How I Turned my Bike Frame into a Shop Light

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A few months ago I was pretty bummed when I discovered a hole in the frame of my wife’s Scott Sportster 55 Lady. Not just a little hole, but a giant crack where the chainstay had split open next to the weld.

While it was a fairly nice bike, it was getting old and has an aluminum frame which would be expensive and dicey to try and weld. In other words, this bike had seen its day. After stripping the frame down for parts, I really wanted to do something with the bike other than scrapping it. I remembered seeing Doddy at GMBN turn his bike into a lamp, and guess what… I really needed a new light in my shop! That settled it.

Next it was a matter of cutting, hacking, drilling, and figuring out some way to wire and mount a light. I decided to go with a low-wattage LED “edison” style bulb. Classy, warm lighting without using too much electricity. This light won’t be a primary light source in my shop (I have the big ceiling lights for that), just a small light I keep on when I don’t need 50,000 lumens.

I went into this like any proper hack – with no real plan, using random parts from around my shop, basically just winging it.

As luck would have it, I’ve been laid up at home for the last week with an injury. My body is finally starting to cooperate with simple tasks, so this was a much-needed project to get my mind off work!

The video really explains it best, but I will share my tools and parts list for you. If you decide to give this a shot, my recommendation is to get creative and work with what you’ve got! It easily could have become an expensive or more elaborate project, but I elected to do what I could with the tools and parts that I had. In the end, I did end up buying the power cord, light fixture, bulb, and one bolt for around $18 since I didn’t have anything on hand that fit the bill.

Tools & Parts

Your tool list might vary, but a few of these are essential (like an angle grinder to chop the frame).

  • Angle grinder
  • High-speed drill
  • Cordless low-speed drill
  • Various drill bits
  • Belt sander
  • Circular saw
  • Various screwdrivers & spanners

Different variations of this bike frame lamp will probably use different parts, but some things are essential: the frame, light housing, bulb, and something to mount it to. Here’s what I used:

  • Scott Sportster 55 aluminum bike frame
  • One scrap piece of 1.5″ douglas fir
  • Wood stain
  • Two M6 mounting bolts & washers
  • One M8x10mm bolt & oversized washer for mounting light bulb housing
  • Two hinges
  • 15′ power cord, SPT-1 wire with polarized plug
  • Light bulb housing socket with pull chain
  • 6.5watt Edison-style LED light bulb

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