Archive for November 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.

Drinkin' From The Cup

I like to drink wine but I don't like the look of a standard wine glass. This needed to be fixed. So I fixed it...?

I saw this on Instructables a while back. I liked the idea, though I didn't like how they were so low and would possibly slide all around while drinking. So I decided a different modification was necessary. I gathered my supplies. They are:

  • Wine Glass
  • Wolverine Bobblehead
  • Hammer
  • Rag
  • Dremel
  • Sugru 5g Packet

So my vision was to basically remove Wolverine's head, and then replace it with the drinking bulb from some stemware. Pulling off the head is the easy part, it's just attached by a spring.

"What gives, bub?"
Next I broke the stem off of the wine glass. I wrapped the stem of the glass in a towel and hit it repeatedly with a hammer. You have to put a little muscle into it, surprisingly.

I wanted it to break about halfway down the stem, so I could actually insert the stem into Wolverine's neck. My break was a bit shorter than that.

Not to worry though. I broke off the remaining part of the stem and essentially had just a shallow pool left as opposed to half a stem. I decided to just leave more of Wolverines neck than I was going to originally, and meld the pieces together like that.

I used a saw blade on my dremel to cut through the neck. It cuts plastic very nice, but does leave a (probably toxic) nasty smell. Wearing a mask and goggles is a good idea.

Now all there was left to do was to line up the two pieces, and attach.

Looks like a decent fit.
For my adhesive, I used Sugru which is a type of silicone that models like clay and then air-cures after 24 hours into a silicone material, making it bendable. It's supposedly pretty strong as an adhesive. We'll see.

I basically just rolled the Sugru into a snake and wrapped it around where the neck and glass meet, and then mashed it together to make it stick. I don't know if this is the strongest method, in fact I reckon that there isn't enough surface area being adhered to allow the glass to really stay on the action figure, if I should say, turn it upside down. Tomorrow's results will show us though.

It looks like a man-scarf.
The glass also started moving around and such while it was resting on his shoulders, so I had to place two heavy books in place to prevent it from slouching down and falling off. 

So now with Wolverine left to cure, I wanted something with more instant gratification. I had a Mighty Mugg "Snake Eyes" lying around, so I gave him the same treatment. Ripping the head off this thing was very hard, I had to pound a flathead screwdriver into his neck until it broke the inside part that was keeping them attached. It left me with a sloppy break.

I took out the dremel again and cleaned off the left overs. Pretty easy stuff. Next I bored out the top with a spade bit on my eletric drill. It took a while but I broke through into his hollow, emotionless chest. I cleaned it up with the grinder(?) bit on my dremel and had a nice clean hole.

You'll notice some hot glue on the top part near the opening. I originally had thought to glue it on with a smaller opening until deciding on boring a much larger one.

Break another glass, and get ready to put the two together.

It doesn't really look it in this picture, but it's a decent fit. I applied some hot glue, which stuck on nicely and seemed to work. And then I picked it up by the feet and turned it around and the glass fell right off. I needed something stronger to bond it with. An epoxy would work, but I don't have any. So I went to an old friend of mine:

So I put Gorilla Glue all around the edge of hot glue that remained and put the glass back on, and filled it with some water to add weight as the Gorilla Glue dries. It looks alright.

So I still don't have any instant gratification since I have to let this cure, but I will have (hopefully) two fully functioning wine glasses that are a bit more nerd-friendly.


Since this was basically a "slash and glue" project, I admittedly didn't plan a whole lot out. I did learn a few things however:

The Mighty Mugg is probably the more ideal toy to use, as it's got a wide area to bore out that will allow a good clean fit for the glass.

Hot glue is not strong enough by itself to attach with.

Epoxy would probably be the best adhesive, as Sugru may or may not be strong enough, and is sort of pricey.

Burning plastic can make you turn into a woman (or man)?

And last but most importantly, things rarely go how you want them on the first try.

Look for a strong remake of this project in the near-future.