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pauluspaolo

Lamps - from re/upcycled bits & bobs

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I stayed in Bridlington earlier in the year & whilst looking in a trendy clothes/accessories shop - which I'm sure Roy frequents regularly :swoon: - I found some lights made from electrical conduit & fittings (bends, elbows, inspection T's etc). I said to my wife I bet I can make something like that myself & here are the results so far.

The first one I gave to my stepdaughter & her wife as a housewarming present (no photo's of this one unfortunately) so the one below is the second one I've made. This has a swan neck made from conduit tube (+ various fittings) whilst the base is made from a (blunt!) circular saw blade, a drive belt pulley (from a defunct Zetec engine I had in the garage) & an old brake disc (also found in my garage). The brass lampholder is for an E27 screw fit bulb, the bulb is one of those trendy vintage teardrop jobbies. Have to say I like how this one turned out &, after a few initial misgivings, even my wife likes it now. Apologies for the photo I don't seem to have one that doesn't show it lit :(

Lamp%2001%20-%20Conduit%20%20brake%20dis

This next one was made for my stepdaughter's friend. He's seriously into mtb's & off road bikes & he supplied the various bike parts. It's made from a bicycle wheel hub, a couple of old bicycle brake discs & a chain ring bash guard (the black bit underneath the brake disc). Again an E27 lamp holder was used along with a vintage style globe bulb. He wasn't bothered about having a switch so I didn't fit one though it'd be easy to fit an inline switch into the cable.

Lamp%2002%20-%20Hope%20hub_zpseny9wiaw.j

I've another one finished (no photos yet) & another couple on the go - one of which is made from an old angle grinder head (this is nearly finished but needs wiring up) & another for my stepdaughter that again is made from conduit tube & fittings (though I'm sure there'll be a car part or two in there as well) but that's much larger than the first one I made for her & is still very much a work in progress.

Just thought I'd share :) 

 

 

Edited by pauluspaolo
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Superb inspiration and execution, Paul...they look really cool. My own feeble attempts at 'upcycling' revolve around fitting a set of christmas lights into empty drinks bottles for myself and a couple of friends....

Obviously this is in my house....:laugh:

FB_IMG_1453552332220_zpseamldqxn.jpg

...and a couple for friends....

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FB_IMG_1453552313969_zpspx128ehd.jpg

Not very imaginitive, but they seem to like them.

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6 hours ago, pauluspaolo said:

I stayed in Bridlington earlier in the year & whilst looking in a trendy clothes/accessories shop - which I'm sure Roy frequents regularly :swoon: - I found some lights made from electrical conduit & fittings (bends, elbows, inspection T's etc). I said to my wife I bet I can make something like that myself & here are the results so far.

The first one I gave to my stepdaughter & her wife as a housewarming present (no photo's of this one unfortunately) so the one below is the second one I've made. This has a swan neck made from conduit tube (+ various fittings) whilst the base is made from a (blunt!) circular saw blade, a drive belt pulley (from a defunct Zetec engine I had in the garage) & an old brake disc (also found in my garage). The brass lampholder is for an E27 screw fit bulb, the bulb is one of those trendy vintage teardrop jobbies. Have to say I like how this one turned out &, after a few initial misgivings, even my wife likes it now. Apologies for the photo I don't seem to have one that doesn't show it lit :(

Lamp%2001%20-%20Conduit%20%20brake%20dis

This next one was made for my stepdaughter's friend. He's seriously into mtb's & off road bikes & he supplied the various bike parts. It's made from a bicycle wheel hub, a couple of old bicycle brake discs & a chain ring bash guard (the black bit underneath the brake disc). Again an E27 lamp holder was used along with a vintage style globe bulb. He wasn't bothered about having a switch so I didn't fit one though it'd be easy to fit an inline switch into the cable.

Lamp%2002%20-%20Hope%20hub_zpseny9wiaw.j

I've another one finished (no photos yet) & another couple on the go - one of which is made from an old angle grinder head (this is nearly finished but needs wiring up) & another for my stepdaughter that again is made from conduit tube & fittings (though I'm sure there'll be a car part or two in there as well) but that's much larger than the first one I made for her & is still very much a work in progress.

Just thought I'd share :) 

 

 

this kinda thing is big at the moment and much in the industrial type of furniture , may be a good market there ??:thumbsup: they look good fella

deano

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45 minutes ago, deano1956 said:

this kinda thing is big at the moment and much in the industrial type of furniture , may be a good market there ??:thumbsup: they look good fella

deano

Thanks for the positive comments :-) I must admit I have wondered about trying to sell some. I'm unsure about selling electrical items though as I'm no electrician. Having said that the lamps have been checked on the PAT tester at work & have passed - they're not work equipment though so no pass certificate was issued. I like making them though so may as well use up the bits I've got :-)

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They are really nice, good work.

We made a few of the bottle lights too, Harvey's sherry blue bottles are a nice colour.

 

I made this out of a retort stand and a light fitting saved from the bin, the lampshade was a charity shop find.

20170614_191429.jpg

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Like the retort stand - plenty of those at work - wonder if they'd miss one?

Latest one is for my step daughter & on a bigger scale. It's about 5' tall - not sure where she wants to put it so I hope the height is suitable & she likes it (she's not seen it yet) as the lower part is nothing like what she wanted :( I had to redesign it for stability though as the one "leg" she wanted just wasn't stable enough. It still needs a lot of work but I'm busy crewing on a show at the moment so don't think I'll have time to complete it before she heads back home (down south) :( Since the photo was taken I've tweaked the head part slightly so it's a curvier & a bit more question marky in shape (apologies for the messy garage & the SS1 just creeping into the shot!)

Opinions welcome as always :) 

b2ea1d30-6ae3-4d59-8486-d06d93227560_zps

 

Edited by pauluspaolo

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Shame that Photobucket have started being 4r5e5 but no great surprise really - wonder how long it'll be before Imgur follow suit? Anyway here's the latest lamp that I finished last night.

Opinions welcome as always :) 

PgdEjCq.jpg

MBw84vL.jpg

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I like it but not keen on the wood, maybe another tube bent into a triangle shape would look better or smack your wood around a bit and 'age' it some.

If it had a flat triangular bent tube for the base, maybe weighted inside to stop it toppling over.

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2 hours ago, Hussle said:

I like it but not keen on the wood, maybe another tube bent into a triangle shape would look better or smack your wood around a bit and 'age' it some.

If it had a flat triangular bent tube for the base, maybe weighted inside to stop it toppling over.

Thanks for your comments & good idea about the conduit triangular base :)  I find it hard enough bending the tubes into nice curves (I don't have a pipe/tubing bender) so I'm not sure how I'd do a triangle - happy to give it a go though :) I used the wood because I thought that it looked (a bit!) like a rafter/beam, I angled it back to make the light a bit more interesting to look at & also to make the light bulb hang (more or less) vertically. The triangular base is made from a bit of scaffolding plank (dug out of a skip) that was bashed & battered & I've cleaned it up with an electric sander.

I also finished this one yesterday :) 

 8mBwlis.jpg

Edited by pauluspaolo
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You're doing a great job without the tools, I'm impressed. 

B&Q do pipe/conduit bending springs for less than £5 or a tube bender for £40, that would help with the designs.

I really like this kind of thing and there seems to be great interest in hand made industrial looking lamps. If you could source some of those old metal toggle type switches too that would take it to another level, that and maybe a basic aluminium or copper folded shade using thin sheet, which is cheap. Even just 4 squares of copper held together with small angle brackets would make a decent shade and look very nice, esp when it ages. Heating the pipes randomly with a gas torch would also add a little something.

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46 minutes ago, Hussle said:

You're doing a great job without the tools, I'm impressed. 

B&Q do pipe/conduit bending springs for less than £5 or a tube bender for £40, that would help with the designs.

I really like this kind of thing and there seems to be great interest in hand made industrial looking lamps. If you could source some of those old metal toggle type switches too that would take it to another level, that and maybe a basic aluminium or copper folded shade using thin sheet, which is cheap. Even just 4 squares of copper held together with small angle brackets would make a decent shade and look very nice, esp when it ages. Heating the pipes randomly with a gas torch would also add a little something.

Bending springs are for copper pipe which is a lot easier to bend than the 20mm steel conduit I use. I started out bending the conduit with springs from an old chest expander I have - the springs just happen to be the right diameter! Unfortunately the springs would get stuck in the tube (especially on tighter bends) & had to be destroyed to get them back out (cue the end of one chest expander). I now pack the conduit with sand & use a length of steam pipe to bend it round a former which is clamped in my bench vice (I'll try & take a photo). It works but takes a fair bit of effort - it's good exercise though :). The £40 pipe bender is, again, designed for use with copper tube & I don't think it'd last long with steel conduit. I don't want to waste money on something that may not last long & proper, commercial conduit benders are £300ish new. Used ones are available on eBay but they're big items so storage is a problem & again I'm reluctant to spend the money on something that's only a hobby (at the moment). I've sold a couple of my lights to a theatre friend, & made some for my step-daughter, but eBay is probably the next step for the two pictured once I get them PAT tested (next week hopefully).  

I've been thinking about a shade of some sort & the copper sheet isn't a bad idea at all - another one to try for the next lamp :thumbsup: I'm going to treat myself to a die holder as using the mole grips (vice grips) is pretty hard & getting the thread started straight can be a right pain - the commercial conduit die stocks have a guide which keeps helps with getting the thread started straight.

:)  

Edited by pauluspaolo

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Ahh I didn't realise it was steel, sorry. It is a bit much, I suppose, to spend on a machine to bend it as it's just a hobby you've started. Maybe if you can sell a fair few it might make sense to get one. Can you use copper pipe? 

I like the second one you pictured too, discs look great made into things.

I always wanted an engine coffee table, like the one on TopGear, big old lump with a glass top looks cool................unless you stub your toe on it!

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I've never tried copper tubing, though I've seen lamps made from it (Pinterest is your friend for industrial style lamps) so it's obviously possible. I do backstage work at a local theatre & steel conduit is used to weigh the flown cloths. Sometimes the cloths come with steel chain sewn into them at the bottom which serves the same purpose but usually they come with a sewn sleeve at the bottom into which steel conduit is inserted (it's a pain folding cloths with chain sewn into them). Anyway there's a fair bit of spare steel conduit at the theatre so I occasionally help myself to a bit of it :whistle:

You mentioned switches in one of your previous posts - I've used metal toggle switches on previous lamps & agree that they look, & feel, good, however there are clearance issues as the ones I've used in the past have been too deep for the conduit boxes - must be other smaller/slimmer/shallower versions available though. It's obviously undesirable having electrical terminals pressing against the back of a metal box! I have fitted them though so, again, it's possible it's just a pain getting them to fit/work safely. The switch fitted above fits in the cover fairly easily (still needs a bit of work though) & there's plenty of clearance for the terminals in the box too - I insulate the back of each box though as I'd rather be safe than sorry.

If you like these then I'd be happy to try & make you one to your design - no promises that I'll be able to make it though! - please send me a pm if interested :thumbs_up:

Edited by pauluspaolo
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Saw a programme on the telly only a few days ago - some bloke there was making lamps out of copper pipe. 

 

Some nice examples here. 

 

 

Edited by Steve D UK
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The old time sparks would use a hole in a piece of wood to bend the conduit

you would need to be careful of kinking the tube wall if you needed tight bends mind

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12 minutes ago, Daz. said:

The old time sparks would use a hole in a piece of wood to bend the conduit

you would need to be careful of kinking the tube wall if you needed tight bends mind

Seen & tried that method - didn't go badly until last go at getting the bend finished, tried a bit to hard & tubing slipped resulting in kinked pipe - swore a lot & threw it in bin. It was this that made me use the former (made from a pulley from a car engine) that I mentioned earlier :)

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On 28/07/2017 at 19:53, Daz. said:

The old time sparks would use a hole in a piece of wood to bend the conduit

you would need to be careful of kinking the tube wall if you needed tight bends mind

That's how I was taught when I did my apprenticeship in the early 70's. I wired up a factory unit bending the conduit that way when I first went s/e. You preferably want a piece of hardwood long enough to let you bend the conduit standing up with the end of the wood resting on the floor. The right sized hole, and a bit of judicious work on the curved side of the hole (if you see what I mean), and it'll work OK. 

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1 hour ago, Amplidyne said:

That's how I was taught when I did my apprenticeship in the early 70's. I wired up a factory unit bending the conduit that way when I first went s/e. You preferably want a piece of hardwood long enough to let you bend the conduit standing up with the end of the wood resting on the floor. The right sized hole, and a bit of judicious work on the curved side of the hole (if you see what I mean), and it'll work OK. 

I started my apprenticeship in the mid 80's and have only used that method a couple of times but with the rit skills it does work.

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1 minute ago, Daz. said:

I started my apprenticeship in the mid 80's and have only used that method a couple of times but with the rit skills it does work.

Yes, you have to sort of "inch" along the bend, and not be in too much of a hurry. (But you already know that!)

Much easier and quicker with a proper bender, but even then still useful sometimes for offsets where the bends are close.

Biggest snag is repeating bends is tricky if you have several running together. Not a problem here.

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Lamps have been taking a back seat of late but my step-daughter asked me if I could make one for her wife's nephew out of some old mtb forks (& assorted other parts) I had in the garage. This is the result - finished yesterday & PAT tested successfully. I quite like it - though I'd do things differently if I was to make another one (probably not going to happen) - & hopefully the little lad will be thrilled with it :) 

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Edited by pauluspaolo
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I have a ruined crank shaft from a DCi engine that is awaiting converting to a lamp.

My BIL in studied geography at uni, he found a load of old wooden theodolite tripods in a dusty cupboard on campus, no one wanted them so he made them in fantastic looking lamps, like this but without the price tag!

https://www.made.com/alfred-tripod-floor-lamp-natural-wood?utm_content=shopping-prospecting&madelp=gshopping&gclid=CjwKCAiA9rjRBRAeEiwA2SV4Zdy5vbxceABZLQw6bvLOs6f7c1qJ7Hqf2ZS_WKCIu40lKcoOW3mbOhoCRDQQAvD_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds

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On 11/12/2017 at 10:16, novatron1_2 said:

I have a ruined crank shaft from a DCi engine that is awaiting converting to a lamp.

My BIL in studied geography at uni, he found a load of old wooden theodolite tripods in a dusty cupboard on campus, no one wanted them so he made them in fantastic looking lamps, like this but without the price tag!

https://www.made.com/alfred-tripod-floor-lamp-natural-wood?utm_content=shopping-prospecting&madelp=gshopping&gclid=CjwKCAiA9rjRBRAeEiwA2SV4Zdy5vbxceABZLQw6bvLOs6f7c1qJ7Hqf2ZS_WKCIu40lKcoOW3mbOhoCRDQQAvD_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds

Great find by your BIL & I bet they look good. Unfortunately no theodolite tripods but there may be some old camera tripods at work. I'm off on holiday imminently so will ask in the new year - I've also considered using artists easel's for their tripod legs. I also have a crank (from a 2 litre Zetec) but could do with finding a flywheel from the same engine before making it into a lamp (doubt if it'll fall over once that's fitted!) :thumbs_up: 

Edited by pauluspaolo

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