This tutorial is for all of you who like vintage and industrial/steampunk projects. Still, we will use modern techniques/technology like 3D printing, sand-blasting, airbrush, etc. in order to achieve the best results. Also, the goal is to combine visual and practical elements, so a lamp would be great choice; looks good and it has got a purpose. Two 3D printed models are used: gear quarters and lamp shade. If you want to download it, here it is:
We have found some mechanical old and rusty parts for our industrial lamp project. The idea is to put it on top of each other, but we have to find a solution how to do it. Improvising is the most important thing when doing creative projects. Think “out of box”! Those parts are sand-blasted, all rust and grease is removed.
Once the parts are sand-blasted, they are painted in special anti-corrosive black paint. Also, special adhesive is applied (30 minutes time frame until it is dry) and copper leaves are added. You will have a lot of cleaning here: find an old make-up brush or soft cotton glove and do it outside (garage, backyard). Make sure to remove all copper leaf. This procedure is done only on one part which is going to be the top part of the lamp itself.
It is time to relic those copper leaves and we will use special acid based on ammonia. Important: you must use gloves and a respirator mask! It is diluted with water and we used a paper napkin and gently applied it on several places. You can always go back and forward if you want to add more acid and achieve relic, vintage look. Let it dry for one day.
Measure twice – cut once! This is going to be base for the lamp, because this wood has got beautiful wood grain. Torch will help to get even more visible wood grain; use light flame and go slowly. Once it is done, get your gloves, piece of old T-shirt and wood dye (orange, in this case) and apply 3 to 4 layers. Result: beautiful wood base!
3D printing time! Lamp shade and gear quarters (decoration parts) are measured and printed. You have to be present beside your printer to check how is everything going, especially “support” for the lamp shade. Black filament is used as a primary color. Once we paint it, it will look like it is a metal, not plastic.
Even although those parts are done in black filament/plastic, we will paint it in black one more time in order to get better contrast and smoother surface. Once it is dry, special adhesive is applied and copper leaves added. Special acid is used, again, to get vintage/relic effect. On bottom and top of the lamp shade, we cut and glued a dog food can. In that case, edges will be stronger, but also we will be able to attach it to the lamp itself by drilling a hole in a bottom of the lamp shade/glued can.
You know how they say: the devil is in the details. Well, we will use airbrush technique to add more decoration and to increase contrast. Edge around the wood base will be painted in black burst, so copper decoration/gear quarters will get more attention. Wood base is drilled and copper pins added to hold gears. Also, small sticker is added on front of the lamp and, once lightly painted, it is removed.
Assembly time – the best part! Few more details are added, like copper pins and decoration “spider” on front of the lamp and everything is clear coated (4 layers – high gloss clear coat). Wiring is done, everything checked, working well and finally we have our industrial/steampunk lamp ready. Looks good, has a purpose and this is exactly what we were looking for: artistic and functional elements combined. Hope you like and hope you can find some good tips in this article for your own custom lamp – good luck!