Vair and Ermine

"Pumpkin" Lantern: Coleman Lamp Cover

Summary:  Many years ago at Pennsic we decided to create a lantern to cover the efficient but ugly Coleman lamp that worked best for lighting the common tent. Version 1 was created using 4 dowel rods, two squares of plywood, one with one big hole, and one with 4 smaller holes and groove for the base of the lamp to rest in, and orange stage gels to cut the whiteness of the light. It was then that the "Great Pumpkin" was born. We adapted this pumpkin with a wrapping of parchment paper to cut the ugly of the stage gel which seemed to work well and for many years. Spring/Summer of 2007 Alan and Thjora did an upgrade and created better covers with glass inserts instead of stage gels and parchment paper. The following are the notes and pictures from Version 2.

Alan's Notes:
Here's the lantern box and lantern next to each other for a general idea:
Pumpkin, lamp and lantern

So, rough dimensions are:

-- All stock is 4/4 poplar in our case, but other materials could easily be used (we had spare poplar...)

-- The top and bottom are 10" square

-- The top has a 7" square cut out so that the lantern can be inserted and heat can dissipate upward.  The corners of that opening are rounded for a) strength and b) looks.

Here's a picture of the top:
Pumpkin- Top Detail

-- The bottom has 4 openings to allow draft from below the lantern to assist in cooling, and a 6" diameter circular groove routered into the wood to accommodate the base of the lantern.  The lantern sits in the groove so as to keep from moving when/if the lantern box should shift or sway in a wind, or if it gets bumped, etc.

Here's an attempt to give you a picture of the bottom, looking down through the lantern box:
Pumpkin- Interior Detail

-- The uprights are ripped down 1" (square) stock, and these are let into the bottom as shown in the picture below:
Pumpkin- Bottom Detail

Strictly speaking we should have pegged all these joints between the legs and the top and bottom, but I'm at least as lazy as the next person, and I just used a forstner bit to counter-sink the heads of the deck screws that attach the uprights to the top and bottom.  Someday, when we get around to actually finishing these, I'll finish hiding the screws by inserting wooden plugs to fill the openings...

The glass is stained glass Thjora ordered online.  Each pane is let into a groove in the uprights, and had to be cut individually to fit -- not that big of a task for one comfortable with glass cutting.  That would be Thjora, by the way, not me.

There's not much to it beyond that.  I put two eye bolts into the top, and ran up a chain out of some old chain mail links I had lying around, but I'm sure there are innumerable other methods that would work for hanging.  We usually just tie some nylon braided line to the chain, run it over the ridge of the tent and tie it off to one of the uprights to suspend the "great pumpkins" in our common tent.  Don't want to get them to far up near that canvas, of course, given that they do put off some heat.

BubblesContact Me | ©2008 Jennifer Thies