Steampunked Insulator-nightlight




Introduction: Steampunked Insulator-nightlight

About: I love to invent and create new things in a "steampunk styled way" working with brass, copper, vulcanized-fibre, brass gears and (ply)- wood. On one side I am fascinated in neon lights and small e...

Hi everybody

I am back again after some hard days.

This instructable is dedicated to my father in law who just had to leave us last month. Thanks to all  Wolfgang and we will go on!!!

 This is a three times premiere to me:

First premiere: This project had been done at one weekend

Second premiere: All parts that I used in this project  had been grabbed from the bulky waste so I really haven´t paid anything for it . It is a real 100%-second hand project and the only thing I had t do was to cut two rings, one from a copper tube and one from a brass tube. It is nearly unbelievable but  all other parts fit together without changing anything!! 

Third premiere: I can present you two varieties of electrifying: One time I  am working with my very beloved HV-flash unit from a Fujii disposal camera and the other time I use the direct power supply like a normal  lamp also does.

Safety advice:

Don´t wreck your health and please obay the follwing advices:

***Disclaimers***This instructable works with voltages in excess of 250V. This is more than enough to give you a potentially fatal electric shock if handled incorrectly. If you are unfamiliar with how to work with high voltage, please refrain from performing this instructable. Exercise caution throughout the following steps to avoid electrical dangers and also use insulated tools like pliers and screwdrivers and so on.
If you choose to undertake this instructable, you do so at your own risk. (Thanks to member: the_don125)

And now let us start with this fantastic project.

Step 1: The Insulator

Now let me tell you a little bit about the glass top of the lamp.

As you can see at the following pictures, these 1"KV  pin type" insulators had been used in former times to carry power lines to  the houses. Today they have been nearly all replaced and the cables are running  now in the ground.
Normaly these insulators are made of electrotechnical porcelain but sometimes they were also made of glass. So I am very happy to own now nine pieces of this glass type, given by a  friend of mine after replacing.

Step 2: The Neon Light Plasma Bulb

Here at that virtual place

I met a now real good friend from Alsaka. That´s the place were these rare Neon  fillled bulbs are coming from. It is been said that they worked, and still work? at control panels from oilrigs. They are made very robust  as you can see  and they are running with 230 Volts AC but you can can drive them  with a flash unit from a disposal camera too. You can see the difference at the following photos. And only this bulb type fits in the Insulators hole so many thanks to you Bill!!!.

see also: this instructable

Step 3: Constructing the Bulbholder

Now let us take a look at the bulbholder. As I told you before, all parts are taken from other lamps which I found at the bulky waste.

A lot of the parts are made of brass and looked totally rotten. But polishing them a little bit with some steel wool after a short bathing in vinegar acid (please wear some rubber gloves at this step) let them shine brightly again. To protect them against oxidising again  I covered them with some clear varnish for metals (in german Zappon-Lack) The antique  triangle holder carried a lampshade made of glass or enameled metal at about 1900. So you see I love to work with antique materials from the victorian age as an authentic steampunk;-))) The bulbholder itself is also made of brass and insulated with white porcelain.
Now let´s see  how I made it:

Step 4: Electrifying I (with 1,5 Volts Flash Unit)

Now I show you how the HV-flash unit from the Fuji disposal camera could be placed in the lamp stand. Beyond the red velvet there is a wodden plate which has to  be pulled out. Then insulate the innerside of the brass stand with some tape and place the HV circuit in. Recover the wodden plate again and that´s it
The new switch will be placed in the screw hole at the side of the stand ann fixed with some melting glue. 

Step 5: Electrifying II (with 230 Volts Electrical Power Supply)

Whenever you are working with metal parts and electricity be very careful. Obay the electrical rules of insulating your construction in the right way.

Use a two pole cord switch to make sure that there is no hidden electricity when the lamp is switched of.  If you have to change the bulb,please  switch of the lamp an best pull out the plug out before changing it is better for your own safety!!!

After fixing all contacts, please check them with a continuity tester before the first plug in.

Thanks to all for following  
Yours Aeon Junophor

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    11 Discussions


    8 years ago on Introduction

    Now. . .in case you didn't mention it someplace. . .where can we get glass insulators? :-)

    Aeon Junophor

    Hi everyone and hello to my friends

    Thanks for your rapturous applause ;-))))

    It is such a good feeling to create new things from old parts....

    that you like too.....

    I hope this will inspire you all once again like you do it to me with your awsome objects.

    electfire: Let´s see what is cominng out with your idea
    longwinters: This couldn´t have been done without your support,- Thank you my friend
    Winged Fist: To give the crown to this lamp I plan to wrap a textile cord (shoe lace) around the power cord as you have shown to us; very well done indeed;-)))
    JKPieGuy: Let us see what is coming up to your mind with those parts you hold in your hands....

    Grasshopper1221: I know there is another surprising idea raising up in your mind;-).......
    And last but not least
    Polerix and Chemicus: Thank you: Your wish is my command.... or so... ;-))))))))) I will try my very best.

    Cheers to you all
    Aeon Junophor

    Winged Fist
    Winged Fist

    8 years ago on Introduction

    What a great looking looking lamp, my friend! Well deserving of the "featured" status, and the 5 stars I'm about to give it;-) My condolences to your family, and what a creative tribute to Wolfgang!


    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    Mr Fist we are waiting for your creative expression to manifest, don't squander your gift, use the force.

    Nicely done! I think I just have the inspiration I needed to finish my desk lamp, I've been (slowly) working on... Though I have yet to come by any electrical insulators as nice as that one... I think with my (extremely) large collection of glass stuff, I might just be able to work something out...
    Here is a picture of the lamp currently - I am trying to go for something similar to the desk lamps you see in libraries (The last picture) but I am having a hard time sourcing locally the glass. I am also needing the support armature that holds the glass


    8 years ago on Introduction

    I find this ironic! I just got some old porcelain insulators from the top of some old power lines that had fallen down after being abandoned in the swamp area up-north by my family's cabin and I was planning of making lamps with them or something! Also I was looking through my pa's old electrical things in the basement and I found some of those neon glass bulbs that were like the ones shown in the Instructable! He said that I could keep one since those things are now really rare and old!


    8 years ago on Introduction

    and another great hit of technomancy, awesome buddy!

    What a very nice lamp Junophor. The word cool don't even apply here, This went way beyond cool! Glad you are back best wishes to your family.
    Looking forward to seeing more.


    8 years ago on Introduction

    Once again your project does not disappoint, I like what Chemicus said, it is quite difficult to make something with so few pieces look so good, each part looks like it belongs and came as the whole.
    The insulator also seems to be doing a good job of making that small neon test lamp look quite large.

    An inspiration to all, lets hope you get editors pick!


    8 years ago on Introduction

    That´s really impressive what´s possible with this small number of pieces! Congratulations to this nice idea!