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Tiki Central Forums Creating Tiki Other Crafts Making small glass float lamps from repro floats
Making small glass float lamps from repro floats
Greg_D_R
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Joined: Apr 22, 2011
Posts: 111
Posted: 2012-06-17 01:16 am   Permalink

There's a good sized thread on making float lamps from the large 12" netted floats. I recently bought about 8 of the smaller 5" floats from Oceanic Arts, along with 4 of the 3 globe stranded floats. All of these come with the netting. The 5" are generally about $9 each. The strands are 15 or $20. In addition to OA, you can find them on ebay, and probably a few places online. The only real difficulty in this conversion is drilling holes in the glass globes.



I bought a 1" diamond hole cutter bit off of ebay, and it turned out to be pretty easy to use. Out of 20 globes, I ended up breaking 1 globe while drilling. My biggest mistake was in attempting to use a spring clip candelabra socket for my lights. The metal spring clip broke one globe and cracked another before I got wise: Don't put pressure on the cut edge of the glass. I ended up using the kind of candelabra sockets that have the cardboard sleeve.



I did all my drilling in the kitchen sink, with the globes still in their netting, in their opened shipping boxes. This way the glass was cushioned and held in place. I dripped water on the drill bit, stopping every 40 seconds or so as I went. Even the smallest 3" globes on the strands did not prove to be a problem. The key is to run the drill at about 3/4 speed, and not use a lot of pressure on the glass. Let the bit do the work.

When you first place the bit on the glass, start slow then quickly speed up so it doesn't skate around, and get your groove going. Use just enough water to keep the glass dust in a milky consistency.



When one part of the bit first breaks through into the interior, there will be a small "pop" that you may not hear over the drill noise, as pressure equalizes. Once you break through, slow the drill down a bit and go cautiously. Ease the pressure over to the side of the hole opposite where you first broke through. In other words, try to drill as even a hole as possible.



When you get to the point of almost finishing a hole, the pitch of the grinding noise will drop.



That's pretty much it. When I was done, I wiped the glass residue off of the outside of the glass, wiped the inside as best I could, and shook out the hole cut piece. Then I sprayed the inside with Krylon glass frosting spray paint.



I bought lamp kits online from National Artcraft. They also sell a white plastic candelabra socket that's made to be used with multiple sockets inline on the same wire. I used these on the 3 strand lights. Don't use that type of socket as the end socket. Use the cardboard sleeve socket instead. I wrapped the lamp kits in twine to make them blend in a little better. The twine also holds the sockets in place without damaging the glass. I'm happy with the way everything turned out.



Most of the bullet shaped colored light bulbs won't fit through a 1 inch hole. I found some 'S6' candelabra bulbs online that come in red, blue, and green. The smaller white frosted bulbs that are flame shaped, fit with no problems.




The smaller red lamp on the right with the great netting was done by tikiskip. The blue lamp is one of my conversions. The painting behind them sits in front of a glass block window, so it's backlit during the day.





[ This Message was edited by: Greg_D_R 2012-06-17 01:26 ]


 
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tikiskip
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Joined: Nov 26, 2005
Posts: 2849
Posted: 2012-06-17 07:08 am   Permalink

I like the three light thing you did.
Those are cool.
Good job.


 
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Greg_D_R
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Joined: Apr 22, 2011
Posts: 111
Posted: 2012-06-17 1:53 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2012-06-17 07:08, tikiskip wrote:
I like the three light thing you did.
Those are cool.
Good job.



Thanks John, you've done a lot of lamps, so that's good to hear. It would take me a month to do the netting that you did on the red lamp.


 
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VampiressRN
Grand Member (8 years)  

Joined: Nov 23, 2006
Posts: 5772
From: Sun City Lincoln Hills (NorCal)
Posted: 2012-06-17 2:44 pm   Permalink

I agree...the trio looks great. A lot of work and time, but the outcome is fabulous!!!
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Greg_D_R
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Joined: Apr 22, 2011
Posts: 111
Posted: 2012-06-17 4:33 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2012-06-17 14:44, VampiressRN wrote:
I agree...the trio looks great. A lot of work and time, but the outcome is fabulous!!!




You know, the funny thing is, after practicing on the single floats, I knocked out the 4 stranded ones in 5 or 6 hours, including wrapping the twine.

Here are some links:

Glass floats
http://stores.ebay.com/Seashells-Plus-More/Glass-Floats-/_i.html?_fsub=2733930012&_sid=19943502&_trksid=p4634.c0.m322

1" glass cutter
http://www.ebay.com/itm/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=280395479422

Candelabra sockets
http://www.nationalartcraft.com/subcategory.asp?gid=1&cid=27&scid=27

e12 base colored lights that will clear a 1" hole
http://www.bulbtown.com/6S6_BLUE_130V_MINIATURE_BULB_E12_BASE_p/9063.htm



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danlovestikis
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Joined: Jun 17, 2002
Posts: 4863
Posted: 2012-06-17 4:55 pm   Permalink

Thanks for sharing these photos and links. I especially liked the threesome. What's next? Wendy
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Greg_D_R
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Joined: Apr 22, 2011
Posts: 111
Posted: 2012-06-17 5:02 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2012-06-17 16:55, danlovestikis wrote:
Thanks for sharing these photos and links. I especially liked the threesome. What's next? Wendy




Just finishing out my room. It's a basement lounge and home theater. Pretty small, so there's no real room for a bar, but all the rums and mixers are there, which you can sort of see peeking in at the edges of my pics.

I got some puffer fish lamps that still need hanging. I covered my acoustic drop ceiling tiles with lauhala matting, and covered the fluorescent lights with tapa fabric. I'm thinking about covering the drop ceiling tracks with seagrass weave. Stuff like that.


 
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danlovestikis
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Joined: Jun 17, 2002
Posts: 4863
Posted: 2012-06-17 5:46 pm   Permalink

I'll look forward to photos when you have finished. There is nothing better than creating a space to enjoy and sharing it with everyone here. Wendy
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Loki-Tiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 05, 2007
Posts: 285
From: Like...The Valley
Posted: 2012-06-17 7:14 pm   Permalink

Quote:


You know, the funny thing is, after practicing on the single floats, I knocked out the 4 stranded ones in 5 or 6 hours, including wrapping the twine.

Here are some links:

Glass floats
http://stores.ebay.com/Seashells-Plus-More/Glass-Floats-/_i.html?_fsub=2733930012&_sid=19943502&_trksid=p4634.c0.m322

1" glass cutter
http://www.ebay.com/itm/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=280395479422

Candelabra sockets
http://www.nationalartcraft.com/subcategory.asp?gid=1&cid=27&scid=27

e12 base colored lights that will clear a 1" hole
http://www.bulbtown.com/6S6_BLUE_130V_MINIATURE_BULB_E12_BASE_p/9063.htm





I love you man!


 
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Greg_D_R
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Joined: Apr 22, 2011
Posts: 111
Posted: 2012-06-17 7:42 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2012-06-17 19:14, Loki-Tiki wrote:
Quote:


You know, the funny thing is, after practicing on the single floats, I knocked out the 4 stranded ones in 5 or 6 hours, including wrapping the twine.

Here are some links:

Glass floats
http://stores.ebay.com/Seashells-Plus-More/Glass-Floats-/_i.html?_fsub=2733930012&_sid=19943502&_trksid=p4634.c0.m322

1" glass cutter
http://www.ebay.com/itm/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=280395479422

Candelabra sockets
http://www.nationalartcraft.com/subcategory.asp?gid=1&cid=27&scid=27

e12 base colored lights that will clear a 1" hole
http://www.bulbtown.com/6S6_BLUE_130V_MINIATURE_BULB_E12_BASE_p/9063.htm





I love you man!



Have fun with it! On the twine, I started out with some crafter-made twine on ebay, but I went through so much of it that I ended up just getting a big spindle of hemp twine from Lowe's. I also liberated a low-heat hot glue gun from the wife's craft room, for firmly attaching the twine to the light sockets.


 
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Greg_D_R
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 22, 2011
Posts: 111
Posted: 2012-06-17 7:46 pm   Permalink

Also, here is the link to the actual lamp kits I bought. The one that is listed as NO BULB:

http://www.nationalartcraft.com/subcategory.asp?gid=1&cid=426&scid=310

For the 3 light strand, I crimped the two white inline sockets on the kit wire.


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Kon-Hemsby
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Sep 17, 2003
Posts: 1286
From: Andover, England
Posted: 2012-06-18 12:08 am   Permalink

Nice work on the floats. Really like the trio of floats lit, I haven't seen that before.


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Polynesiac
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Joined: Jan 29, 2004
Posts: 2079
From: San Pedro, CA
Posted: 2012-06-18 4:09 pm   Permalink

Very well done!!! that 3 strand is outstanding! thanks for the electrical links too - you certainly did your homework and your lamps turned out beautiful! Now to try the bigger ones!!!!

Quick question about the 1" hole saw, I've always used smaller diameter diamond tips because I found if you cut around the "nipple" of the globe (which is the most concentrated and heaviest part of the globe), that when it drops, it shatters the glass below. Did you have any difficulty with that?

Nice job!


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Greg_D_R
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 22, 2011
Posts: 111
Posted: 2012-06-18 5:07 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2012-06-18 16:09, Polynesiac wrote:
Very well done!!! that 3 strand is outstanding! thanks for the electrical links too - you certainly did your homework and your lamps turned out beautiful! Now to try the bigger ones!!!!

Quick question about the 1" hole saw, I've always used smaller diameter diamond tips because I found if you cut around the "nipple" of the globe (which is the most concentrated and heaviest part of the globe), that when it drops, it shatters the glass below. Did you have any difficulty with that?

Nice job!






You can kind of see that I always tried to place my holes about 30 degrees off-axis of the knot (nipple). So if the knot is top or bottom, my light socket is coming in at an angle. These globes are little, and the glass is pretty thin compared to the the big ones. The only way you will break one of these, IMO, is either to drill too fast and hot (mine never got above lukewarm when drilling), or put too much pressure downward with the drill. The little plug dropping in never did a thing. I don't want to give the impression that I was drilling these in slow motion either. Even going cautiously, you can get a hole cut in 5 to 7 minutes, once you get the feel of it.


 
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spiked
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Dec 10, 2008
Posts: 95
Posted: 2012-06-19 08:49 am   Permalink

Looks awesome! Drilling glass could be a pain and you have done a great job!

There are other ways to get a hole in, if you are looking for a bigger one (big enough to place a puffer in it) is to scoring a small spot on the glass, placing it on a spinning/pottery wheel and having torch point directly at it and spin the wheel- pops right off and even if you leveled it, but you can only do this safely in a glass studio, not recommended to do this at home.

Frosting spray works the best, I'm also a fan of using that, as I found out the hard way that sandblasting, especially on the inside, structurally damages the glass itself and it will crack, if not right away then sometime later.




 
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