Décor & Gardening

Impress your guests with this DIY crystal light rail

Impress your guests with this DIY crystal light rail

Give your kitchen, dining room or just about any other room in the house a make-over by installing an elegant crystal light rail.

Dremel provides an easy step-by-step guide for this simple DIY project, using its powerful and versatile hand tools.
Dremel Junior Brand Manager Vision Ndlovu says the crystal light rail comprises crystals hanging from an aluminium pole.
“It is illuminated by LEDs powered by four AA batteries. The effect produced is one of understated elegance, with either the kitchen or dining room bathed in twinkling light. This DIY project is the ideal way to transform your home this festive season.”
The list of materials required include:

  • a 900 mm x 40 mm diameter chrome handrail
  • two chrome end caps
  • four white super-bright LEDs and four bulb holders
  • six R2 resistors, a battery holder and four AA batteries
  • 30 brass paper clips
  • 2 m of bell wire
  • an ultra-miniature toggle switch
  • four wire-rope stoppers
  • ceiling fixing and wire rope.

The Dremel tools required for this simple DIY project are:

  • a Dremel VersaTip 2000-6 butane soldering iron
  • a versatile cordless six-in-one gas torch for hot cutting and pyrography
  • a Dremel 8200 cordless rotary multi-tool with a 1.6 mm Dremel drill bit.

The Dremel VersaTip is particularly suited for intricate precision soldering, due to the fact that it caters for a wide range of applications with its six interchangeable tips. The soldering iron has a short heat-up time and quick recharge, which means it is always ready to use. The tool’s variable temperature setting allows users to select the correct temperature for specific projects. In addition, the Dremel VersaTip has a child-safety lock mechanism to prevent children from turning on the tool accidentally.
The Dremel 8200 rotary multi-tool is best suited for detailed carving, engraving, routing, cutting, sanding, grinding, sharpening, polishing and cleaning. The integrated wrench in the EZ Twist nose cap saves time in switching interchangeable accessories during production. In addition, the tool charges in under an hour for fast and easy project completion. The multi-tool is available in a handy kit that includes a Detailer’s Grip attachment for optimal tool control and 35 original Dremel accessories, including EZ SpeedClic.
Step 1:
Mask up the chrome handrail with masking tape to protect the chrome surface. Draw a line along the entire length of the handrail, and use this as a guide to divide it into five equal segments. These are the points where the LEDs will be attached. Using the guideline, draw two more lines 20 mm either side, extending the entire length of the chrome handrail. These are the lines from which the crystals will hang.

Step 2:
Drill a pilot hole through the handrail for the LEDs on the line described above, using the Dremel 8200 cordless rotary multi-tool with a Dremel 1.6 mm drill bit (from the Precision Drill Bit Set 628).
Use a centre punch to avoid the drill skating across the surface of the handrail. Then use an 8 mm drill bit to enlarge the hole. Thereafter go to the two lines you have drawn from which to hang the crystals. Divide each of these lines into five equal segments, and drill each segment with three 1.6 mm holes, spaced equally apart, in order to be able to hang three sets of crystals per segment. On the top line, mark up a spot 20 mm from each end. This will be the position for the wire rope to go through the handrail in order to be able to suspend the crystal light rail from the ceiling. Drill the size of holes suitable for the wire rope you intend to use. Remember that it is advisable to use a cutting fluid when drilling into metal.
Step 3:
Follow the wiring guide provided with the pack of LED lights. Feed all the wiring correctly through the ends of the tube and out through the holes for the LEDs. Leave enough slack on the wires so that they can be soldered easily outside of the tube. The slack allowing you to make the soldered connections outside of the tube can be pushed back inside once the wiring loom has been soldered up and insulated. Use the Dremel VersaTip (with soldering tip 201) to solder your connections to the battery pack, switch and resistors on the feeds to the LEDs. Feed two separate feeds from the battery positive through three R2 resistors on each, in parallel to the two separate LED pairs, which are in series: A, K, A, K. Then run on from each LED pair to the battery negative via the switch.

Follow the wiring guide provided with the pack of LED lights. Feed all the wiring correctly through the ends of the tube and out through the holes for the LEDs (Custom)
Step 4:
Insulate all parts of the wiring loom and the exposed tails of the LEDs. Test it to see that all is in order before you assemble the lamp. Insert the LEDs into their holders and push all the wiring back into the tube, taking care not to damage any of the insulation on the loom. Thereafter push the LED holders into the holes. An important safety tip is to consult a local electrician to check your wiring if you are unsure.
Step 5:
Drill a big enough hole for the micro switch into the end cap using the Dremel 8200 (with a 3.2 mm drill bit from the Dremel Precision Drill Bit Set 628.) If the switch requires a larger hole, then use a larger drill bit. Fit the switch, and then fit the hanging wire ropes through the holes drilled at each end of the handrail. Cut to the required length, depending on the ceiling height, and how low the crystal light rail is required to hang over the table. Secure with rope locks. Insert the other end of the wire rope into the ceiling fixing, and secure with another rope lock. Thereafter position the top halves of the ceiling fixing with a spacing of 860 mm, and fix to the ceiling. Finish off by screwing the bottom half of the ceiling fixing to the top part.
Step 6:
Once the crystal light rail is hanging securely in place, hang all the crystals in the holes drilled previously. Now all that remains is for you to switch on the light, and enjoy the ambience provided by this simple yet elegant DIY project from Dremel.

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