Lynn - the "Crazy Yank"
"Cape Hazzard Lighthouse Station"

 Click here to see my Lifeboat

This is a project I have been monitoring on the quite for a while now... well, like all great works of art and lazy people, it's easier to watch somebody else do it rather than get on with your own work!

Lynn first emailed me a photo of a  lifeboat that he had built (bottom of page).... must be a couple of years ago now and a great friendship has built up between us via email ever since. He explains everything that American do and say and I go on how great it if to be in quant old Britain - America Mk.I !!

I now know that American have to tell the TAX man how much they earn last year and send a cheque, in Britain the TAX man tell you how much he THINKS  you going to earn this year and takes it first! In America you buy milk in gallons over here we buy it in pints ..... and most important of  all, - ALL - Americans think that George W Bush is a fine upstanding intelligent man and and he's doing a Fantastic job!

Anyway, Lynn has started on a new project, the 10$ lighthouse, I thought I would share it with Mayhem visitors. Thanks Lynn, this is a great read!!
 Martin - Model Boat Mayhem


Hi Martin,

After a break from building the lifeboat ( see bottom of page ) .....I've decided on another related project. I've got all the necessary parts to build myself a working lighthouse. I'm thinking of making the power source a dual unit, in that it will work on house current or battery operated, so I can take my lighthouse with when I use the lifeboat. I've also been thinking about rigging a foghorn to the lighthouse with a timer circuit, so the horn will sound off at certain intervals, like the real ones.

Well, I guess this goes further to prove that the Crazy Yank definitely does not have both his oars in the water.

I finally got back to lighthouse keeping or building. I don't feel it's  picture worthy yet ( Oh Contraire! -Mayhem ), but as correspondent, will send if requested. I've a few innovations in construction that might be considered a little off the wall and it's beginning to shape up and look like a lighthouse. The upper handrail was a bear to build, as was getting the motorized beacon to work. Still have to figure out how I'm gonna get the rotary contacts for the beacon constructed, but it won't be long, with Radio Shack's help.

As far as the lighthouse it concerned, the rotating light is not a problem. I've got it rotating, just needs a rotary set of contacts and  the power pickup.  I made the contacts, just need the pickup, which I'll probably make from some circuit board material from Radio Shack, like I  did when I made a miniature rotating Christmas tree that was lighted with grain of wheat bulbs.  I've got a small transformer that I'm installing in the base of  the lighthouse station house with a bridge diode to convert current to d.c.  With this, I can charge a set of batteries also, so I don't need a  power cord when I take it to the pond when I take the lifeboat out  sailing.  I'll have to use a 3 or 4 position switch to make it do what I want, such as charge only, run on d.c. only, run on  a.c. only, and turn off. I have some electronic horn circuits that I can work with to sound  a fog horn as well as have the beacon working.


Just got wifey's camera in and decided to take a couple of shots of the lighthouse. It's not very noteworthy yet, as I've a long way to go to get it where I want it, but it will give you an idea of what you can do with junk if you've got the right stuff around. I did break down and buy some solid copper wire for the handrail. I've got most all I need for the station house that will be attached to the base of the tower. The official name for the whole thing will be "Cape Hazzard Lighthouse Station".

I'm gonna have a section of rocky shoreline, the power poles and  transformer mockup, a ladder to climb the tower to replace lamps and wash windows, and am thinking seriously about a chain link fence around the station, a set of foghorns on one of the power poles, and an area  lamp for the grounds, all to be 3/4 inch to the foot scale, same as my lifeboat. 

Am I crazy?  You bet I am, as I'm the Crazy Yank, am I not?

 I've got all my drudgery work done for the day, so I decided to work on the lighthouse again. I had, one by one, made all the gussets for the upper walkway grillwork, the other day and glued in place, today. I also started cutting the fake cement blocks and got all the ones around the  gussets glued onto the lighthouse tower. Scalewise, I've laid 3 courses of blocks, starting at the top and working down. When I get them all in place, I'll painted the tower with a thick coat of semi-gloss white  paint. It should look like painted cement blocks. I made my "cement blocks" out of 2mm thick craft foam, so they would conform to the curvature of the tower and used super glue to secure them. Each one measures 1/2 x 1 inch (scale size=8 x 16) There's a lot of fake blocks to cut, 286 in all, less the ones where the generator building is to be attached to the tower. I haven't done this much brain storming, since I  did the finish work on my lifeboat. I still have to get to Radio Shack and get some experimenter's p.c. board material for the brush contacts pickup area. Will keep you posted as to progress.

Hi Martin,

My "little man"  confronted me. By little man, I'm referring to the one in the photo of the lighthouse beacon. Well, he says he has a name and it's "Cullen."

This time he says "hi" and wanted me to take a picture of  him waving to you. He's pretty happy with how much I've done on his generator house, one wall, but wants me to get it in gear and do some  more.  I don't think the little guy is playing with a full deck, as he  got mad at the way I was talking about him and jumped in his rowboat and started rowing.  Little does he know, that the closest navigable water  is the bathub, and he won't get far there.  Quite frankly, the guy writing this doesn't have both his oars in the water either.  HMMMmmmm!!

The Crazy Yank
Cullen says I'm making some headway on the station now. I've another wall built and connected to the first and the beginnings of the ceiling/roof assembly. It would be nice to get the little monkey off my  back.  If I hadn't painted his clothes, I'd take him back to Wally World for a refund.  What a $5.00 pain he's been.  He's wanting me to get him an all terrain vehicle, but I'm resisting.  He says he needs it to get  to the station and they're only $7.00 at Wally World. Time to cut and run. Dinner to fix, you know.
From Mayhem - " OK I give up, why 'Cullen'?"

And as for "Cullen", he just looked like a Cullen. I remembered a Cullen from when I was going to school in San Antonio, Texas. He was  kind of a loner, as a lighthouse keeper would be, hence Cullen.

This is the latest of the lighthouse build pics and of course, Cullen checking it out...When did he get the ATV?
I'm gonna have to check my pocket change to see if he's been pilfering it when I'm asleep.

From Mayhem - "Dear Lynn, Please make sure the lids are all back on the tubes of glue and all the solvents are safely locked away..... and open a few windows for ventilation!"

Hello Martin,
Shoot, you mean I can't sit and suck fumes anymore?  You spoil all my "inspirational" times.

 Got the beacon on the lighthouse working now. Had a digital movie of it but something went wrong when I tried to view it. Added a counterweighted ladder assembly to access the beacon enclosure.

My little man had to check it out and get himself in the picture. By the way, the ladder assembly actually works, stays down when pulled down, and stays up when pushed up.  Just wish I could find a used tx/rx and servos to get the boat running, one that won't break the bank.  Then I'd  have a lighthouse and boat to take to the pond. Right now I'm making the lighthouse for A.C. only, but leaving things so I can add a battery pack  into the transformer circuit, so it can be charged and run on its own with batteries, when I'm at the pond.

Catch you on the flip side,

I've been working more on the lighthouse, but am nowhere near done. I  built one of the power line poles, complete with simulated transformers. The second will have an operating yard lamp, similar to a street lamp. I got the motorized beacon working, except for the contact pickups for the beacon light itself. I'll have to get to Radio Shack for what I need. I built up a sign for near the gate stating "Cape Hazzard Lighthouse Station". I picked up a maintenance guy in foul weather gear at Walmart.  He was supposed to be a military driver, but with modifications, he's a maintenance man. I built up a door and window for the generator house and got about 8 rows of concrete blocks done on the beacon tower.

Next thing I'll probably do  is start building the site for the lighthouse and the generator house. It'll be like a rocky section of shoreline beneath it and the property area will be surrounded by a simulated chain link fence with an  operating gate. One of the next things I'll work on is the ladder assembly to get up top. I bought fence posts today, which are shish kabob skewers about 12 inches long, which I'll cut down to a respectable 6  foot high yard fence when done. I'll be using dress crinoline (petty-coat material) for the fence material, sprayed aluminium to look like chain link.

 I love to see what I can make from junk.   Since last I wrote, I've got 4 walls put together and a roof on the house.  I've now got about $40 wrapped up in the lighthouse, $5 of which were for "Cullen" and $7 for his stupid ATV.  The roofing material is made of card stock and cut to look like 3in1 shingles. I had to have a porch and a roof over it, so craft sticks for the porch floor and more picture matting material for the roof underlayment and the remaining walls, and of course a porch light, also an interior light, both wired into the roof and removable for replacing lamps, with a plug and wires to the transformer. 

Cullen was tired and needed a chair, so I got one for him ($2).  As you can see, the door is workable. There are lights on the back of the house, towards the tower.  These are made from some hollow rivets, plus some nylon bumpers I designed for locating lenses, back when I worked for Rogers and Clarke, designing machines and fixtures for optics.  When I'm done, the tower will be attached to the lighthouse with a shed.  The shed will be the enclosure for the generator (actually a cover up for the transformer).  I plan on having workable doors, so I can add to the transformer wiring later on.  I've also made a meter for the electric power, like that on a house.  The power will be going thru the meter box , but in the opposite direction.  The meter conduit is actually a plug in, sort of a coaxial tube I made, so I can remove the roof .  I made the meter from odds and ends, such as an xacto blade box and part of an old servo case.  All lights will work.  I've got all the wiring done for the power poles, and when I permanently attach the "station" to the diorama base, the power poles will be too and wired to the station. 

When I have all the landscaping done, I'll put up a chain link fence, made from my wife's old square dance dress crinoline.  It's a stiff fabric that resembles chain link, in miniature.  The poles for the fence are to be made from shish kabob skewers.  I plan on putting a table in the "house" and some shelves with some books, possibly a single bed for Cullen, and I have some miniature soda cans that I'll put on the table.  I have some books from my Santa's workshop, also a miniature globe, and a tiny cuckoo clock, which will be added to the interior.  I might even throw together some scraps and make some curtains.  I found a shovel, rake and hoe, at the craft store, and am thinking about making a small cart to go behind the ATV and load the these yard tools in it. I've got some neat spoked cart wheels, just the right size.  It depends on how carried away I get. Sometime soon, I'll work up my pulse generator, to slow down the beacon rotation.  Gonna sign off for now and go watch the boob tube for awhile.  That's more American slang for TV or as you say telly or goggle box. 
( Also, a Boob Tube is what your slapper girlfriend wear out to a night club and go binge drinking! - Martin )


Have been working on the lighthouse again today. Did some work on the roof facia board and some other things. Cullen was bugging me again, so I built him a table to go with his chair.  Then I stuffed him, his chair and table and a can  of beer in the station, just to get him out from under my feet.  SHHHhhhh! I think the beer is working.  He's just sitting there, staring at the wall.

Nothing real profound  in the Hazzard lighthouse today.  Had 3 inches plus of the white stuff last night, so had to clear away snow this morning.  I just checked in on Cullen this morning and see that he hung up the cuckoo clock sometime and check out the picture on the wall. Look familiar?  As long as Cullen is busy, I can get some of my stuff done.  It looks as though he's 2 beers toward  a hangover and staring at the wall again.


Yesterday, I started working on the "generator" shed for the lighthouse.  The doors were fun to fabricate. Each one is about 7 pieces, minus the cross bolt assembly. That was 5 pieces itself.  Today it all started coming together.  Got a few more pics to show the progress.  Had to give up my idea of the coax tube for the meter hookup, so I just cut a notch in the edge of the roof for the pipe to the power pole. I still have a plug at the top of the pipe so I can disconnect the wires  to the pole.  As you can see, the doors work on the shed.  The cross bolt actually latches.  In my haste to get it in place, I super glued it so it didn't work and had to take some acetone to free it back up again.  Haste makes waste, so they say. Not much else new.  Probably will start fabricating a roof for the shed sometime today.  Can't use 3in1 shingles like the rest as the roof pitch (angle) is too  shallow, so will resort to a rolled roofing replica of some sort, maybe just card stock.


Just thought I'd show the last of my work for today.  I put a window on the opposite side of the generator shed and an actual louver, all scratch built.  I decided I had to get rid of the heat build up of the  generator (the actual transformer that I'm using to reduce voltage for lighting).  I guess I'll work on the shed roof tomorrow.  When I build it, I'll have to put in an exhaust stack for the "diesel generator".  I probably should fabricate a wood burning stove of some sort to heat the "house", otherwise Cullen will pitch a hissy.  (tee hee)


Finished up putting the generator shed on the lighthouse, painted, roofed, and rechecked the electricals to make sure I hadn't broken  a wire, with all the assembly work.  It looks a little more finished than yesterday.  The roofing on the shed is card stock again, cut to look like rolled roofing. The roof underlayment is again, picture matting material.  I was really happy when the cut I made in the underlayment,  was just perfect where it intersected the tower.  I'll just make a fake flashing at the intersection point, so that I can still remove the roof
for any maintenance work to be done. - Have a great evening, as it's lunch time here.


Neither, he's throwing up his hands in elation because of how much I've accomplished the last couple of days.  He doesn't know it yet, but I still haven't built him a bed.  It's gonna be tough for him to sleep on the cold basement floor.  Since my last pics, I've gotten an exhaust stack put on the generator shed and a warning sign on the shed about "authorized personnel only".  Right now, besides writing you, I'm figuring out how I'm gonna elevate the whole  works above the half round piece I've been taking pics on.  That's gonna be the base for the diorama.  Everything will slope down to the half round, where the shore will be.  I'm thinking a section of beach, then the shore.  The beach might be actual sand glued in place, or sandpaper.  Then I have to go to the library and learn a better way than I know, how to paint water.   I know, use " water colors".....Snicker, snicker.

The top piece of the exhaust stack is made from a piece known as a Gitz oiler for machine oiling, then a section of plastic drinking straw.  It ends up looking like the clapper on top of a truck or tractor exhaust pipe.  Am still holding at the $40 mark for cost.  Some of my rocky shoreline will be some actual driftwood we picked up along a lake, for a craft project, years ago.  It looks like water worn rock and needs very little if any painting.  I'd say I'm about a little over half done with the project.  I won't be working it much after next Wednesday, as I'll be doggy sitting for Isaac, then he'll be joined by Henry.  That's gonna take about 13 days total.  That will net me about $350, more working  money.  Later Amigo,


Finished up the lighthouse station, but still have to do the grounds with shoreline and chain link fence.  I broke down and made a bed for Cullen. He was sleeping on the floor and I almost stepped on him a couple of days ago.  He's had the comfort of his own bed the last 2 nights now.  Actually he hasn't moved off the bed in 2 days.  Now he's  just sitting on it.  That's what I've been saying to him every time he confronts me, "Sit On It!!"


I made up 3 trees and gathered the stuff I've got ready for the diorama,  the line poles, foghorn, bushes, and of course, the sign. Hope I can get over to the pond and take a couple of "realistic" shots of the lighthouse for you.  When the dogs are all settled in together, maybe I can get back to the diorama and get something more going on it,
like the drive gate and some of the chain link fence, then start the planning of the grounds and get some of the drudge work done on it, such as elevating the lighthouse from the base and making cliffs and embankments down to the beach.  I've also got to figure out how I'm gonna bury the electrics in the base so I can still work on them if need
be.  Time will tell.

Got those pictures, the one of Cullen ready to roll out on his  motorcycle and the gatekeeper sign.  The pushbutton, itself, is about 1/8 inch in diameter and the body of the switch is 1/4 inch square, just  to give you an indicator of sizes.  The whole assembly is about 3 inches high.  The  box is made of basswood, post of brass square tubing, the
sign base is brass flat stock, and the round base is wood doweling.  I  hope to get things going again, after the dogs are gone.  I don't get much done, as they follow me to the basement and get under foot frequently.

Here's Cullen after I gave him his new tools.....I think he wants me to  get busy on the landscaping, by the looks of things. He has some very subtle and closed mouth ways of making a point.  Looks  as tho he got out some of the materials and started spreading them around.  I should put him in the back yard and have him spread some of  the doggy doo around. I still have to attack the landscaping with a vengeance, soon.  Boating  season is closing in and I've got to get the lifeboat ready.








  My other project....