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DIY Cement Bulb for hanging clothes

Source: Author: Time:2010-01-03


- Small pair of pliers

- small pair of wirecutters

- small screwdriver

- carbide scribe. You can use something like an awl or even a long skinny nail, but I found my trusty old scribe to be invaluable in this.

- plastic tub to mix the concrete in. I used an empty five pound tub of spreadable margarine.

- a scrap of wood to mix the concrete with. You could use an old wooden spoon or something like that if needed.

- plastic spoon to put the concrete mix into the lightbulb.

- A measuring cup and measuring spoons for adding the correct amount of concrete mix and water.

- a toothbrush you won't be using for your teeth anymore.

- coffee stirrer and plastic cups you "borrowed" from Starbucks

- Gloves and safety glasses. A must because the glass bulb often breaks and little shards go flying in all directions, including straight at your eyes.

- Misc. items like Sharpies, some rags, etc.


"Concrete" is a mix of cement, water and aggregates. My research showed that a sand mix, AKA mortar mix, is good when using a smooth surfaced mold like the inside of a lightbulb. It gives a very high shine when cured. A sand mix is different from your generic concrete in that the aggregates doesn't have any gravel, just various sizes of sand. I decided to do it with mortar mix instead of your standard bag of generic concrete.

- Quikrete Mortar mix. I got the ten pound bag at the local home improvement store for $2. This is enough to do over a dozen lightbulbs. I could have purchased the 60 pound bag for $7 at a much lower cost/volume, but this project really doesn't need that much.

- Lightbulbs. Just the cheapest standard sized incandescent lightbulbs you can find. I got mine at Walmart. A pack of four for 77 cents. Can't beat that with a stick.

- Water. You'll need about 4 tablespoons worth. I kept a bottle of water nearby on the bench and refilled it from the tap when needed.

- Lag Bolt. I'm using a 5/16" lag bolt, 3.5" long. 5/16" was the largest sized lag bolt I could fit into the lightbulb without cutting off the head. I didn't want to do that because the head gives the bolt a lot of grip when embedded in the concrete. With a lag bolt 5/16" in diameter, I can drill in the wall a 1/4" hole to get a good balance between grip and ease of installing. In other words, it turns easily into the wall yet holds really well.

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