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.
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.
|Using the template and a bearing guided bit to route a handle to final size.|
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.
|The wire holes are drilled for the 12 light sockets.|
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.
|All wired up.|
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.
|Installing the sockets . . . and installing . . . and installing . . .|
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.
|All 12 work fine, I just need more bulbs.|
Let There Be Light: Part I