A Bit of Lantern Maintenance

Discussion in 'Gardening Other' started by Doghouse Riley, Apr 24, 2020.

  1. Doghouse Riley

    Doghouse Riley In Flower

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    Still looking for things to do, I decided to give the interiors of our two Japanese lanterns a clean out and also clean the reflectors.
    Not a difficult job other than heaving the tops off. They just sit on the bodies, with their weight no chance of them getting knocked off.

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    I've no idea what this weighs but I can assure you it's heavy.

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    Dead bugs removed, reflector, yellow acetate filter and bulb cleaned.

    Job done.

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    This one was a pain.

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    The lanterns are thirty-four years old and the lamps are even older, re-cycled pool lamps. On this one the positive wire was hanging onto the bulb socket terminal by a thread and it was too tiny to crimp a new wire to it, because it was so small. So I had to make a new one by soldering a "blob" onto the end of a wire and threading it through the socket.

    Job done.
    The top of this one was even heavier than the other as it was the first one I made. It wasn't until I made the second one that I decided I'd have them light up that I made a recess in the top to allow for the lamp as the underside of the top of this one is completely flat. So I had to do a bit of "fettling" with it to make it accept a reflector and bulb.

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    All that time ago we were looking for Japanese lanterns in garden centres to compliment our koi pool. But they were all expensive and naff or plastic.

    So I decided to make my own. They only cost a few pounds and only a few hours work. They are both made from fine concrete mix with a skin of dyed cement mortar to resemble sandstone.
    They are re-inforced with weldmesh. The grill on the one in the first photo is a bit of weldmesh with a concrete and mortar skin.

    They looked old from day one, just as I wanted them to..

    I dread to think what a garden centre would charge you for one like this, even if you could find one, most I've seen look "brand new."


    If anyone wants to have a go at making them, if you've ever made sandcastles for your kids, you could make one of these.

    These are the bits for the first one I made. Just scrap wood, a plastic pot and one of my wife's "lock n' lock" boxes, (don't tell her)
    I used a square of contiplas to sit the molds on to stop them sticking to anything.
    The base has a steel rod through it to anchor the top. I made it in a box, then waited until it had nearly gone off, then rounded the corners and edges with a file, that way, it didn't offer up much resistance.

    I made the pagoda at the bottom of the garden in the same way.

    [​IMG]


    Its easy to make stuff out of fine concrete mix in a mold.

    When I was building our koi pool, I made this imitation bridge to go over the filter return. It's reinforced with one of my wife's metal pan stands (but don't tell her)

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    When making things like this "it's best to dip a brush in the chip pan's Crisp n' Dry and coat the surfaces of the mold with it." It stops the concrete sticking.
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2020
    Frank, eileen and adam.ca like this.
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