Sunday, January 23, 2011

Whoa I forgot: Pim's Lamp

So..... in going through all my photos in an attempt to be organized, I came across a bunch of photos that I took MEANING to write up making stuff. A tutorial, if you will. So.

Da Da DUMMM!!! From the archives! The Pim's Lamp.

And some pictures didn't come out right. So sorry. (Somehow I don't think the Lone Reader cares. Hi Mom!!)

You will need:
  • old light bulb
  • pliers
  • area that tiny shards of glass can get all over
  • sand (or something abrasive)
  • plastic cap (mine came from a kombucha bottle, actually)
  • hot glue gun, funtak, or something uber sticky
  • metal bit (washers work)
  • super strong magnet (you know - the itty bitty ones)
  • lamp wick
  • lamp oil
  • metal cap that will fit over the end of the light bulb (liquor bottle caps often work well) 
  • ice pick, awl, power drill - something pokey 
So first things first. You need to get to the inside of the light bulb. If you look at the base of the bulb, it's got a little round metal piece in the middle surrounded by brown glass. If you hold on the light bulb firmly and essentially try to grab the little metal thingy with a pair of needle nose pliers, the glass holding it in will shatter (and go EVERYWHERE), and you'll be able to pull out said metal thingy and the filaments from inside the bulb. Make sure to get as much of the glass off the rim of the bulb. Then fill the bulb partially with sand (or in my case tapioca pearls as I didn't have any sand...), shake around and rinse out - all the white coating on the inside will come out nicely. Seriously. Take my word for it. 

This one got a bit bent, but since it'll be covered, it matters very little.
Light bulb, cleaned and out of focus.
Next - take your plastic cap to something that the bulb will sit nicely on, and flood it with hot glue, funtak, whathaveyou. Put your metal bit in the sticky substance. Your light bulb is going to sit on this (but not be adhered to it) so make sure that the metal bit doesn't come up over the top of the plastic cap.

Trivia of the day: Canadian quarters stick to magnets, American magnets do not.
Find your metal cap that at this point has most likely rolled of your table and onto the floor, under your chair, and is covered in dust bunnies. Not that I'm say your house is dirty, mind you.... You're gonna poke a whole in the top of this lid to pull the wick through. I used a power drill, hence the edge is slightly rough (I went back with a broken pen and curved that down and in). It's not entirely important for this to be perfectly smooth, but it looks nicer that way.

Punctured Pim's. (no Pim's was harmed in the making of this lamp)
Pull the wick through the hole. My wick was too wide - I cut it in half, lengthwise.

You starting to see it yet?
Put your magnet in your empty and clean light bulb. Fill halfway or so with lamp oil. Then and ONLY then put on the base. If you put your magnet in the empty bulb that's already sitting on the base you MIGHT shatter the bulb. Especially if your super strong magnet is super strong.

Almost there!
Put the metal cap on the assembled bulb. Sit back. Admire. Let the lamp oil soak up the wick. Light it. Cuss profusely. Blow it out. Trim the wick back to 1/2 inch (to reduce smokiness). Relight. Pat yourself on the back.

This takes forever to explain, no time at all to make.

It also can be done with bigger containers.


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