making an agate led nightlight

by:XY Screens     2020-06-02
This is an inspiring moment.
You just happen to see something or find something in a store, garage sale or anywhere, and you think, wow, I can do something cool with it.
I have had such moments recently.
While visiting the store, I found these agates that were clearly drilled out for the candle holder.
I like agates and geodes.
All these sparkling colors are very noticeable.
I guess, why not put the LED in and light it from inside instead of the candle.
The hard part is done, drilling out the core, there is a big hole in the middle, so all I have to do is fill it up.
My recent projects with marble, wood, LED and epoxy have helped me see the possibility of being viable.
So a new project was born.
I need to drill a small hole for the wire of the LED.
The big hole they made for the candle looked like it was drilled all the time and then filled with epoxy plugs.
It may be easier for them to do so.
It must be sawn out with a diamond tip hole.
The quartz on the side of the drill is cloudy compared to the grinding of the drill bit.
I would like to drill through the bottom, which will most likely be easier, but the wires will get in the way.
So the way to go is to make a hole in the side.
I think a simple carbide drill bit for drilling cement should work.
It turns out that this thing is really hard to drill.
After I drilled through the outer layer of the Rock and entered the quartz layer, my progress crawled slowly.
I had to open the hammer drill part of the drill bit and then had to add water because the drill bit got hot.
It took a lot of effort to drill this little hole in this thing for more than half an hour.
I respect the people who are digging this core very much now.
If I do this again, I will get a diamond drill bit because from what I read it is the best way to drill quartz.
In the end, I passed, and surprisingly, it was in the right place.
Once you drill the holes, pass the wires through the holes, and then stick them in place with Hot Melt Adhesive.
Make sure the LED surface is in contact with quartz.
Use a lot of glue on the small hole and make sure it is filled.
Since you\'re going to pour the epoxy into it and fill it in, you really don\'t want it to leak.
I spent a lot of time trying to get the LED strips wrapped around the holes nicely.
It just doesn\'t want to go easy.
The finger works best for this, one puts it in place and the other pushes more straps down.
If your fingers are thick, there may be a problem getting them in with the straps.
Once the strap finally enters there, the pressure to want to unwrap the coil will keep it in place.
I took the LED light strip on the left, circled it down and went back to the hole.
This will help light the glass of the filling hole.
Once the lights are in place, test the lights to determine if they work.
Once you add the epoxy to it, there is no fixed light that doesn\'t work. Modification ----
After all this Assembly, I realized that I should connect the LED light bars in a different way.
The Wire with it is small because it does not use too much power.
This could be a problem in terms of physical damage.
It will be very easy to disconnect or break the wires that will be connected through the holes on the base.
If this happens, it will be very difficult to repair because of epoxy, if not impossible.
What I should do, and what I will do in the future, is to use a wire here.
Like a wire on a cheap extension cord. or a lamp wire.
Go through the hole and make a knot inside to prevent it from pulling out of the hole.
Connect the LED ribbon wire to the wire inside the agate.
In this way, it will be much more difficult to accidentally damage the wire.
The wires can carry more current than needed, but what you\'re looking for here is physical strength.
We don\'t want someone to grab the wire and break it.
After the LED light strip is in place, add the broken glass to start filling the gap.
Here\'s a special tip. --
Don\'t use plastic for this. --
The plastic floats on the top of the epoxy, and the liquid epoxy will squeeze the plastic up.
I made a note of the process, including how to crack the glass.
If you haven\'t done such a thing before reading the full detailed instructions.
You shake the agate and click on it to fill the gap in the glass.
Put together larger and larger pieces of glass so that they can fill in the gaps.
The more glass you use, the less epoxy you need.
Make a Hot Melt Adhesive dam around the top so that the epoxy does not fall off.
Once it\'s full of glass, you can put the whole marbles on top for a full look.
I mixed 60 CC epoxy for this (30 and 30)
About 10 left.
This is less than I thought, which means the glass is very good.
Pour slowly and let it work.
Large bubbles should appear when epoxy fills the gap.
A large part of the instructions above are about pouring epoxy, so you can read more about the depth direction.
I plugged in the light when I refuel.
The LED string does generate heat, helping the epoxy flow, and ultimately speeding up the curing process.
The epoxy I use is very slow to cure, so there is a lot of time for it to flow and get into all these little places.
This makes the entire glass and lamp post fully filled, so once cured it becomes a very solid part.
I like the end result.
The result is very good.
I am now looking for more agates and geode when the LED is turned on to full light and they do generate heat.
After about 4 hours of starting up, measure the temperature of agate at 105 degrees F.
Because it is essentially a solid block, it may be as warm as it would be.
So it will warm up your hands, but not hot enough, uncomfortable and there will be no fire hazard.
I added an on-line LED dimmer/controller to turn it down a little bit and it stays at room temperature.
In any case, some people may prefer this way because it does emit a lot of light at full power.
The whole agate glows, not just a polished surface.
I almost prefer the back as it becomes more colorful as all the different rocks appear.
While I don\'t know if I want the whole thing to change the color, it may be possible to use the RGB light bar.
But I can try.
Bottom line: a simple and interesting project and one that could last a long time.
By the way, if you waterproof the small wire, which is completely waterproof, it can be used outside and inside.
Outside, it becomes a wonderful path light.
But you may need more than one.
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