Recently I was browsing the internet using Wifi when the router suddenly restarted on its own. It actually got me thinking that “What If” in an emergency situation there’s a power outage and you’re left without any electricity? If anything, wouldn’t it be a shame if you were just sitting at your desk reading a book and suddenly you can’t because you’re left without any light source.
So I decided to make something to help with this issue. Ironically I’ve also been trying to come up with smaller projects just to help get rid of of some scrap wood.
I started with a couple of 2″ X 4″s and a sheet of 1/4″ of plywood. Once the 2 X 4’s are cut to size, I used 3/4″ bit to drill 4 holes into the center of the base. Once I made the cut-out the 2nd 2 X 4 will be inserted which will act as the handle.
FYI: the 3/4″ bit used was the one used from Kregg, used for pocket holes.
The cut-outs for the holes are big enough for my jigsaw to slip through and assist when making the cuts from point to point. Once the hole is completely cut-out I inserted the 2nd piece. Since I had to use hammer to force the handle though the cut-out, I had a really snug fit where I only needed to drill screws on the backside. Countersink the holes and used #8 screws 2 1/2″.
The lights I’ve chosen were from a previous project that I used on my workbench. Since I don’t utilize these much I figured they were a perfect fit for this project.
FYI: The lights were purchased from Harbor Freight for roughly $7. They’re operated on 6 AAA batteries, so NO wires are needed.
Now onto the plywood. I’ve not only cut plywood to same length of the lights but I left a 1 1/2″ gap to the top because it will be installed to the top of the handle. Once I countersink the plywood I can now install it to the top.
My apologies as I don’t have any pics showing the actual mount on these. They do come with 2 small screws which I drilled into the top and mounted the lights. On both ends of the light strip there’s also double-sided tape attached to velcro which you can also use to remove the light assembly in case you need to change the batteries.
For the candle holders I purchased these 2 small glass bowls from Target, $1 ea. I went ahead and drew the outline so I can drill into the wood for its own holder.
Due to the size of these holders it was almost impossible to make the cut-out where the handle was located. To compensate I went ahead and disassembled the frame so I could use my trim router on the entire base.
FYI: I used a 1/4″ router bit for the cut-out.
Now that I have the entire lamp and candle holder assembled it’s time for sanding. If you notice, each of the lamps are adjustable. The 1st and last pic are showing the lights facing outward, where the 2nd pic shows the lights facing downward.
Before moving forward I wanted to fully test out the lights in a darker environment, hence the power outage. Using a few different variations you can see how much light emits whether the lights are facing down, directly at you, or even a combination of both.
If you notice where the braces are connected, there’s gaps all around the joints. To help solve this problem I used some left-over sawdust and wood glue to patch.
I applied a thin layer of glue all around the joints and covered the gaps. Then I added enough sawdust to cover the glue and forced (by hand) the sawdust into the gaps. Once the packing begins to harden I used a flat-head screwdriver to remove all the excess sawdust.
Now that all the gaps have been filled I left the piece sitting outside for an hour to fully dry.
What a difference!!! Now that it’s dry I can begin to sand the entire piece down.
Since the 2 X 4’s and plywood are relatively smooth, I only needed to use 150 & 240 grit sandpaper for this piece. Also, since this project is so small I didn’t use a sander. I was able to sand everything down by hand.
FYI: You can actually see the two small screws I added for the light assembly on the top sheet.
I knew for this project I wanted the entire piece stained. To start I used the Minwax pre-stain wood conditioner. This will help eliminate any botches that occur when staining.
After roughly 15 min. I used the Minwax stain #233 English Chestnut. This particular stain is in fact one my favorites and highly recommended.
Once the stain fully dried I applied my 1st coat of the Minwax Polyurethane clear coat. After roughly 4 hrs. of drying time, I sanded (by hand) using 400 grit sandpaper for the really smooth finish. Then I added a 2nd coat and waited 24 hrs. and the project is complete.
No electricity – No problem
As stated earlier the light assembly operates on 6 AAA batteries PLUS the addition of a couple of candles will assist any household in the event of a power outage.
Please feel free to comment below as I’m open to any/all suggestions.