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Thursday, November 21, 2013

Intermediate Work: Lighting the Front Portico, A Wall Clock

Hope this is the Chinese symbol for Good Luck.
October 22nd - November 21st 2013

Well, we should be careful what we wish for.
I was laid off from work a few days after I wrote the previous posting.  What was annoying is that they knew who was going to be laid off long before then but instead of giving those people a head’s up, they told me at the last minute.  I had already purchased plane tickets to visit my family in the USA (for only a week thinking I had to be back to work) and now not having a salary makes that purchase a little out of our budget.  Well, guess we just need to learn to make the best of bad situations.

I finished today the project I had started before my mini vacation and that was lighting the outside porch area.  I had done some quick research on the type of simple outside lamps to make.  I installed the wiring to the back (which is not normally displayed anyway) drilling some holes in the cross beams to accommodate the wires and then covering the wires with some straws I had found from a cheese packet I had bought.  These straws are much thinner than most that’s why I liked them.  Anyway, I also used an old breath mint holder to keep the battery hidden somewhat.  I don’t think the back is too much of an eyesore. 
The lanterns were made with some pieces of leftover wood and paper.  I fixed the lights in front using some of wax adhesive and glue. Done.
Purchased LEDs and switch.  A recycled mint case to hold the battery.

First I had to paint the inside white. I have no idea why I didn't do it originally.

Painted the case white and the battery fits in perfectly.

Drilled holes from the other side....

...and holes to pass thru the cross beam.  Then connected the lights.
Some straws to hid the wires somewhat. Painted them white as well.
Cut some balsa wood for the lamp bases.
Soaked some wood strips to cover the balsa wood's irregularity and bent into place.

Painted base and some leftover wooden pieces applied to paper to make the lamps
Just used some wax adhesive to fix the LEDs in place.
Finished front portico.
The “wall clock” was actually an old swatch watch which I had purchased years ago so the battery has long since been dead.  The watch was pretty beaten up but I liked the inside face as it had a chinese character on it (I suppose something to do with the year of the Pig since that is when I bought it) and I liked the gold backing.  So, I had to hammer the watch into pieces to get it out.  I did get cut in the demolition but did manage to glue the hands back onto the face (using a button to support the back).  I liked it in the front foyer to welcome guests. 

Destroyed Swatch Watch. Manged to save the hands too.

Using a button, installed watch pieces so I could attach the hands to the front face.

Front face of the watch, now clock.

Clock in the front foyer.
Now that I’m not working, I suppose I can dedicate myself to more on the house build.  But I’m finding it hard to concentrate.  Oh well, I guess I’m lucky that I do have a hobby.