Hello, my name is Matthew, and in this video I'll be showing you how to create this really
awesome looking LED shard light. So, let's begin.
To create this shard light you'll need the following materials.
A piece of 12mm thick MDF A 12x12 cm square of 1mm thick hardwood that
looks nice You'll also need a sheet of veneer
And an LED strip - a link to which you can find in the description
You will also need two pieces of plexiglass that have been broken in an interesting way.
Mine are leftovers from another build where I had to trim a larger piece down, and didn't
do it properly, resulting in the shard-like shape.
Lastly you'll need a 12v power source, like a DC adapter with its connector shopped off,
two short pieces of wire, and a decent length of thin two core wire.
A cable from an old set of headphones is perfect for this.
You'll also need the following tools... A fine toothed saw,
a fine knife, a metal ruler, a pencil, and a right-angle
ruler a clamp,
some wood glue and a brush to apply it with, and also some silicon based glue though a
glue gun will also be suitable You'll also need a soldering iron and solder,
Wirestrippers and some scissors, A drill with a small bit,
And lastly some finishing oil.
So the first thing to do is to draw a diagonal line which divides your piece of hardwood
in two. From this line, draw two parallel lines 2.5cm from the middle line.
Use a fine saw to cut down those outer two lines, and you should end up with a shape
like this. Give it a light sand to remove and jaggies.
Now place your hardwood shape onto your piece of MDF, and line it up with the corner. Use
a pencil to mark the obtuse angles of the hardwood onto the MDF. Now use your right
angle ruler to draw a square using those marks, and divide the square diagonally.
Cut out the square and then cut it in half along the diagonal line so that you have two
triangular pieces. These pieces form the base supports.
Now position your plexiglass pieces on your hardwood shape and decide where you'd like
them. Once you've decided, use a fine knife or pencil to trace their positions.
Now it's time to score along your traces using the fine knife. What you need to do is clamp
a ruler down onto the hardwood shape, being careful to position the ruler's edge along
one of the traces you made earlier. You may also want to put some scrap wood underneith
so that you don't mark the table surface. Take extra care not to slip, and don't overshoot
the edges of your traces. Once you're sure that you've cut through the wood, release
the clamp and move the ruler to the next trace. Once you've done the two long edges, carefully
bridge them using the knife. You can now push out the wood and be left with a slot for your
plexiglass. Use the knife to tidy up any edges that need it.
Follow the same procedure for the second slot.
Now use some woodglue to stick the supports to the hardwood. Using a clamp is recommended
to lightly hold the pieces in place whilst it dries.
Next cut two lengths of MDF to fill the sides in, and glue them in place.
Now it's time to cut some veneer for the sides. Usually you can cut veneer with a fine knife
and a ruler, but because my veneer had strong grain cutting it with a knife resulted in
a poor jagged edge. So, if you experience the same problem, use a sharp kitchen knife
that has a slight curve instead. Push down hard, and rock it back and forth to make the
cut. It won't be a perfect cut, but it'll be good enough.
Regardless of whether you use a fine knife or a kitchen knife, make sure that you cut
your veneer slightly larger than it needs to be so that it will overlap the edges. This
means that it will have a nice gapless finish once you sand it down.
Once you have cut your veneer, use a knife to score the veneer into sections which correspond
to the corners on your base. You don't want to cut through it entirely, but just enough
so that it will bend easily at those points. After making sure they fit properly, coat
the insides with woodglue, and make sure that the edges in particular are well coated. Once
done, leave them to dry for an hour or two, but do not leave them longer than four hours.
So after they've dried, carefully position the veneer onto the base. Now use an iron,
with no water in it, and carefully iron over the veneer. This melts the semi-dried glue
a bit and sticks the veneer down nicely. Make sure that the edges are well stuck, and be
careful not to burn yourself! Leave it to cool down, and then sand down
any overlapping pieces using some fine sand paper, like P150. Always sand along the edge
in the direction of the veneer, never across it , so that you don't pull it away from the
wood. Spend a fair amount of time sanding so that you get nice smooth edges that blend
together nicely. Once you've done you can begin adding some
finishing oil, which makes the wood glossy. Don't put too much on at a time, and you'll
need to give it at least five coats to get it to be shiny. Leave each coat to dry for
at least five hours before adding the next. Now it's time to work on the LEDs, and the
first thing to do is to cut the strip into two sets of three. Because of the way the
strips are designed, you can do this and have two fully functional mini strips that still
run off 12v. Always make sure you cut along the designated lines, in between the copper
pads. Turn on your soldering iron and whilst it's
warming up prepare your wires by exposing their ends using wire strippers. Add some
solder to these ends, and also add some to the pads on the strips.
Now solder your wires to these pads. The polarity is marked, so I'm going to use the dark wire
for the negative side, and the red wire for the positive side.
Cut the wires shorter and again prepare them by stripping the ends off and adding some
solder. Then solder the wires to the second strip. Make sure that you keep the polarity
correct. Now prepare your two core wire by, again,
stripping it and adding solder. This can now be soldered to one of the two strips. Take
note of the polarity for later, so in my case I have to remember that yellow is positive
and white is negative. Check that they work by connecting them to
a 12v power source, which in my case is the 12v adapter with its end chopped off.
Now it's time to glue them to the bottom of the shards. So find a way of supporting the
shards in an upright position. I used some holding clips cushioned with some tissue paper
so that they don't mark the shards. Now add some blobs of glue between each LED.
Use glue which has some volume to it, and sticks plastic well. I used a silicon based
glue, but hot melt should work well too. After adding your blobs, place your shards
on top and leave to dry. Whilst they're drying cut two short lengths
of MDF and glue them inside the base, adjacent to the slots. They will provide something
for the shards to adhere to later, but make sure that you leave enough room for the LED
strips by not making the supports too tall. Drill a small hole at the back of your base
for the two core wire to be threaded through. Once everything is dry, tie a knot in the
wire and thread it through the hole, then carefully push your shards through the slots.
Apply some glue just above the LEDs, and squash it against those supports you added earlier.
Now it's just a case of carefully making sure that the shards are vertical, and leaving
them to dry. Using the right angle ruler is a handy way of checking that they're positioned
All you need to do now is hook it up to the 12v DC adapter, and you've finished! Well