A nifty creation that has no real purpose, other than looking cool!
This project came about after I had bought an old telephone bell from an antique shop. This particular item caught my eye, and I knew it would be perfect for a future project!
For weeks it sat in my electrical parts bin, untill I came up with the Idea to make a Useless Machine.
I knew I would incorporate an "Edison Electronics" vibe to it, so I added some custom labels to it that would make it look like a real (Real-ish more like!) feel to it.
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Step 1: What Was Used
For the first step, we will gather some of the raw materials that will be used.
Here is what I used-
- Vintage phone alarm bell
- Appropriatly sized box for hiding electrical components
- Twin core electrical wire
- Weather proofing wire seal
- Large 2 way toggle switch
- Small Incandecent globe and
fixture or LED (Of your choice)
- Twin AA battery holder
- 18cmx22cm pine length
Step 2: Cutting the Pine Length
First, choose what length you want to cut your Pine to.
I suggest you make it a length that is not too large that it looks strange, but not too short that your electronics don't fit.
I chose 18cmx22cm because it looked the right size for my parts
Step 3: Begining the Wiring Process
Begin with adding (+) and (-) terminals to your bell if it has none. Doing so for mine was a matter of twitching the two wires to the terminals on the underside.
Then begin to wire your bell, Light fixture, battery holder, and switch into a circuit.
Use your twin core wire for the bell, to give it a clean and "Professional" look to it, so there are no ugly loose wires on show.
I suggest using Male and Female electrical connectors on the bell wiring to the switch side, so you can thread the wires through the weather seal without having to solder them together permanently.
The correct outcome for this is when the toggle switch is switched to the ON position, your bell will ring and the light will illuminate.
On the diagram, the asterisk ( * ) represents the wire you could add in for a different circuit orientation. You could only include one of the two items, the bell or the light.
this would replace the terminals going to the bell if you choose to use only the light configuration.
Step 4: Adding Your Wiring Parts to the Electrical Housing
For the wiring box, I used a spare "Jiffy" box I purchased from Jaycar Electronics Australia for another project.
As it has a removable lid that is screwed into position, it was ideal.
It also hides all the wires perfectly, and also looks good!
Step 5: Aesthetics
As I wanted to give my project a Vintage electrical item look, I decided to create some Logos and Tags to give it a realistic vibe.
I used an online service called Hipster Logo Generator. This site allowed me to create a logo of any shape and size I wanted, and found it easy to use.
It can be found here -
For the green sign, I used a transparent background when designing, and printed it onto a green A4 sheet of paper.
I applied the logos with some spray-on adhesive as it gives good coverage and creates a very strong bond.
I layed both signs upside down on a sheet of scrap paper, held them down with a bit of left over wire, and sprayed them.
I suggest also using something to hold your tags down, as the spraycan can blow them away!
If you are using regular glues, then this is not a problem.
Step 6: Putting the Pieces Together
To screw both the bell and housing to the pine back plate, I used some short Phillips head timber screws. As the bell had a thicker base to screw through, I used some slightly longer screws that did the job.
If like me, you plan on being able to remove the screws with a screwdriver for easy acess to the battery inside the housing, I suggest not using a screw that is too long. The longer the screw, the longer it takes to undo!
But on this note, be carefull that your screw gets enough grip in the wood, so it is not easily pulled out by accident.
Some wood requires Pre drilling. This means you would have to select a drill bit that is slightly thinner than your screw width, and drill your holes in the timber. This allows you to easily put in the screws without either splitting the timber, or accidently screwing them in somewhere off centre.
This is not always a must, but I do it as an easy way to make sure i only have to use one piece of timber!
Step 7: Thats It!
If you have arrived at this step, then you have finished!
Once all components are assembled, wired together, and screwed to the timber backing, you have succesfully built your first Redford Electric certified Electric Telenotifier!
You may think such a machine that lights up and makes noise is useless....
.... And so you would be right!
While this project has no real purpose, it was a fun way to find a use for an item that was otherwise sitting around rusting.
Step 8: Afterthoughts
While the timber looks good as is, I would like to eventually stain it, to both seal it from moisture, and give it an aged, used vibe.
I would also have liked to have used a larger, more cool looking incandecent globe, as I think it would really add that "Vintage Edison electronics" look to it.
I will also hang this project on a wall, where it can be seen and appreciated, while being out of harms way.
Doing this will also make it a good conversation piece!
Thanks for viewing fellow makers, and I hope you enjoyed my project!