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Author Topic: How to steampunk a lightswitch  (Read 2106 times)
JingleJoe
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« on: February 15, 2010, 11:42:09 pm »

You may think that you are safe in your homes, but this is a common misconception.
Your steampunkness is in danger!
This threat affects us all and it's happening right now, it's somewhere out there right now!

Spoiler (click to show/hide)

Do not dispair, for there are solutions! You can replace these monsters with (expensive) brass toggle switches made to look old fashioned, or for those without money but a stockpile of bits of wood and nuts and bolts, this is the solution for you!


I'll summarize initially so you know where I'm going; I was sick of my white plastic lightswitch, so I did something about it. I covered it with a wooden box and extended the "lever" of the switch with a bolt Smiley Now it is much nicer looking!

Now for the details:

After some measuring and calcuating I crafted this box which fitted over my light switch. I found the wood I used in a skip.
Spoiler (click to show/hide)
In the center there is a hole for the moving parts to go through and to the right of it there is another hole which is for the bolt that holds it to the switch.
Spoiler (click to show/hide)
This is my nasty light switch, you can see where I took the bolt on the right to act as an anchor for the box, I just used a longer bolt inserted through the covering box and then screwed into the switch. I only took one bolt out to avoid damaging any structural things or loosening the switch.
Also you can see where I affixed the bolt (which was made for me by my friend Nik Smiley) I used epoxy resin to fix it to the center of the "rocker", when the epoxy resin fully cures it becomes very strong and can withstand many decades of switch flipping, also the switch instantly becomes 100% more satisfying to flip and you have to stand there switching the light on and off for ten minutes.
Here it is almost done:
Spoiler (click to show/hide)
Accurate measurements were needed to drill the holes for the bolt and the switch.
After adding some nuts and washers to the bolt for decoration here is the final product! Grin
Spoiler (click to show/hide)
One more small detail I took account for was that you could still see the white light switch through the center hole in the wooden box, so I put a large metal washer on the bolt, behind the box! Not only does this hide the white plastic but it also makes a satisfying "ting" when you throw the switch.
Much steamier than the plastic counterpart, much more satisfying to switch! Steampunk your lightswitch today!
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Otto Von Pifka
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« Reply #1 on: February 16, 2010, 09:05:10 am »

maybe you could make a fake blade switch handle to operate the rod? something like those nuts from toggle style wall anchors might work to change the leverage. the nut is like a square nut but it has two ears that the toggle arms pivot on. you could make a fake blade handle with two holes only a quarter inch away from the pivot rivets, in each arm. then a cross bar with a generous center hole could ride over your wall switch bolt. it would probably make an even louder click when thrown. fake contactors would hold the arms like on a real switch.
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MechanicalMouse
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« Reply #2 on: February 16, 2010, 05:09:50 pm »

Nice thinking there JingleJoe.

I've got some modding to do!
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JingleJoe
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« Reply #3 on: February 16, 2010, 11:15:54 pm »

I thought about the knife switch option but I wanted to do something quicker and easier with less parts Wink

Keep up the good work mechanicalMouse Grin
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Asta_Lynn
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« Reply #4 on: February 21, 2010, 11:58:38 pm »

I'd love to do this, but with moving soon I feel it will be very much impossible to do anything that wont deface the value of my mother's hard work in remodeling our home for selling this spring.

Perhaps there is a less permanent way to achieve the results?
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"You are not men! You are not women! You are an unstoppable force! And we will be reckoned with!"-The Clockwork Dolls "The Iron Rose"
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And introducing the wonderful Irish (Mrs Z).


« Reply #5 on: February 22, 2010, 08:16:42 pm »

Ummm. not nearly as cheap, but very satisfactory...

I've replaced some of our standard lightswitches with these

They were common from the turn of the century to the 1950's.  Given that our house is from the 1930's it possibly originally had these.

Z.
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"At least those oddballs are interesting" - My Wife.
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JingleJoe
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The Green Dungeon Alchemist


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« Reply #6 on: February 22, 2010, 09:24:08 pm »

I'd love to do this, but with moving soon I feel it will be very much impossible to do anything that wont deface the value of my mother's hard work in remodeling our home for selling this spring.

Perhaps there is a less permanent way to achieve the results?

Thats the beauty of this though, its not permanent, that box is just attached by a bolt and if you dont want to glue anything to the lightswitch then you could fabricate some sort of lever that pushed the switch and only attached to the box, but that would be more complex.
Something like this:




P.S. nice switches Zwack Smiley

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