Sunday, May 18, 2008


Frequent visitors to Good Rubbish may not be surprised to learn that I have a massive cache of half-finished (or not even started) projects lying around my house: A disassembled and gutted audio receiver, a 4 foot tall softball trophy, a couple of partially painted cast iron owls, a mirrored free standing crucifix, roughly 900 feet of bubble wrap... as I type this very passage, every single one of those objects (and many more) lie within 5 feet of my person. Some may find this living space of mine to be repugnant, but choosing between a life of cleanliness and one of unending squalor is one of those decisions that every human being has to make, just like deciding whether or not to become a homosexual or to be black. I've clearly made my decision and I have come to peace with it, I would suggest that you do the same.

So where's all of this crap of mine come from? Well, unfortunately I've been blessed with what modern psychologists refer to as "a laughably short attention span", which translates not only to my often getting bored of my bizarre thrift store purchases before I actually use them for anything, but also to my being almost completely and utterly incapable of returning to a project once I've taken a break from working on it. I also hold this attention span issue accountable for my being incapable of staring at naked pictures of Candice Bergen for more than 4 consecutive minutes, but you probably don't want me to go into any greater detail on that aspect of my affliction.

Anyway, because of this attention issue almost all of the projects you've seen and will see on Good Rubbish (even the really big ones) were completed by me over the course of two days or less, and those that took longer were deliberately uninterrupted by side projects (this is why the publishing of my end table calamity was preceded by a week and a half of dead air on this site, in case you were wondering). Well, this past weekend I decided to be a big brave man and break with tradition by trying to actually finish 1 or 2 of my half baked projects so that I'd have a new repurposing post up in time for the weekly Monday Morning Rush (note: The "Monday Morning Rush" is my pet name for the 8 or so hits I get every morning before 12noon MST... it's a very stressful time for me).

Unfortunately, all of my unfinished projects required a fair amount of wood to be brought to completion and I had no spare wood available (nor was there any good lumber to be had in the Home Despot's bargain scrap pile), so I decided to go rummaging through one of my massive piles of random shit in the hopes that I could find some sort of interesting project that I could finish fairly quickly. That's when I came across these little sweethearts, and was reminded of a project idea that I'd forgotten about months ago:

Pile o lights

As the title of this post may have led you to realize, that picture is of a big pile of burned out light bulbs. A few months before I started this blog I started collecting them as I had an idea to smash them up and mold their shard-like remains into a candle holder, but I never got around to going through with it because I couldn't find the kind of glue that I wanted to make the project work, nor was I sure of whether or not the glue I was looking for actually existed. That mysterious glue would have been liquid and fluid, but not runny like superglue (something akin to the consistency of maple syrup), and would have dried to create a clear and hard surface, like glass. You know the stuff I'm talking about? Yeah, I don't either, nor does anyone at any hardware store within a 20 mile radius of my house. Drat.

Regardless, despite the fact that I never did find out if there's any adhesive on the market that behaves anything like the stuff I was looking for, I decided to go through with this project anyway using materials that I had available. The end results came out mixed at best, but I'm still pleased that this quick project (outside of drying time, it took under half an hour to complete) came out functional and not entirely hideous, as at least now I know that the concept is sound in case I do somehow end up stumbling across some glue that works just like the made up stuff I was looking for. Still... this is a plain weird project, I'm just gonna say that right up front.

Alright, that's more than enough prologue for this most bizarre of projects, on to visual aid intensive portion of this communique:


I started by putting all of my light bulbs into a couple of paper sacks and smashing them up with a hammer (you could obviously swing them against a wall or step on them or do whatever you want, the point here is just to break them up into fairly small pieces). Though I have one pictured in my pile of light bulbs, I would advise against using fluorescent bulbs for this kind of a project as they explode rather violently when you break them and leave a dusty residue all over the place in their wake.

In da bowl

Once the bulbs were good and smashed, I lined a cheap plastic bowl with wax paper (this was the least sticky liner-like material that I had available, though it might be more effective to just apply some cooking spray to the inside of the bowl instead) and poured all of my light bulb bits
in there.

Now, like I said before, I didn't have the kind of glue that I wanted for this project, so I had to work around what I had. What I had was this little bottle of Gorilla Glue, which needs a damp surface to activate and expands like crazy as it dries (note: Normal gorilla glue dries to an off-brown color and has a very molasses like consistency, but this particular variety is a lot more fluid and dries to a bright white color).


I had absolutely no idea how much glue it was going to take to keep all of these bulb pieces together, so after getting my glass shards good and damp I pretty much just poured the whole bottle of glue into the bowl, then mixed this strange brew around with the back end of a ratty old paint brush I had handy. After making sure that every piece in there had some amount of glue on it, I wrapped a few candles in wax paper and jammed them down into the glassy/gluey mess that lay before me (to create specific places for candles to sit), then left the thing to dry for a few hours.

Once I felt confident that most of the glue was comfortably set, I pulled my wax paper wrapped monstrosity out of its bowl, not knowing whether it would actually hold its shape on its own or just fall apart like a Denver Nugget in the playoffs. Surprisingly, it was solid as a rock. Ho-ray!

After gluing

After peeling off most of the wax paper (some of it was just flat out stuck on there, and forcibly pulling it off of there would have just jeopardized the structural integrity of this... uh, thing) I was a bit disappointed to see exactly how much the glue I had used had expanded, as my candle holder looked less like a pile of broken light bulbs being held together by some glue and more like a pile of glue that someone accidentally dropped some light bulbs into for some reason or another, but whatever. It was an experimental project, and it wasn't a complete failure... I'll take it.

WO 1 candle

I left one of the candles out of this first picture in the hopes that you could see how the divot was dug out where the candle normally goes, but alas, you cannot. So why'd I still include this picture in the post, you ask? Because I'm fucking tired as hell right now and I'm not deviating from the script in my head, damnit, that's why.

Side view

Here's a shot from the side...


And one more from the top, this time with all candles in place. Lovely... well, that might be a stretch, but "adequately not horrific" would certainly be appropriate. Sort of looks like some dreadful piece of Christmas paraphernalia that you'd get from a Lillian Vernon catalog, doesn't it? Uggh, I'm starting to feel earnestly disgusted that I created this object, I'd better wrap this thing up before I throw up all over myself.

Be sure to tune in for my next entry when I try to make something even more odd and worthless than this thing. What could that possibly entail? Ohhh, I don't just give away company secrets, but here's a little hint to keep you interested: "dog shit jock strap". Yeah, you'll be back. EVERYONE wants to read about something like that.

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