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Old 10-21-2015, 05:37 AM
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Since you are 'fiddling' with those lights, and finding it 'fiddly' (two slightly different things) - how about 'The Fiddlers' for a name?

Enough different meanings for the same word, and you get to pick which one is most appropriate!
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Old 10-21-2015, 05:39 AM
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Fred - I Googled "Steam Punk Lights" and saw a treasure trove of images, many DIY efforts similar to what you pictured above. Are you planning on those wire 'bulb guards' and/or any gauges for these lights?

I also had one suggestion for cleaning that pipe before painting to remove the oils and that would be a can of parts cleaner and a soft rag. I've had to paint a lot of this pipe in the past and that always seemed to prepare the surface extremely well for primer and then enamel spray paint.
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Old 10-21-2015, 06:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UK Dreamer View Post
Since you are 'fiddling' with those lights, and finding it 'fiddly' (two slightly different things) - how about 'The Fiddlers' for a name?

Enough different meanings for the same word, and you get to pick which one is most appropriate!
I kind-of like the sound of "The Fiddler Theater". The meaning suits this (and my) theater very well!


EDIT: I've got it, courtesy of Wikipedia... The Retrofuture Theater.

Last edited by TMcG; 10-21-2015 at 06:18 AM.
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Old 10-21-2015, 06:09 AM
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Yeah, the options are pretty endless when you start down this road with the lights!



The hardest part will probably be picking just a few designs. You can add gauges and knobs..... I'm getting overwhelmed just thinking about all the possibilities


What's the plan for the light base? I remember a conversation about it a while back, but don't remember the resolution.

Dude, are you made of leprechauns? Cause that was awesome!

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Old 10-21-2015, 07:17 AM - Thread Starter
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I've settled on the light designs at the end of the post from the other day - the simple designs just work for me for a few reasons.

With the lights hanging from the underside of the soffit, I have concerns about the size and blocking the aisle. Those designs are compact, generally. I would like to have guards of some kind to protects the bulbs and people's faces, but I think I'll be okay.

I already bought the pieces I will need for those designs (I think I missed a couple pieces, but I'll fix that) and prepped them for paint. Acknowledging that primer is probably the surest long-term option, my tests with the rustoleum "primer and paint in one" product seem good enough. I went ahead and washed the pipes in water, which I regret a little, as there has been slight hazing of rust in places. Still, I proceed.

The base for the lights will be the surface mount boxes you can see in the pictures. I figured it simplified installation and doesn't require soundproofing considerations.

I'll try to get some pictures of my process up tonight, but I may not get to it.
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Old 10-22-2015, 08:21 AM
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Originally Posted by HopefulFred View Post
I've settled on the light designs at the end of the post from the other day - the simple designs just work for me for a few reasons.

With the lights hanging from the underside of the soffit, I have concerns about the size and blocking the aisle. Those designs are compact, generally. I would like to have guards of some kind to protects the bulbs and people's faces, but I think I'll be okay.

I already bought the pieces I will need for those designs (I think I missed a couple pieces, but I'll fix that) and prepped them for paint. Acknowledging that primer is probably the surest long-term option, my tests with the rustoleum "primer and paint in one" product seem good enough. I went ahead and washed the pipes in water, which I regret a little, as there has been slight hazing of rust in places. Still, I proceed.

The base for the lights will be the surface mount boxes you can see in the pictures. I figured it simplified installation and doesn't require soundproofing considerations.

I'll try to get some pictures of my process up tonight, but I may not get to it.

I suppose the beauty of this lighting approach is that there's really not a huge commitment to a configuration -- aside from the slight hassle of re-wiring, you could take them down and rejigger pretty easily...
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Old 10-22-2015, 02:32 PM - Thread Starter
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It's true - the pieces are reconfigurable and reusable. If I disassemble, I'll have to repaint and rewire. But that's not a huge ordeal or expense. And the parts have been affordable in the first place; I have less than $200 into 8 sconces - bulbs extra.

That said, I hope not to reconfigure them ever.
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Old 10-22-2015, 03:03 PM
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Here's something I've been thinking ability lately: what do I call the theater, once it's done?

........

Any thoughts from you guys?
I've been thinking about this off and on. One that keep coming to mind is

Fred's Anachronistic Nickelodeon

It doesn't really roll off the tongue, but I like what it says.

Another would be Fred's Nickelodeon Renaissance

Again, Nickelodeon is hard to work with, but I like the word.

Now that I've got those out of my head, I can try to think of something else
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Old 10-22-2015, 03:27 PM - Thread Starter
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Again, Nickelodeon is hard to work with, but I like the word.
This is it, in a nutshell. I keep coming back to Thrifty Nickelodeon.
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Old 10-25-2015, 05:18 PM - Thread Starter
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This isn't much of a how-to. I'm not sure it's much of of a how-did-I either, but we'll see. Let me know if there are any questions or missed details or if you are seriously concerned I'll burn my house down.

I started to buy lamp-wire by the foot, but realized that each foot was cheaper in the packaged roll. I probably won't even use half of it, but that's okay since I didn't have to wait for the guy to come cut the wire at Lowes...
18AWG is plenty and matches the leads built into the sockets.


The plastic of the sockets is just barely too big to fit into the 1/2" black iron pipe couplings. A couple minutes with a sanding attachment on the dremel, and they fit in nicely. They will get glued in later - they just need to fit down in there at this point. Here we see one socket still packaged, one fresh, and one sanded.


Easily available at the hardware or auto parts store is insulated crimp connectors. I hate them because I always damage the insulation crimping them. Instead, I bought (had to find through Amazon) unshielded crimp connectors and some heat-shrink tubing. I considered whether wire nuts were more appropriate here and decided against them for several reasons. First, I don't like using wire nuts with stranded wire. Second, and most importantly, the wire nuts would make the wire too bulky to fit through the 1/2" pipe. I also considered soldering, but again I hate soldering with stranded wire, though 18AWG would probably be easy enough. In this image you can see a set of connections in progress. I have already crimped one of the butt connectors onto one of wires and (very importantly) already threaded the wire through the sleeve of heat shrink tubing. The heat shrink comes pre-cut in 2.5" lengths which I was able to cut in half and use 1.25" for each connection. The assortment I bought came with 40 sections of 1/8" tubing which fits nicely over the wires and butt connectors.


A quick trip past the heat gun and Bob's your uncle.


At this point, I had to make some assembly decisions. I decided to go ahead and thread the wires through the pipes as I assembled the sconces/candelabras/chandeliers/fixtures - let's go with fixtures... I don't have any pictures of that. Imagine that you can't really push stranded copper wire up through elbows in 1/2" pipe. Once they were assembled, I backed the sockets loose from the terminal coupling so that I could access the socket for glueing. Here we see one socket already glued. One I tried to glue but failed because the epoxy was already too set. And then there's the epoxy I used. I considered alternate means of glueing, like superglue, but felt more confident in an epoxy. I'll use all of it by the time I'm done, I expect.


I have three of the eight fixtures assembled with sockets glued and a fourth assembled waiting for the next batch of epoxy. I have more sockets to prep and wire to extend before I can assemble the last four and glue them all up. Once they are all glued I will make sure that all the pipes are good and tight so that nothing rattles after a few years of subwoofage, and then the sockets will be masked and the fixtures set up to paint.

Hopefully I can find enough time during evenings this week to get that done. This weekend was mostly a bust with some family activities taking priority.
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Old 10-26-2015, 03:53 AM
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Looking good!

Are you planning to ground the metal part of the fixture?

Dude, are you made of leprechauns? Cause that was awesome!

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Old 10-26-2015, 06:17 AM - Thread Starter
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Yeah, the boxes come with a screw and mounting spot inside. They'll get grounded upon installation.
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Old 10-26-2015, 04:29 PM
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Yeah, the boxes come with a screw and mounting spot inside. They'll get grounded upon installation.
Are they metal?

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Old 10-26-2015, 04:57 PM - Thread Starter
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Yep. I thought about this a little after you asked this morning. It occurred to me that the main body of the fixture is only to be connected to the surface mount box with screws, and will be otherwise isolated electrically. I may find a way to get an extra ground wire in there to be sure that the pipes are grounded to the wiring - not through painted screw-holes.

Here you can see: the pre-painted (white) surface mount box - the sort you would expect flood lights to be mounted to on the underside of an eave in a commercial or industrial setting - with the extra screw hole in the bottom, marked GRD; the foam gasket and two screws designed to seal the cover; and the round cover with the wiring coming through.


I think I might just buff off some of the paint on the cover, then assemble to whole thing before painting. That way I'll be sure that the screw holding the cover to the box has a good electrical connection and grounds the rest of the fixture to the base and household wiring.
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Old 10-26-2015, 06:15 PM
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You can get ground bushings for iron pipe I think (sorry, my internet is too suck to upload an image at the moment). Assuming you have enough threads poking through there to get one one it.



Grounding - and the potential for a little jolt - came to mind when I saw the dremel tool and the light socket. I'd do exactly what you're doing to make the lights, but I'd also make sure it was well grounded. Just in case.

Dude, are you made of leprechauns? Cause that was awesome!

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Old 10-27-2015, 06:16 AM
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Yeah, the options are pretty endless when you start down this road with the lights!



The hardest part will probably be picking just a few designs. You can add gauges and knobs..... I'm getting overwhelmed just thinking about all the possibilities
Just don't make a swastika without realizing it.
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Old 10-27-2015, 08:24 AM
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If you have any concern about the pipes staying secure, you can always hit the threads with a dab of Loc Tite before you tighten them up.
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Old 10-27-2015, 10:07 AM - Thread Starter
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Some thread locking compound is not a bad idea. I've considered it and would prefer to avoid it.

As you may know, pipe threads are tapered. Unlike machine threads which will never become snug before the head of the fastener or something else bottoms out to generate some tension, pipe threads gradually get tighter and tighter. The iron of these pipes is soft compared to steel and the threads deform slightly as they are tightened. The deformation of the threads locks the pieces together very effectively, in the same way that a lock washer would when using machine threaded fasteners. The joints in these designs can mostly be tightened by hand to the point they will never come loose. The only potential exceptions are the straight sections, where there is no elbow on each end; those sections may ultimately require either a pipe wrench or some thread lock. I'm holding out hope that the paint and my hands will keep them snug.
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Old 10-28-2015, 09:34 AM
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Thanks Fred for posting the behind the scenes pics for your lights.
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Old 11-28-2015, 07:38 PM
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I saw this DIY pendulum clock and thought about you. I'm on my phone, so I can't post a pic. The site is thinkgeek. Lots of cool junk to clutter your house or man cave
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Old 12-15-2015, 05:36 PM - Thread Starter
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It's been a while... I have a few things to share... slowly.

Here's one of the eight finished lamps. I stuffed the sockets with cotton to keep from painting the electrical contacts.


They got about 6 thin coats of paint; rustoleum paint and primer in one, oil rubbed bronze is the color.
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Old 12-21-2015, 06:52 AM
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Old 01-01-2016, 03:27 PM
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Lamps looking pretty sweet. Happy New year buddy!

Regards,

RTROSE

My (slower than molasses) HT build here.
Now a Certified Carpet Counselor and Plumbing Counselor (Self given titles - pay no attention).
Enjoying my "almost done" theater.
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Old 01-13-2016, 03:10 PM
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I spent an inordinate amount of time thinking about how to hang the wood. If you look VERY closely you can see that on the walls I have scribed marks every ten inches. Those marks are the heights at which I might place a joint or seam in the paneling pattern. The wall in this photo is almost exactly 80 inches from the riser to the bottom of the soffit, so there are 7 horizontal lines. I don't want joints too close to the ceiling or floor, and I don't want weird patterns to develop - so setting some rules for how the boards fit together makes sense to me. I am planning to avoid altogether placing joints at the same height in consecutive columns. Other than that, I suppose I am just going to do it by feel.

Wow, another fantastic thread/build that is absolutely relevant to my interests! I too will be utilizing some reclaimed wood, along with some cedar fence pickets in my final design, and you have a lot of juicy bits of learning in here that I very much appreciate.

Love the lamp ideas as well!
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Old 02-06-2016, 04:11 PM - Thread Starter
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I'd done almost nothing since Thanksgiving but watch football and host family traveling through town. I finally got a little motivation together and accomplished a thing or three recently. Here's some proof.

The lights are all wired in and mounted to the underside of the soffit. Sorry, no process pictures - here's one installed:


I also wired the GRX-3506 in the closet and have finally cut the hole for the see-touch wallstation. I was a little nervous about cutting into the wall, so I took some measures to protect it, including a few extra brads near the cut out to keep the reciprocating saw from tearing it all out. I ended up using a 14TPI blade, a circular saw, and a 3/8" drill bit.






The last picture I have is of the white oak flooring I used to make the inset ceiling above the entrance. I decided to go ahead and use the cordovan tinted topcoat - the same as was sprayed onto the walls - to color the wood. I have some quarter-round to paint (to match the drywall ceiling - "black fox") and install in the corners. The quarter round is flexible PVC to work with the curve, so the cordovan tint doesn't really work for that (at all).

It looks awfully red to me in this photo, but I like it more in real life.

There's also significant progress (finally) in the equipment closet, including pulling the last wires from elsewhere in the house (spare runs of coax that I hope I can connect to an antenna) and some drywall, now that I have the light cabling all finalized (aside from connecting it to power). No pictures of that for now...

I also bought a Tivo Roamio OTA with lifetime data for $300 a couple weeks ago. I've decided I'll use that for a tuner instead of committing to building a HTPC right now. It's been pretty good in the living room - not perfect, but very good. I'll need to hire a professional to get me a better antenna solution, because the Tivo tuner doesn't seem to be as good as my Panasonic TV...
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Old 02-07-2016, 02:16 PM - Thread Starter
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They work! I didn't burn the house down or anything! The dimming works nicely, but I haven't set up any scenes or anything. I still have the step lights to put bulbs in and some screen wash track lighting to select, buy, and install.


And without a flash they are pretty dim, but I am super glad I went with the warm lights. Feels right.
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Old 02-08-2016, 04:09 AM
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I'm digging it! You've got a great looking space shaping up here. I know it's hard to stay motivated with life getting in the way, but keep at it. You'll be done and watching movies before you know it.

Dude, are you made of leprechauns? Cause that was awesome!

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Old 02-08-2016, 07:07 AM
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They work! I didn't burn the house down or anything! The dimming works nicely, but I haven't set up any scenes or anything. I still have the step lights to put bulbs in and some screen wash track lighting to select, buy, and install.


And without a flash they are pretty dim, but I am super glad I went with the warm lights. Feels right.

WOW!

Room is coming along perfectly! So glad to see another room using the reclaimed look. Love the lights too. I used the same thing for side surround speaker mounts. The hollow pipe is too perfect for so many industrial ideas! I will say that I don't think I've ever noticed a room with the planks going vertically (vs. horizontally). Either way, your room is really looking awesome. I used black roofing felt behind all the barnwood. On a wall which was drywalled I simply painted that flatblack. I had a LOT of knotts and old nail holes. The black behind them really hides a lot.

Did you get the painted top brads? I started using them without the painted tops, but realized that the bare metal brads would shine. Started using brads with brown painted tops and now they just disappear.

GREAT JOB!


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*DIY ConcreteBunker Rustic Dream Build w/11' screen, 11.2chnl, 8x18" IB subs, 28.8KW*
GR Research LS-9 + LS-C | Denon AVR-4520 11.2 | Sony VPL-HW55ES | DaLite 11' screen | Sanway FP-14000 & FP-10000Q | Sherbourn PA 7-350 | Behringer iNuke NU1000DSP | 8x IB318's | Buttkicker Original(2x), LFE(2x), MiniLFE(8x) | MinDSP 2x4 | 21'W x 27'L x 10'H | MiniSplit

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Old 02-08-2016, 07:56 AM - Thread Starter
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WOW!

Room is coming along perfectly!
Thanks! I'm starting to really see it come together.
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...brads with brown painted tops and now they just disappear.
I noticed some of the brads as I drove them, but so many of them drove so deeply that you don't see them at all. The ones that stayed at the surface got some tint when I sprayed every thing, and I don't notice them. I was initially concerned about gaps and not holes in the wood, but with the lighting the way it is, all the gaps are invisible, even with white primes drywall behind them.

No regrets, so far.
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Old 02-08-2016, 08:03 AM
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Awesome!!! I love the warm glow of the lights on the wood... magical!
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