Sunday, April 1, 2012

Moe Lass': Lighting

These days I've been mainly working on getting the workshop reorganized, but, at the same time, Moe's was nearly finished, so I thought I'd spent some time on that too.

A few weeks ago I bought some side glowing optical fibres to play around with. One thing I wanted to try was using one for a 'retro-futuristic' light fixture for Moe's. The fibre I finally chose was 3 mm in diameter, held in place with styrene tubes. Under each tube is a hole in the floor for inserting an LED. It turns out you only need 1 LED inserted at either end to light up the fibre.

The fibre is flexible to a certain extent, but it can't be bent to a 90 degree angle. The shape the fibre assumed under the windows is the most I could bend it and still feel comfortable that it wasn't going to break.

I also tried using a grain-of-wheat bulb to light the fibre, but it didn't work. Only an LED did. Also, one of the other nice things about using an LED is that you can try different colours for different lighting effects. As experiments go, this one didn't turn out too badly, but I need to add some detailing to the light fixture to give it a little more 'realistic' credibility.

As well as lighting, I got a start on the interior. It's pretty sparse so far, but I thought I'd at least get the basics in place, and one of those basics was refrigerators - got to have some where to store the meat!

Debra indulges my need for odd plastic pieces, and these little end-caps she had been saving for me came in quite handy as the basis for refrigerators.

The first thing to do was superglue some styrene sheet to the opening for doors, and scribe a line down the centre of the sheet for where the doors come together when closed. There's a lot of grinding and sanding to get the styrene to match the opening of the plastic cap.

The door handles were made from staples. A pin-vise was used to drill holes near the top of the doors for inserting the untrimmed staple pong. The trimmed prong is simply superglued to the surface of the door. This avoids the need to drill precise upper and lower holes for mounting the handles.

To help the refrigerator stand up straight, a scrap of styrene was glued to the bottom. The finished fridge is painted an aluminum colour. Some flat black was then used to paint on the gasket between the door and the fridge body.

The interior still needs a few things like tables, chairs, cooking stuff, and maybe a piano, but that is for another time.

And here's one of the big problems with a barbecue that has no doors, it can attract the wrong kind of clientele!


  1. Thanks for this post on fiber optics...I know that these can be really useful but I've been a bit intimidated at diving in! Thanks for this!

    1. I'll be glad to see what you come up with after you take the plunge! One other thing I have in mind is a streetlight for a pedestrian sidewalk ending in a lit streetcar stop - hopefully I can try that one out soon.