Archive for April 2014

Cigar box lamp, MK I

I really enjoy making things out of cigar boxes. I’m working on some instruments, but for quick and dirty fun you can’t beat a simple table lamp. Here’s what I used:

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  • cigar box
  • cord and plug assembly
  • electrical wire
  • wire caps
  • socket
  • vintage-style bulb
  • toggle switch
  • hand drills and bits
  • needle files
  • pliers
  • wire snippers
  • compass
  • ruler
  • pencil
  • clamp
  • brush
  • tea
  • more tea

To work!


First off, I marked where I wanted the power cord to come into the box.


Clamped and drilled.


Wire’s through the hole, with an underwriter’s knot to keep it there. Very handy trick, that knot.

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The plug goes onto the other end of the wire.


Next I drilled a hole for the toggle switch, on the top of the box.


I didn’t have a big enough bit, so I used a file to enlarge the hole.


And now it fits!




This is where things got…interesting. I measured out how big a hole I’d need to fit the socket into the box.


I bored holes along the diameter with the drill and then used my needle files to cut between them. Would have been nice to have a hole saw right about now.


This took a while. And required more tea.


Finally! The socket fit in place. This model was keyless, with springy tangs on the side to keep it in place.




Now that everything was in place, I wired it up and prayed (I hadn’t made anything electrical before).



The finished lamp




It works! Damn was it bright, though. 60w bulb, but that long squirrel cage filament is a doozie.


Photo taken with the shutter speed waaay up to capture the filament.