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Scrap metal art – Table lamp built from magnetfishing finds

The idea for this lamp spooked around in my head ever since we dragged that little moped frame out of the water sometime in 2016 I think. It had been lying on my balcony ever since waiting for me to come up with a proper plan and finally after I looked at some of the scrap metal pieces that we found I settled on a portion of a car jack from one of our many magnetfishing trips.

This build provided some unique challenges, mostly stemming from the fact that working with metal is not my expertise and frankly before this project I had not used an angle grinder – at all. I knew how they worked, had often looked at them at the hardware store and marveled at the cool things other people were building with them but they were out of reach for me. Not just because a spinning wheel of death is quite frankly horrifying but also because I had no space to use one. An angle grinder isn’t exactly the kind of tool you use in an apartment and until I converted my truck into a workshop on wheels there was no way I was going to use one.

But luckily I’m the kind of guy who drops a hundred bucks on a potentially deadly tool he has no experience with and so after an immensely long two-day wait I was presented with a new member of my Makita family. I love how powerful all these cordless 18V tools are and while they do come at quite a premium I believe the purchase of each and every one of them is well worth it even for a hobbyist like me. There are few things in life I enjoy more than quality tools and frankly I am really happy I bought into the Makita ecosystem. They are a bit hard to come by locally, or at least they were until a couple weeks ago when my local hardware store started carrying Makita tools (just not the ones I need grmblr).

Anyway, I just talk about the angle grinder at length here because it was the primary tool used in this build, there was a lot of cutting involved to get the two parts to play along with each other. Basically there were two main things I had to do, first the moped frame had to be cut at an angle so that it would sit flush on the table at the end and a notch had to be cut to fit the car jack part.

Getting the base flush was easy enough, but the jack proved to be far more difficult because of the two moving parts that I had to remove first. 

Both the front and the back had swiveling parts that I had no use for.

The real problem here was that those parts were seated too deep inside for the angle grinder to reach them and I broke off two blades of my beloved recip saw trying to get them out. In the end I simply settled on grinding the pins down until I could hammer them out, not my preferred method because it also screwed up the finish on the jack. Whatever, it was the only way.

Let them sparks fly
Test fitting
The last of the mohicans cut. These were quite tricky to achieve with the angle grinder but I had no recip blades left ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
There she stands in all her glory. I had to deepen the notch two more times until it finally sat flush against the ground. Measure twice, cut thrice.
The parts of the jack made for some nice legs for some added stability. I ended up removing them later to save some space and because the lamp was sturdy enough without them.

At this point I lack some pictures but the whole electrical setup was simply to take a flea market desk lamp, disassemble it and use epoxy to glue it into the new lamp. Bonus points for the ghetto mobile power supply used to power a scrap metal lamp.

And that’s it! I hope you enjoyed this build, I sure had a lot of fun building the lamp and can say it turned out just like I had envisioned it when we first pulled the frame out of the water.

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