Let There Be Light: Part II


When I was done with the front ring piece, I layed it on a piece of ½” Baltic Birch and traced the ring shape out. I then made a template handle out of ¼” luan plywood for the light ring. I put the template on either side of the drawn ring on the ½” Baltic Birch and drew the handles on.
My handle template.
I used a jig saw to cut out close to my marks. I then used the front ¾” ring as a guide and template routed the inside and outside circles of the back ½” ring. For the handles I clamped on the luan template and template routed them as well. Finally I routed around the handles with a ¼” round over bit and both circles for the light ring were formed. The last step was to quickly break down the tear out and rough edges with a 60 grit sanding sponge.
Using the template and a bearing guided bit to route a handle to final size.
Once both pieces had been properly milled I layed out the light sockets again. I marked the center line of each by making 12 equal marks around the outside of the circle and connecting lines across the whole thing between opposite marks. I also marked the center and the outside edge of each socket using a stop rule. I was then able to lay the sockets on the marks and with a pencil trace out where the mounting screws would go. I predrilled for the mounting screws (all the way though, since this piece is only the light ring’s face) and then used a ¾ auger bit to drill out the centers. The ¾” holes will allow me to run the wire from the trough on the back of the face piece into each socket.
The wire holes are drilled for the 12 light sockets.
I took a measurement between the drilled out centers, and cut 11 lengths of wire and one (1) cord. Before inserting the wire lengths into the trough and holes, I stripped & prepped them. With the wires fit into the face piece (which was face down), I dropped the back piece over it, lined them up and camped them together. Then I flipped the clamped ring assembly over and screwed the two (2) pieces together with 24 1¼” course Kreg screws.
All wired up.
It was finally time to install the light sockets. As exciting at this stage may sound, it sucked. As I didn’t want to deal with excessive wire preventing the sockets from sitting properly, I kept the wires short. This worked out well for sitting the sockets, and very tedious for wiring them. Thankfully I have a Klein electrician’s screwdriver with a small post that helps bend wires.
Installing the sockets . . . and installing . . . and installing . . .
Once all 12 were wired,I attached the sockets using #8 stainless steel pan head screws (I love stainless steel screws). I started the screws with a 12v impact driver, but finished them by hand because the I didn’t want to crack the plastic light sockets.
All 12 work fine, I just need more bulbs.
Once everything was assembled, I plugged it in and ran a single bulb though all 12 sockets (I didn’t have 12 bulbs on hand). Success.

With the light ring assembled, it was time to set to work on the stand.


Let There Be Light: Part I
Dyami PlotkeLight Ring