More recycled / upcycled gear that we are making. The latest is a lamp to be given to Mother-in Law for a birthday present. We had already given her a Jameson tumbler for her er uh....medicine a couple of x-masses ago. This lamp should compliment her collection. I have wanted to try making bottle lamps for a while after getting the idea from a co-worker (Thanks Tony). The trick is using a diamond bit designed specifically for glass to drill a hole at the bottom of the bottle. I purchased a set of diamond bits on Amazon.com, and so far they are working well. I used the Neiko Heavy Duty 5-Piece Diamond Dust Hole Saw with pretty good initial success.
Process: (Wear protective eyeware; I wore a face shield).
1. Fill bottle with water. This helps prevent any chip-outs when the bit nears coming through to the inside of the bottle.
2. Drill slow and steady at point on bottom of bottle where cord will enter. I did this in the kitchen sink with a very small trickle of water flowing onto the cutting point of the glass.
* The first bottle I tried I broke because I applied far to much pressure on the bit. But by letting the drill bit do the work, my next two bottles were successful.
3. String wire /cord though the drilled hole to the top/neck of the bottle.
4. Drill hole through bottle lid or cork. I used regular multipurpose drill bits for this part. Ultimately the hole diameter was 3/8", but to keep the cork/lid from being destroyed I used a series of progressively larger bits and worked up to the 3/8". This was large enough for the lamp "pipe" to fit through the lid.
5. Wiring and tightening the socket to (or through) the lid is fairly self-explanatory and intuitive.
6. I filled the hole at the bottom with a dab of silicone to hold the cord in place. This is probably not necessary and the hole is smooth (no sharp edges), but it adds a little extra professional feel to the lamp.
I made two lamps. The first lamp was made with a Westinghouse lamp kit purchased from Home Depot. The second lamp I used the "guts" from a lamp Mackenson has broke some time ago. Both with equally good results.
Now to find some decent lampshades, and I think they will look pretty nice.