Archive for 2010

Skate Lamp

Remember that skateboard I painted a couple weeks back? I decided to go a little further and get a little craftier.

I had been toying around with an idea for a lampshade based off a skateboard deck. I purchased a $9 accent lighting fluorescent lamp that is designed to be installed under a cabinet from Home Depot. It measured out to about 18.5" wide, a few inches shorter than the length of the deck's body.

The basic construction of this wall-mounted lamp resembles a small shelf with a skateboard mounted across the lip. I made mine out of all repurposed wood scraps I found in my basement. The main shelf consisted of a 20" x 3 5/8" x 3/4" plank pictured here, placed on top of the deck for scaling purposes.

Note: the size does not have to be exact, but it must be long enough to cover the upper row of drill holes designated for the trucks.

Do not drill the plank to the deck yet! It's how I did it, but I do not recommend it. The lamp becomes very difficult to mount level. So in the next few images imagine that the wood is not attached to the deck and is left there to grant perspective.

To stabilize the shelf I added struts to the plank, two small pieces cut from wood the same size of the plank itself. They were most likely brother wood cuts, warriors who served mightily in a pool table that is no more- and just as MacArthur once said, "old soldiers never die".

These charming little guys measure out to 2 1/4" (other measurements the same as the plank) and here they are clamped in place. Clamps are awesome for keeping things stable while fastening them together. Variety.

I decided to use a carpentry nail at first and then opted to use a wood screw as well. See look: whaaaaaaaa?

With the shelf now complete the next step is mounting the lamp to the wall. With another trip to Home Depot I picked up some L-shaped brackets and wood screws to do the job. The 4 pack of brackets measure 3" by 3/4" with #8 x 5/8" wood screws (12 pack). Screw the brackets into the shelf close to the supporting arms.

Install the lamp to the wall now. I used two nails with the brackets that are part of the back of the actual hardware. Place the one nail first and then add the second while leveling out the lamp.

Place your shelf just above the lamp so it surrounds the lamp and fits snugly, providing enough room for the power cord. Make sure to use a level as you drill the screws into the drywall. You will be drilling 4 screws and it would be lame to ruin all that drywall only to have to readjust them because it's crooked.

This is what your mount should look like, all leveled out and looking dapper. Make sure it's level but also sturdy. I didn't install into the studs just drywall and it felt very secure. Secure enough that it's hanging over the head of my bed.

Attach the deck of your choice with 4 screws into the drill holes and into the shelf. What's important and difficult is to level out the deck as well. Granted, the deck's edges are rounded so it requires a bit of a balancing act while working your drill, but I did it, and so can you! Flip that light on and ILLUMINATION!

Check back in the following weeks. I'm going to attempt to make another one of these that won't have the board screwed into place. Allowing as a temporary board shrine and storage option. Probably going to utilize some utility hooks or some latch mechanism that I have no idea how to make.

Fookin' Prawns

I recently inherited an X-games skateboard that was pretty jacked up so I figured why not repaint the thing with some obscure science fiction reference. Enter District 9.

I was ready to redesign my old deck and put this ridiculous prawn on it so I gather my materials:

Other things you'll need: sand paper, your image stencil, spray primer, and if you're repainting a deck I used a disc sander to sand off the old image and start fresh.

With your deck now ready to be painted you can either decide to paint a background or stencil directly onto the wood. I decided on a black background and I also primed the wood to make sure the background held. Fortunately, spray primers and paints dry very quickly so you can do multiple layers minutes apart. I did two layers of background just in case. And cut my stencil out of my printed design.

I placed painters tape under the paper stencil and cut it with a razor blade to ensure crisp lines. This is the first stencil I've done ever, and there are other methods, including this dude's who used bolts and nuts to weigh down his stencil. I recommend watching his video because he is an awesome artist and his method inspired me to try it out. Also, there aint no rest for the wicked.

Here's the finished painter's tape stencil

Now, here is where I mess up a little. I'm really inexperienced with spray paint too, so I figured I could just be careful and spray directly onto the stencil. Wrong. Spray paint is unwieldy, make sure to cover everything you do not want painted because you will get spray (brilliant).

I did the best I could to save it with layering on another coat of black spray paint but the new paint lines are clearly visible in this next photo:

With the paint dry, I started detailing the stencil with the paint markers. If you are really good at blending at art you can work while the paint is wet and do some smudging like in the video posted above. This was my first time with paint markers (can you notice a theme?) so I made the best of it.

In hindsight, I should have left it there, I'm a bit of a minimalist and usually air on the side of leaving things simple. But instead I went ahead and added the text, which came out pretty rough because I made a freehand stencil that actually chipped away at the black paint.

All in all I'm pretty happy with how it came out. It could have been a lot worse and I view it as a learning experience, which is ultimately what the labs is about.