Thursday, September 11, 2008

I made a solar light for the dock

Since my dad had a big extension put on our dock, he's worried that someone might come around at night and hit the end of it. We didn't want anything too big or wired out there, just something to mark the end of the dock at night. As I was cleaning up around the dock after tropical storm Fay came through and flooded out the back yard, I noticed that it had broken and washed up some of the solar walkway lights near the waterline.

After a thorough cleaning and repair to a broken trace on the charging circuit, I managed to get one of these lights working again, but the housing for it was too cracked and dryrotted to be of any good, which is OK since those things always looked like butt anyway. I found a candle holder that had stained glass on it and it happened to fit the solar light just right, so I hot glued it in place after charging the batteries and went looking for parts for a base to hold the new light fixture up.

The storm also blew and washed in plenty of other good flotsam as well, including some barnacle covered but still sound 2x6 boards. I sent them through the saw and nailed them together, then used some salvaged drywall screws to hold down the light. After this I took it down to the dock and screwed it in place while hanging loosely onto the end pole of the dock. With the barnacle spots it looks pretty cool, the whole thing didn't cost one red cent, and we don't have to worry about errant boaters denting the dock with misdirected dinghies.

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