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  1. #1
    User Flute Maker's Avatar
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    Lighthouse Build Ideas?

    I have a neighbor/friend who him and his wife love Christmas.He likes to build stuff for Christmas.he is not really a woodworker but is a smart guy ,great mechanic.Anyhow I received this message from him ....(How hard would it be to build a 3-4ft lighthouse?) I would love to do this for him..I havent talked with yet about specific ideas.I am a woodturner...I have a Jet 1642 but not sure I could make it....Any ideas at all? Another way besides turning? It would be simple turning, but I dont have any wood big enough so would have to glue pieces together ...Im looking for a simple idea.Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
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    Re: Lighthouse Build Ideas?

    Lighthouses don't have to be round. You could make an octagonal one.
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  4. #3
    User TENdriver's Avatar
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    Re: Lighthouse Build Ideas?

    Mike, I went down this path several years ago. Fortunately, the project didn’t go forward.



    There are plans for building simple outdoor yard displays that may be suitable and for me, maybe they were the best option.

    Dave’s octagon was another option, but it can involve some complicated angled cuts to get the tapered octagon shape.

    Turning was my first choice. I looked at creating a staved tapered octagon or greater multi-sided form, and then mounting it between centers. I believe you would need to use heavier stock to have enough material to turn into a round. I decided not to try turning a heavy, staved piece that was constructed with complicated angles. If you go down that path, there are some safety concerns along with methods to mitigate some of the risks. I chose not to undertake this.

    Ironically, the yard display plans may have been my best option but I was trying for a lighthouse with a base covered in sisal, so it would be a cat scratcher! The wood working/joinery in the base could have been a little sloppy and still worked out fine.



    I was planning on turning the top lighted portion out of various colors of hardwood. Relatively simple stuff for any turner.

  5. #4
    Forum Leader Senior User
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    Re: Lighthouse Build Ideas?

    If you do opt for an octagonal lighthouse, you can make the construction fairly simple using a birdsmouth on one edge of each stave. This avoids the need to sort out some hard to measure bevel angle. Make the tapered staves based on the desired width at the top and bottom and cut the birdsmouth with a dado stack titled at 45. The birdsmouth method also makes it easy to assemble when it's time to glue up. If you want help with it, let me know.
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  6. #5
    User Pop Golden's Avatar
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    Re: Lighthouse Build Ideas?

    Hi Dave, I'm not building a lighthouse, but what's a birdsmouth? I've been in woodworking for more than 60 years and never heard that term before.

    Pop

  7. #6
    Forum Leader Senior User
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    Re: Lighthouse Build Ideas?

    Hi Pop,

    A birdsmouth is a V-groove cut in one edge of a stave for a round or tapered thing. It's much easier than beveling the edges of the staves and it makes the assembly much easier to hold together. Once the staves are aligned, you can drop straps or zip ties if they'll fit an pull them up tight to clamp it. This method has been used for many years by boatbuilders for making hollow spars--booms, sprits, gaffs, yards, and even masts. It gained popularity in the general woodworking community maybe 10 years ago and some of the router bit companies now make router bits to cut the grooves. For an 8-sided structure, it's easy enough to cut them on the table saw. Tapered shapes like the lighthouse or even double tapered things like a yard for a square rigged vessel are just about as simple as a straight cylinder. You can also create oval cross sections by making staves on opposite sides of the assembly wider than the rest.

    Here's the start of a lighthouse for Mike showing the birdsmouth.
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  9. #7
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    DQ

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    Re: Lighthouse Build Ideas?

    I made my granddaughter a lighthouse dollhouse a few years ago. It had to have a removable side so she could arrange furniture and dolls inside. It wasn't that difficult to cut the joints, just figure out the angle necessary based on the number of sides you want.The picture that Dave posted is similar to what I made, only I had to have 3 floors inside. And then you have to make the bit up top where the light is supposed to go. Use pine and paint it, no need for hardwood here.

    Roy G

  10. #8
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    Phil S's Avatar
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    Re: Lighthouse Build Ideas?

    Here is one I made probably 20 years ago. Easy to turn and fairly simple to light up

    IMG_4429.jpg















    IMG_4432.jpg















    IMG_4431.jpg

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  12. #9
    Forum Leader Senior User
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    Re: Lighthouse Build Ideas?

    That looks lovely, Phil. Does the light or the reflector go around?
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  13. #10
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    Re: Lighthouse Build Ideas?

    A Google search for "Lighthouse Plans" brought this up quickly https://www.pinterest.com/pin/91197961189435152/
    There are more, but this one is a free download.

    Charley

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    Re: Lighthouse Build Ideas?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Richards View Post
    That looks lovely, Phil. Does the light or the reflector go around?
    No it does not but version two will. I will also make sure the Google assistant can control the light and rotation

  15. #12
    User Flute Maker's Avatar
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    Re: Lighthouse Build Ideas?

    Thanks Guys...Some good ideas,plans and pics! ( I was a little fuzzy on the birdsmouth too lol) Thanks for clearing that up to Dave! Thanks everybody!
    Last edited by Flute Maker; 11-06-2018 at 05:19 AM.

  16. #13
    User Pop Golden's Avatar
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    Re: Lighthouse Build Ideas?

    Thanks Dave for the birdsmouth explanation .

    Pop

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  18. #14
    Forum Leader Senior User
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    Re: Lighthouse Build Ideas?

    FWIW, there are some different online calculators that allow you to enter things like the number of staves, diameter of the finished turned spar and the desired wall thickness and get the required stave dimensions and other information. These are useful when you need to make round things like spars for boats. I made one years ago in Excel. Was thinking of remaking it.

    It's easier for the lighthouse if it is to remain octagonal.
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  19. #15
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    Re: Lighthouse Build Ideas?

    Another type of joint for 8-sided glue-ups can be made with a 22-1/2 degree lock miter router bit set. MLCS and Infinity both sell them with MLCS being about half the price of Infinity.

    MLCS also sells bird's mouth bits for 6 or 12, 8, and 16 side glue joints.
    Last edited by nn4jw; 11-06-2018 at 06:09 PM.

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