Guess What I Did With My Saturday

July 2, 2011

Go ahead. Guess.

I’ll wait.


You done guessing yet?

All I did was play some Bioshock 2, ate a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, and saved a child from drowning at sea.

Nothing too much really.

Okay, you’re right, one of those is a lie.

Actually, I did this:


Lamp Dry Fit

That’s right! I did it! My lamp is nearing completion!

Well, it’s not even close to done yet, I just dry fitted the pieces together just to make sure everything worked correctly. Not to mention, despite my elaborate plans of construction, most of the design was thought up on the spot. Still though, progress has occurred.

So, please excuse me while I geek out about this thing for a post and then you can come back tomorrow and read a short story.

This is a rough look at the lamp I am building. It’s made of CPVC pipe. I haven’t glued it together yet because I’m afraid of making a permanent mistake. That, and I have  33 other steps in order to complete before I glue it.

Now, keep in mind, this is supposed to be a steampunk lamp. It will probably get shunned by the steampunk community once I finish it, but that’s alright because It’s just going to light up my bedroom anyway, so it doesn’t matter how other people feel about it. I’m going for a copper pipe look, but without the gigantic cost of copper pipe.

By the way, you’re looking at 10 feet of pipe. Yeah, I said 10 feet of pipe. That’s exactly 5 feet of 3/4″ and 5 feet of 1/2″ pipe. I chose CPVC because it was cheaper to buy fittings for. The dimensions are roughly 14″ (width), 14″ (deep), and 24″ (height). You may be able to tell, but just in case you can’t, a shade will hang over the bulb from the pipe that seems to reach into the air for no reason. The bulb will be placed in the open ended pipe directly underneath the hanging pipe. Voila, lamp.

Now the real delimma is trying to decide how I’m going to paint it. Today I commited to buying some spray paint and had to make a hard decision at the store. They didn’t have copper spray paint (even though I know it exists). So I picked up some “aged/antiqued gold” which is pretty much the same as copper minus the red and shiny qualities. Here are a few of my color tests for proof.

normal pipe fitting

This is just a test pipe fitting that I’m using as a color and paint test. This was soon sanded down with 200 grit sandpaper. This was done until there was no more gloss on the outside. It had been recommended to me that sanding would create more surface area for the paint to stick to, and the more that sticks is the more that stays on. I decided to put on a primer coat  and make it black (because everybody online says that black primer will hide any ink on the pipe as well as add to the effect of the copper.


Now this is the appearance of the “copper” paint. I put some pennies next to it to show the difference in color. I’m actually pretty pleased with color. I think it will make it seem like the copper was aged a little bit. The downside is that it won’t have that copper sheen or luster. I guess the other downside is if somebody who is a color nazi sees it they will probably say, “That looks like bronze, not copper.” That’s also when I hit them over the head with my fake copper spray paint and tell them that they need to lighten up.

Now, you have to trust me on this when I say it actually looks more like copper in person. I guess it is kind of lacking a redishness to it as well, but up close, and with no pennies next to it, it passes as a copper color. Anyway, I’m still going to see if there will be a way I can make it look more aged or used. I’ve even read online that I can add a green patina on the sharp corners to make it look more like it’s been living under a basement for a few years.

In related news:

I tried buying a lamp shade earlier this week, but that fell through when I realized that the shade looked pretty… girly.

Yeah, I’m a dude building a lamp and all, but I don’t want this thing to look girly. I want it to look like it should reside in some mad scientist’s lab. A mad scientist with a particularly long white beard. I realize that this thought is a little foolish, but hey, my imagination works in ways that even I don’t understand sometimes. So just bear with me.

Any recommendations for a lamp shade and/or painting tips to make it seem more aged would be deeply appreciated.

While I’m pretty ancy to get this thing put together, I’m still going to try and make sure that slow down and do things right. I’m pretty confident that I will be able to make the thing actually work and be functional and all, but will it look good? I dunno.

I suppose if I really mess this thing up, I’ll just try again.

More to follow,


One Response to “Guess What I Did With My Saturday”

  1. I don’t know if a real steampunk lamp would have a shade. I think maybe the bulb would just be so jacked up and dust-covered that no shade would be necessary?

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