Friday, 9 October 2015

MARINE LIGHTS- they're for the birds #HBS kit

My HBS cottage kit, 
lives right by the Atlantic ocean.
And although I haven't done ANYTHING further inside my doll's house for several weeks, I'd been mulling over a way to make exterior Marine lights for my cottage by the sea.  
 I was inspired to make some after viewing Marion's mini marine lights

 as well as Brae's Walnut Bay marine lights 
both excellent and very innovative solutions.  

Meanwhile at the end of the summer, my sister told me about a plant sale where she and her friend Super Dave had discovered some great end of season deals so I joined them for a lovely day of plant shopping and it was whilst I was at the Garden Center, 
that I found the solution to my mini Marine Lights dilemma.

 I found these-
 Bee Guards
 at Art Knapps, a large local Garden Center Store.
I would imagine that your Garden Center or big box stores,
should also stock them.
 They are meant to fit hummingbird feeders to protect the syrup from marauding bees, but to me they looked exactly like 

There were 4 guards in the package.  Each guard has a hinged back which folded back and snapped together and are approximately 3/4 inch in diameter.

The shape was perfect! 

So the first thing I did was that I spray-painted them with matt black BBQ spray paint.  
 Then to make a "glass lens", I used Frosted Gallery Glass Window Color which I "stretched wet", filling in between the plastic cage with the liquid paint squeezed straight from the bottle then dragging the liquid over the openings inside the plastic cage.   Although I wasn't sure if it the glass paint would grip to anything other than a flat surface, the process worked just as I had hoped.  
I filled in all of the openings and then allowed it dry, periodically checking it to see if there were obvious gaps and re-filling them if there were. The photo below shows the second application of the Gallery Glass applied over the dried first layer.
I cut and glued in some tin foil into the recessed portion of the fixture to act as a reflector.  The tinfoil wasn't installed as well as I wished but as it wasn't going to be visible, so I didn't really care.
 Once the Gallery Glass "glass lens" was completely dried, I went over it again 
( from the inside )
this time with white nail polish to strengthen the lens as well as making it more opaque.
However, it was after the nail polish had dried, that I then realized that I should have cut off the protruding back piece
first! ><
I used a razor saw to remove it and of course it resulted in some of the black paint flaking off, but as it was the back, and would be up against the wall, it wasn't all that important. Any visible yellow was later touched up with black nail varnish.

Next came the installation of the lights.
I already had some 12 volt bulbs which I had purchased from a Model Train and Hobby Store.  I have used a "Grain of Wheat"size bulb for this lamp.

The bulb was inserted in through the back and held in position while the silicon glue was squeezed into the hole behind it. 
I had to check the bulb was not too far forward which meant closing the top, and adjusting the bulb as the glue set, ensuring that the bulb didn't touch the interior of the cage.

This is the lamp once the bulb was in and the silicone glue had set.

And this is what the finished lamp looks like, and I made 2 using this method.  
I made a third Marine light and tried cutting a metal pie tin for the reflector insert, it worked out to be a little cleaner. Then I touched up the flaking black paint with black nail polish to tidy everything up again. 

It just so happens that after rummaging around in my piles of mini junk, I was able to find ONE clear plastic bubble which I used for a clear glass lens.  This lens is not glued in but can be removed,
(not that I would be taking it out).  

The clear glass allowed me to actually see the bulb.
I secured the light bulb in the same way as I did the first, then hooked the light to the transformer to see what it looked like.

              Here is the illuminated clear lens above and ...
       Then on to test how the white "glass" looks