Balanced Bottle Lamp


Speed Square
1/4″ Brad Point¬†drilling bit
1-3/4″ Hole Saw
Jig Saw
Jig Saw Blade
Handheld Saw
Wood Glue
Screw Clamps
2″ Spring Clamps

Large Glass Bottle
3/4″ Thick Pine
1/2″ Thick Oak
2″ Thick Redwood
1/4″ Round Dowel
Lamp Parts:
Light Socket
Lamp Hardware Set
Lamp Cord

Step 1: Prepare the Bottle

In a previous project I cut off the bottom of a large glass bottle and used that to make a candle. Now is the time that I’ll be using the rest of that bottle.
Before I can start adding the parts, I need to sand smooth the cut surface of the bottle.

Step 2: Test Fit the Parts

Now I’m¬†able to¬†add the parts for the lamp;¬†a light-weight¬†socket, a threaded post that connects to the socket, and a nut¬†to carry¬†the threaded post to the lid of the bottle.¬†so as¬†to connect¬†the post to the lid,¬†i want¬†to drill a hole into the lid. The post is 3/8″ in diameter so¬†that is the¬†size of bit I’ll use. Next I’ll test fit the parts, including¬†fixing¬†the sunshine¬†bulb.

Step 3: Find the Center of Mass

With all of the parts together,¬†i want¬†to seek out¬†the middle¬†of mass. I pick the¬†suppress¬†with 2 fingers, one on either side, and see how it balances. I¬†do this¬†several times, re-positioning my fingers forward and back, until the bottle doesn’t tip either way¬†once I¬†pick it up.¬†i exploit¬†a bit¬†of tape to mark¬†now¬†.¬†it’s going to¬†not be¬†the precise¬†center of mass, but it’s close enough for this project.

Step 4: A Bit of Info

I’m using this 3/4″ thick pine board that¬†I even have¬†already cut for this to demonstrate where the angle of the board¬†must¬†be cut.¬†you’ll¬†see that where this board is cut at an angle,¬†the middle¬†of that flat surface is perpendicular to where I marked the center of mass for the lamp. Again,¬†this does not¬†need to¬†be completely perfect, but reasonably close. But¬†confine¬†mind, the thinner the board is¬†that you simply¬†use, the more exact¬†it’s¬†to be. Thicker boards will¬†offer you¬†more leniency. This one can even be rocked back and forth¬†alittle¬†amount, so balancing is fairly simple.

Step 5: Drill the Hole

I’m¬†getting to¬†make¬†a replacement¬†one¬†which will¬†hold the bottle at¬†a special¬†angle, using this 1/2″ thick oak board. I start by making a¬†shave¬†from¬†the top¬†about 3″ and another mark centered on the width of the board.¬†the space¬†from¬†the top¬†is simply¬†a private¬†preference,¬†counting on¬†how¬†you wish¬†the way¬†it’s¬†. I’m¬†employing a¬†hole saw¬†that’s¬†slightly larger than the neck of my bottle, but first¬†i will be¬†drilling a 1/4″ hole for my guide bit. On the previous board I drilled¬†the opening¬†straight in. This one¬†i would like¬†to drill it at about 45 degrees.

Step 6: Mark and Cut the Angle

After drilling¬†the opening¬†, I put the bottle into it and position it¬†and therefore the¬†board at the angle that¬†i would like¬†it to balance.¬†i exploit¬†the grid on my work mat¬†to assist¬†me align everything. This vertical line that I’m drawing is lined up with¬†the middle¬†of mass for my lamp. I draw this horizontal line through¬†the center¬†of the vertical line.¬†this may¬†be where I cut the board.¬†i exploit¬†a straight¬†fringe of¬†my square¬†to form¬†sure¬†the road¬†is straight. I extend that line along each of¬†the edges¬†of the board, using my square¬†to form¬†sure¬†the road¬†goes straight across.¬†this may¬†help me¬†confirm¬†I’m cutting it straight.¬†you’ll¬†cut this with a hand saw, but¬†i will be¬†using my jig saw, set to¬†an equivalent¬†angle¬†because the¬†mark that I drew.

Step 7: Adjust If It Doesn’t Balance

Now that it’s cut I test it out. Something is wrong because it won’t balance, it keeps tipping to the left. I¬†countercheck¬†the middle¬†of balance for the lamp,¬†that also¬†looks good. Looking again from the side,¬†the middle¬†of balance is aligned correctly with my mark. I happen¬†to note¬†that¬†a part of¬†the bottle is resting on the board.¬†a number of¬†the bottles weight is being supported directly by the board here, shifting the balance point.¬†this is often¬†where things are being thrown off balance.¬†to regulate¬†for that I¬†stop¬†a touch¬†more, just estimating¬†a few¬†1/4″ more¬†to get rid of¬†. It still didn’t balance, so I¬†stop¬†another 1/4″. Now it balances well.

Step 8: Wire Up the Cord

Next I’ll take all of the parts apart so I can attach the cord for the lamp. I take apart¬†the sunshine¬†socket, which is held¬†along side¬†one screw from¬†the within¬†of the socket. Then I feed the cord through all of the parts, one by one. Now¬†it is time¬†to attach¬†the wires to the lamp socket. On this plug, one prong is wider than¬†the opposite¬†one.

When plugged into an outlet this wider prong is that the neutral wire and therefore the narrower prong is that the hot wire. within the light socket, the two screw I connect these wires to are different colors. The neutral wire must hook up with the silver colored screw and therefore the hot wire must hook up with the brass screw. I bend the top of the wire in order that it wraps round the screw clockwise. This helps it to grab better as I tighten the screw.

Step 9: Re-Assemble the Parts

Now I can put all of these parts back together. I pass the cord through the hole in the board, balance the bottle, then plug it in.

Step 10: Another Option

Now I want to show another option. When I was at the hardware store looking at boards, I saw a 2″ x 2″ piece of redwood that was already cut at 45 degrees on each end. I cut off these ends and glued them together side by side. I align this with the previous piece to mark where the hole need to be drilled. I placed it front down on the newer piece and traced out the hole, then I used the same steps as before to drill out the hole. After drilling out the hole, I test it with the lamp. It balances well, so next I’m going to a show couple of things about this design.

Step 11: You Can Give It Feet

First I measure the distance from the bottom to where I drilled the hole, which turns out to be about 6″. The next thing is the base. Although you want the center of mass for the bottle to be above the middle of the base, you can actually carve out the middle and give it some feet. This actually helps it balance a little bit easier because it doesn’t have the full bottom to rock back and forth on as easily.

Step 12: Additional Bottle Support With Thicker Wood

The final thing that¬†i would like¬†to point out¬†is this; the neck of this bottle¬†may be a¬†bit short compared to the thickness of this wood.¬†this might¬†end in¬†the lamp¬†beginning¬†of the opening.¬†to deal with¬†this issue I’m¬†getting to¬†add this 1/4″ dowel¬†to assist¬†support the bottle¬†in situ¬†. I drill a hole¬†within the¬†center of¬†the highest¬†all of the way through into¬†the opening¬†. The dowel can slide in snugly, so now I put the bottle¬†back to¬†place¬†to ascertain¬†how well it works.

I want the dowel¬†to travel¬†into the gap between this glass ridge¬†and therefore the¬†lid¬†in order that¬†it catches. After testing it and seeing that¬†this is often¬†working, I remove the dowel, add¬†a touch¬†of glue, then reinsert the dowel.¬†this is not¬†an ideal¬†thanks to¬†glue the dowel into place, but¬†it’ll¬†be¬†quite¬†effective for this project. I position the dowel as far down¬†because it¬†can go and still allow me¬†to get rid of¬†the bottle. After the glue dries¬†i will be able to¬†stop¬†the surplus¬†dowel. But before the glue dries, I¬†wipe off¬†the surplus¬†glue with¬†a humid¬†towel¬†.¬†and eventually¬†, I leave it to dry.

Step 13: And That’s It

And that’s all that I’ve done for now. I want to make some decorative modifications to each of these stands. Any tips on how I can improve their appearance would be greatly appreciated, so please leave a comment on what would be awesome ways that I can finish each of these.

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