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Author Topic: Cigar Box Lamp  (Read 2425 times)
Merkk
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« on: July 14, 2010, 01:36:52 am »

I've been working on a cigar box lamp for the past couple of days.  This being my first project, I'm just keeping things simple and just focusing on making a good looking lamp.  I've planned on using a dimmer switch on the side to operate the single 40-60 watt bulb.  I've been reading on diy electrical pages that dimmer switches can produce some unwanted heat do to the fact that they are effectively limiting the current similar to a resistor. 

I certainly don't want to burn down my house just for a few moments of steampunk goodness and do-it-yourself glory.  Am I worrying too much about this potential problem?  If the dimmer would cause more heat than the cigar box can handle, is there a way to mitigate the heat?  I'm using a standard 600w dimmer and a standard socket.  I can't wait to get this project off the ground.

And of course, I'll be sure to post some pictures once I get everything finished.

Thanks
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Merkk
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« Reply #1 on: July 15, 2010, 04:03:23 am »

So, I'm putting up a picture of the lamp as it stands so far. 

Spoiler (click to show/hide)

The hoses will be cut and connected using a brass or copper clamp (when I can find one the right size).  The switch will be placed on the side opposite the hose.  I don't have a picture of the knob yet, but I'm using the knob off of the same acetylene torch parts that the hose and gauge came off of. 

I'll also be making a brass cage for the bulb itself.

So, tell me what you think.
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JingleJoe
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« Reply #2 on: July 15, 2010, 09:25:58 pm »

Jolly good for a first project Smiley Much better than all the generic stuff you see around Wink

All I'd say is put in a vent and do some preliminary tests, connect your circuit up outside the box for an hour or so and see how hot the dimmer gets. If its very very very hot then perhaps a steamy heatsink is in order Wink But I should't worry too much. As long as your wiring is safe and insulated there isnt alot that can go wrong in such a simple circuit.
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Merkk
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« Reply #3 on: July 16, 2010, 01:06:00 am »

Thank you very much for the advice.  As soon as I get a spare moment, I'll test it out and get it running!

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von Corax
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« Reply #4 on: August 13, 2010, 10:35:16 am »

Keep in mind that a standard dimmer switch is designed to be installed inside an outlet box inside a wall where there's piss-poor air circulation (and likely none wanted, if it's an outside wall) and that the switch itself has to be CSA-certified as being disinclined to burst into flames... If the switch actually needs a heat-sink, it'll have one as part of the faceplate.
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Merkk
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« Reply #5 on: August 14, 2010, 09:30:15 pm »

I have success!  Grin  For such a simple project, it took me this long to complete.  But all the connections are made and would you believe it, the bulb actually lights up!  I'll be sure to run it for a few hours under surveillance to make sure it isn't getting super hot.  But I think I can focus on the finishing touches now and maybe put some pictures up in the next day or two.

Thanks everyone for the help.
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