Electrified Tubes

I’m a nerd at heart, I’m sure that’s apparent to everyone here.  So I’ve always loved the steampunk aesthetics – Brass, Leather, Wood, SciFi – whats not to love?

I went ahead and ordered some LEDs from amazon. I’ve never worked with them before and don’t have any electrical training. Really, its experiment time!


That’s the LED pack that I got. Its 150 LEDs in 3mm and 150 in 6mm, in 5 colors. The pack also came with 300 resistors. For like $12.00 its a pretty good deal really.

So that when I started looking around the shop for something ‘steampunk’ to light up.


I found the box of old tubes. PERFECT! So damn scifi!

Turns out if you carefully cut open the bottom of the tube you can insert a 6mm LED in the tube stem. Now, be careful, the first tube exploded when I sawed into it-through it-and into my thumb…

So with a little playing you get something like:


Gorgeous right? I love the way green LEDs come through!

So I got it lit, I got it working, I got it looking cool! Now, how the hell do I put it on my desk, safely?

Well– steampunk it a bit more. who doesn’t love turned brass (scrap from my spinning tops) and some beautiful off cuts of Bacote? (left over from my file handles)


So I used a smaller tube, fitted it to the brass. The brass had a central hole. The LED and resistor were sunk into that and fitted into the Bacote block. Hot glue was my friend here. I then thought about it for a second. If a battery, a AAA in the instance was running this LED at 1.5V DC with say at best 1.2A then I, in theory, could use a similar constant power supply right? So a quick trip to the thrift store and I got an old cell phone charger for 25 cents. Its output was 2.3V DC at .5A. My green LEDs were rated to take 2.5V max. Ok, so It seems safe. plug it in, LIGHT! Its not at bright running at .5A but if I wanted to I guess I could replace the resistor for one of less resistance. But why? I know how to light an LED now!

Overall it was a quick afternoon project and a fun little distraction!

New Cherry Pipe

I wanted to make a gift for a friend that recently gave me a really nice cigar. So What do I give him? Well, a pipe, obviously!


Ok, so I’ve been a bit lazy with this one day build. I only grabbed the finished shot. But I turned the stem by hand. broke an extra long drill bit in it. Chewed up my knuckles in the disk grinder too. But this is a cool pipe. Its my first out of a non-briar wood. Its Cherry. I had a nice slab of 8-quarter and gave it a go. Fruit trees are supposedly really great for pipes. We’ll see how this goes!