Steampunk Solar Garden Terrarium.




Introduction: Steampunk Solar Garden Terrarium.

About: A young 73 year old . worked 16 years in meat trade.10 years making cheese. 25.years making envelopes.A few good friends 2 married children .4 grand grandchildren.1 fantastic wife.and a really happy LIFE....

My son's 40th birthday soon,he is a landscape gardener,and so wanted to make him a present

that he wouldn't have to dig,water, or weed,therefor made him this steampunk terrarium.

I'm sure he will like it.

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Step 1: Raw Materials You Will Need.

7 different woods.. 1 large bulb.. 1 tube bulb.. 6mm. copper panel +electrics..1 metal nail 6 cm long..3 wood screws 4 cm long..brass fittings..gravel..bedding compound + earth..activated charcoal..nylon mesh..pebbels..

Wood glue..Brass polish..Contact glue..Spray lacquer..Epoxy metal glue..Small amount of plasticine.(modelling clay that stays soft)..

Step 2: Tools That I Used.

A small metal lathe..Jigsaw..Wood charving tools..Pliers,Screw driver,Electric drill,drill bits.

copper pipe cutter,spring for copper pipe bending,sanding discs,round wire brush (electric)

soldering iron.Very sharp knife.Diamond tile(glass cutter)

Step 3: Home Made Tools.

The shovel spoon,is a table spoon with the sides ground down,and screwed onto a 15 inch wooden rod.

The 2 twizzers are cheap metal and plastic clothes hangers,bent in half,1 side for sponge GLASS cleaner

1 side with a washer to move plants.

Step 4: Glass Bulbs for the Terrarium..

I went to a big supermarket and spoke to the manager,asking if he would be kind enough to give me the old burnt out light bulbs.He told me that the company that changes the light bulbs take the old ones to throw away.

Luckily it was in the same town,SO gave them a try.Luck was with me,they gave me all their old bulbs.Over 20 of them, some large some smaller and the worker I gave a couple of packs of cigs and my phone number.He phoned me many times and I now have over 60 mixed bulbs at the cost of200 cigs "very cheap LOL"

Broke 2 bulbs trying to remove the electic inards the way another "instuctable"showed how."Only thing is."

these had very strong metal parts and could not cut with nose pliers, so cut around the metal thread with a grinder,leaving 3cm,on the bulb and all came out fine.I found out later,it's much easier to cut the glass with an electric diamond disc cutter,takes less than 20 seconds.Spent half hour cutting spare bulbs and now have

30 odd bulbs ready for (hanging terrariums)........AND SO TO THE PLANTING...I did this first so that the plants would get a good growth.Use slow growing plants,GO TO MY INSTUCT"Terrarium in a milk bottle"

Step 5: Wooden Base for the Bulb and All..

Pine wood base.Size 57 cm long x 22cm wide x 4cm thick.(It could have been 60 cm long)

Chamfer(round off)the top sides and sand down upto 240 paper.

If you click on the wood base above u will see where the holes are drilled.

Turn the wood over ,and from numbers 2.3.4.make a groove with a chisel to each hole.

for the electric wireing.

If you wish to make one of these,and remember that you may have different bulbs,

brass bits, odds and sods,different sizes of wood,etc..

I now went on to make the wood pieces on the lathe OH I DO LOVE MY LATHE.

Step 6: All the Wood Pieces That Are Turned on the Lathe.

The first piece (1) on the left Is to hold the bronze inclusion and copper pipe

It is placed on top of the base wood number 4.and with wood glue joined and with the wood screws

from underneath.Holds very good.

Photo 2 The square piece of wood (teak) has had a indentation carved to embed the solar panel

with a 6mm hole for the wires to go to the batteries..The other 2 pieces hold the electrics and batteries.

placed in hole number 3

The last 4 photo's are for accepting the copper pipe,LED,and the bulb.If you run from photo 3 to 7 you will see how they join up.

Step 7: Bending the Copper Pipe.

I didn't know how to bend without crimping,(deform) so went to a man that repairs Air conditioners

he told me that there is a special spring to do it.Bought one $5.It was so easy.Be very careful that you

give enough pipe to go into the base,and into the wood that holds the bulb.(Use the copper bending spring)

checking the correct angle that the pipe needs to be.

Step 8: Brass LEG for Holding the Bulb in Place.

This piece is only needed if the bulb has a breast type extrusion to give more strength for holding the bulb.

The ring must be made so that it is only 2 to 3 mm larger than the breast (see the first picture) and is no less than 12 mm thick,a hole must be drilled in the center to accept the nail,that goes into the leg.Bend the nail a little so that the epoxy will hold tight.Put a little oil on the bolt thread and then add the nut so that the thread just shows through.. Place the nut and bolt into the soft epoxy,so you can see the nut,( we DO NOT) want the thread to be in the epoxy.When the epoxy is set hard,(30 min's)or so.remove the bolt. Now you know why we put oil on the thread. The bolt doesn't stick to the epoxy.Put contact glue on the inside of the ring and the felt, let dry.Allow15 min's minimum. Place the felt on the inside of the ring,press hard all the way round,trim off any excess.

Step 9: The Electric Switch..

The main body of the switch is bronze and needs a hole in the top for the wooden plunger that activates

the switch,the bottom hole must be large enough for the switch mechanism to be in place.I made a nice looking

wooden disk that has a insert hole for the whole switch, I made it with a snug fit.The wooden piece is glued into place see the last picture.

Step 10: The Electrics..

There are 2 ways one can join all the electrics.

1..Battery Minus to Solar minus...Solar + to the diode furtherest from the white ring,White ring end diode to the +battery... From the + battery to switch, from the switch to the+ led from the led minus back to the battery..

2.. I retrieved the electric panel from a garden solar light.Second Picture. on the panel (in very small letters)

b+ and b- = battery... S= solar...L= led... The panel also has a switch TURN IT ON...

I put a number on each of the wires.1=led+ 2=led minus 3=solar panel minus 4=solar panel+

5=batt minus 6=batt + which goes to your switch and then to the + led ..

I used a half $ torch very srong light. took only the bulb holder and reflector casing .

When you have tested that all works,put into place.

All in place..NOW put the felt on the bottom of the base,using contact glue,covering the groves,holes,

After 20 mins or so trim the bottom .TURN OVER.

Step 11: To Put Together,AND TAKE APART..

The Bulb is put into the bronze leg and balanced on the piece of round sponge.

Put the plug and led into place and then put onto the bulb.Gently lift the bulb and join to the conical part,

which is then screwed into place.

WHY would you want to take apart.???? To trim plants once a year.You should not need to water BUT if there are no droplets on the inner top of bulb you can add ONE.tea spoon of water.((( you will need to remove the plasterlin to get to the inards of the JULES VERNE garden.))).

Step 12: Not Every Time a Winner ..TRY.. TRY..TRY AGAIN.Please Look at Pictures

If you got this far, YOU will BE a winner at some things. MOST IMPORTANT BE A WINNER AT BEING

A GOOD PERSON. SMILE to the next stranger you see.

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    8 Discussions


    4 years ago

    I'd like to hear how the electronics hold up in about a week or so please?


    Reply 4 years ago

    ALL of the Electrics are good after 6 months.

    I made this over 6 months ago,Only after it was finished did I take it apart

    to snap shot all the parts.and then put it all back together.


    Reply 4 years ago

    Oh cool! sounds like a lot of work I appreciate you sharing your knowledge and experience with us. Did you seal the electronics at all? Also is the any molding on the wood? If not how did you prevent this?


    Reply 4 years ago

    Hi Blue,First off,I forgot to say that I sealed the small tube bulb into the larger bulb with plastercine.(soft putty) that way NO water gets to the Electrics,

    and when one wants to take apart just remove the plastercine easy ..

    hope this answers your enquirys.

    2, As no water leakage no trouble with mould on the wood,also finished the wood off with a sealer. and polish.


    4 years ago

    Very impressive! Can you share a photo of the terrarium, when the small light is turned on? Cheers


    Reply 4 years ago

    I'll get back to you.thanks


    4 years ago

    Hey JimmySymo. It's me, Grunambulax, from Pittsburgh. I just saw this and thought it was a great creation with your usual attention to detail. Good work.


    Reply 4 years ago

    MY dear friend, How are you? Well I hope!Thanks for the kind remarks.

    I think WE both Strive for perfection. YOU manage ,I'm close. LOL.