 Candelabra sockets
- 9 Candelabra bulbs (any will do, but these are fun flame bulbs. Can also use LED Edison bulbs)
- 6 - 3/4" PVC T-joints (local hardware store)
- 2 - 3/4" PVC elbow (local hardware store)
- 1 - 3/4" PVC 4-way joint (local hardware store)
- 1 - 8' 3/4" PVC straight pipe
- Some sort of base for the menorah. In my case, I used a 3/4" slip to screw converter, 3/4" screw to 2" adapter, and 2" to 4" adapter
- Spray paint
- 14 gauge wire (I used speaker wire, thick enough compared to other wire I've seen in chandeliers.)
- electrical tape
- A/C plug (I had one of these available, so I used it and cut off the end that normally connects to a device. Could also get a socket like this and allow for the plug to be removable).
- Drill and drill bit
- Phillips screwdriver
- Glue gun
Step 2: Verification
I first wanted to make sure that the candelabra socket worked as expected with the A/C plug. I cut the end off of the plug, then attached the plug directly to one of the sockets.
The socket has 2 screws on it.
- silver screw attaches to the wire with the etching
- gold screw attaches to the plain wire
After attached, I plugged in the plug into an extension cord, then plugged it into the wall, standing back in case I wired something wrong. It worked like a champ!
Step 3: Prep
When at the hardware store, make sure you have everything you need and everything fits.
You need a solid, sizeable heavy base. The pieces I bought stack together nicely. We are not gluing yet, so that running the wire can be easier.
I made sure all of the sizes lined up, and laid things out so that I know what size of connectors I needed to cut.
Step 4: Cut to Fit
I used my mounted bench vise to hold the PVC in place as I cut.
The sizes I used are:
- 1.5" for connection between the T-s, 4-way, and elbows
- 3" to connect the base to the 4-way
- 4.5" for the Chumash in the middle
- 3" for the rest of the candles
Put them together to be sure everything fits, but do not glue yet!
Step 5: Cut and Attach Wires
I didn't specifically measure the wires for the candles. But the goal was to ensure the wire was long enough so that once it was inserted into the candle PVC, the wire would run through the PVC and come out the bottom with enough slack to be cut and taped together.
Once the lengths are cut, attach all of the wires to the candelabra sockets the same way. I ran the wire with the black stripe to the gold screw, because in my brain, you attach the 'different' think to the 'different' thing. Remember that for the next step.
Step 6: Glue Sockets and Arms
When the wires are all attached, put the sockets back into their cardboard sleeves. Then take apart the PVC arms. Put the sockets into their places. Then working from the outside (with elbow connectors) to inside, run wires into the next T joint until all of the wires are going through in the right direction, finalizing by going through down to the base.
Once they are all in place, use the hot glue gun to glue the sockets into place in the PVC.
Once the glue is cooled, add glue to the connectors between the T joints. I used a flat surface to push down so as to align the candles straight up.
Now, the wires should be coming out of the base of the menorah. I had mine supported by the full base, but likely it could be done by running wires piece by piece.
Step 7: Connect the Wires Together, Final Gluing
The wires will be different lengths coming through the base. Cut them to a length where there is not a lot of slack coming out of the bottom. If you have not yet glued all of the base together, you can remove part of it for easier stripping of the base to the wires.
Drill a hole in the bottom of the base to run the plug out of the side. Run the plug into the side of the base, then attach that to the stripped wires.
Note, here the etched wire of the plug attaches to the non-striped wire bunch. The solid wire of the plug attaches to the wires with the black stripes.
Once they are all attached, wrap them well with electrical tape. Note, had I had more time, I would have soldered these together.
When the wiring is complete, do any final gluing of the remaining unglued joints.
Step 8: Final Testing
Again to be sure we are not close to possibly any exploding bulbs, keep the menorah unplugged. Put a bulb in one of the sockets. Then attach it with distance between yourself and the menorah.
When certain things seem stable, test all of the sockets.
Step 9: Paint
Once everything is assembled, if you wish, paint it as you'd like. I used a bronze paint I used to repaint an electric door knob.