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First Place winner:

Darrell LaRue of Oakville, Ontario, Canada
AOL Canada CD Lamp

Darrell submitted his entry with this letter:

"What's this?

Someone is giving away *PRIZES* for using up all those crappy old AOL CD's!??!

Everywhere you look, there's more of those dumb disks. Looking at a stack of them gave me an idea... I'll make a lamp. So I took up a collection at work and amongst friends & relatives, until I had accumulated an eight inch stack of disks.

And not just ANY AOL cd's. These are AOL Canada disks. Kind of a quaint Northern version of your AOL.

I work with computers by day, but my hobby is collecting and using antique tools.

I bored out the hole in the centre to 41/64 inch (the biggest bit I had) using a 120 year old handcranked blacksmith's drill press.

I glued the disks face-to-face using a slow setting cyanoacrylate glue. Which oddly enough didn't do a very good job. I reglued about half the disks to get the stack to hold together long enough to bore a hole for the wiring (with my trusty circa-1890 Millers Falls brace and a 1/4 inch auger bit).

Then I diassembled a small fluourescent light, that had an eight inch long 5/8 diameter bulb. Slap together a few scraps of pine for a base, some half inch dowel to hold everything together, and another block of wood on top to hide the wiring and upper light socket.

Presto!! One CD Lamp.

Unfortunately, the logos are not visible on the CD's, but I mounted an extra on top, which isn't shown in the picture. When you turn the lamp on, the light shines out through the edges of the disks. This effect is lost when you aren't looking straight on from the side, so that's why the top cd isn't visible.

Gotta replace the wood with some brushed aluminum or stainless steel, but it looks fine for a prototype.

At the very least I've kept a large number of these disks out of the landfill. I haven't counted them but the stack is 7.5 inches high. I'd guess 150 disks, and if anyone wants to count'em they're welcome."

Here's the picture Darrell included:
CD Lamp

Well, Darrell, that's a damn fine piece of work. A bit crooked, but not too shabby for something made with 20th century technology, 19th century hand tools, and god-knows-what-century wood. This sort of craftsmanship and attention to detail is what caught our eye, and it is the main reason why we are awarding your entry first place! Well done.

...on to Second Place ->


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