Wednesday, February 17, 2016
"Reading" Lamp I Made
I decided to get crafty this Christmas and made a few lamps. This one turned out exceptionally well, I think. It took a bit of figuring out, but once I had the plan, the actual execution was fairly simple. The system is 12v LED (it plugs in to his ass) and the valve you see is the on/off switch. I wanted to make it a dimmer, but it turns out there aren't any readily available potentiometers that fit.
The pipe is mostly from Home Depot, they have big bins of the stuff you can sort through undisturbed. I won't list all the pieces here, as I'm sure you can figure it out if you want to make one. The only specialty bits of pipe were the head and the cross-piece for the shoulders and they were both easily available from a local specialty plumbing shop (you can get them on Amazon, but with shipping it would have been twice the price).
The electronics is really simple. I used an old 12v power supply I had left over from an external hard drive, bought the socket for it to attach, the bulb socket (G4 type), and a 12v LED bulb at a local electronics shop. I had to order the rotary switch to fit inside the valve online, but it was only $6, even with shipping.
The book is two pieces of copper pipe I had left over from the other lamp I made for Christmas hammered flat and soldered together.
The only complex bit of the whole process was drilling out the valve so the wires would fit through, filing off the threads so the valve doesn't go in and out (it would crush the switch) and fixing the valve to the switch with epoxy. Also, it's a good idea to soak your pipes in TSP or other degreaser because they're pretty greasy from the store.
If you want any more info on how to make one, feel free to ask in the comments!