The Fiber Optic Wooden Mushroom

fiber-optic-mushroom-animated-smallThe original Master ‘Shroom was interesting, but naturally just lighting up a few LEDs for eyes wasn’t enough for me.  If I were to use fiber optics instead, I could transmit light form a base unit to anywhere on the mushroom.  The animated GIF to the right pretty much shows what’s going on, but see the video below for more complete results and a look at how it’s put together:

As for the components used in this project, I needed some wood – part of a really small tree trunk, and this fiber optic lamp from Amazon (rated as a 1 star item, so you know it’s good!).  I do my own little review and teardown of this lamp at the end of this article if you are curious about it.  I also used a bit of repair putty that can be had from Walmart or of course from Amazon if you really dread physically going to stores.

The ‘shroom is made by cutting a tree branch or trunk into a mushroom shape with a lathe as seen in this post, then a milling machine is used as seen in the pictures below, to drill a large center channel and eye holes.  The eye holes are drilled to intersect the central channel and at an angle facing the bottom for easier fiber insertion.  One strand was inserted first, then used this to pull the others back through by taping them all together.

Once the fibers were inserted and zip-tied together so they wouldn’t retract, the internals that were pulled from the fiber-optic vase were put into the base of this ‘shroom.  The LEDs act exactly the same as they did in their vase, but the light is then translated to the eyes with the fiber-optic strands.  Check out the parts review of this vase below:

So turned mushrooms are fun to make, but combining them with electronics is even better!  For another interesting lathe project, check out the really small pots or vases that I turned earlier.  You can’t beat the raw material cost!


  1. Foam cutout bag for project transportation in a range bag - pingback on April 20, 2013 at 8:27 am

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