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Light Up Fishing Floats!!

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i think i have mastered the art of electric floats!.i purchased an inexpensive glass float w/net and bored a nice hole in it for a small bulb with great ease!. the rest is easy,i'm off to radio shack for supplies.if you have any interest in having me convert your float,please e mail me.

[edited by hanford to remove the all-caps subject]

[ Edited by: hanford_lemoore on 2004-03-19 18:01 ]


What type of bit are u using and what size? Have you broken any floats with this technique? any pics?

i am not using a bit,i am using a maching at work (top secret aerospace stuff!)and it works great.i am now taking on the best way to wire one up and how to frost the glass.


Will you trade Glowing floats for art? :)

you have to get back to me in a week after i get the electrical all set up,but you can send photos of your stuff to:[email protected]


OH, I see you can't share your secret. Nevermind.

its not that i dont want to share my secret....its the govt.....they get fussy about these things. i mean , its so close to a war like vibe,you would not want me to end up like julius and ethel would ya????.


Loose lips sink ships..If he tells you then he would have to kill you...right?:)


I know what you got there. It's one of them death ray gadgets recovered from Roswell back in '47. Yep, and that Col. Corso guy slipped it to his military-industrial buddies and now they're making tiki lights with 'em to keep it real innocent like. Yeah, I know what ya got there. Just watch where you point that sucker.
Hey, I needed this post to get to 100. Yeah, baby, Yeah.

who ever finds me an affordable pair of bamboo or rattan bar stools gets there floats opened for free!(4 total,death ray power packs are expensive!)


Somehow, I knew all along that the mana of Tiki could bring world peace...

it's all coming clear now...

I finally found the guy who drills holes in fish floats and installs lights in them. I posted about this guy a long time ago, but couldn't find him until today when we went to a big antique show in Mt Dora, Florida.
Anyway, his name is Marc Bush and you can contact him at [email protected].
He has a shop in Ft. Lauderdale and said he would drill holes in floats provided by customers for $10 each -- but if the float breaks during the process you're out of luck.
Otherwise he will sell his own floats drilled and lighted, but be advised they start at $40 for a small float and go up from there.
I gave him the tiki central web address and suggested he log on and introduce himself.
I didn't buy anything from Marc because I finally ran into him at the end of the day and I had already blown my budget on an old red fish float the size of a basketball, and four mugs. Hope someone can benefit from this info. as I know it was a hot topic at one time.

[ Edited by: kailuageoff on 2004-02-22 20:40 ]

Oh Ya?
Well, I got two free tickets to Laguna Seca Motor Bikes.
I can only guess that this is worth more than a pathetic drill bit.
Ya Two Wheelin Dude! :)

A Tiki Cheers To You

[ Edited by: Unga Bunga on 2004-03-02 18:45 ]

twowheelintiki, are you still pumping these out? I'd love to get a large red one, if possible. I'd trade a carving for one, let me know what its worth to you?

Small(6") pre-drilled thick-walled glass balls are available here in Victoria at a shop called "Dig This"(gardening-go figure) they are $40 each and are in beautiful marble shades of blues and purples. That is Canadian, so about $30 US.

I still do the float thing on occasion, and yes, depending on the glass quality, they can explode(cheap ones). I did a really nice one for ebay using a glass ball light fixture and all my tc pals turned there noses up at it!, so I kinda lost interest in it for a while. If the glass is colored as opposed to painted, I will make holes in them for my local tikinizzies if they wish for a small price depending on thickness of glass.Just email me with your float description and we will figure it out.TWT

There's a post here that also deals with this issue:
(this is my post, but you can view the whole thing through here too)
I don't want to step on any toes here, but I did want to say what I've done in the past. I used a glass drill bit and a glass cutter - but that method takes FOREVER and if you apply too much pressure, the glass float will break.

[ Edited by: Polynesiac on 2004-07-29 20:32 ]

I got inspired to whip up a new 6" green fishing float (thick glass). As a reference, a 6" globe from a float should be heavy (1.5 lbs or so ). The lighter the glass, the easier they crack. I will post pics when done. Peace out y'all.

keep us posted, I remember the ebay one, I thought it was gnarly, maybe it was just wrong timing.

here it is with out a light installed, but I outlined the hole for your viewing pleasure!.


I'm confused why the floats break? Is it from the vibration of the drill? Or the heat from the friction that the drill causes while drilling the hole? If its from the heat, couldn't you run cool water on it while your drilling to keep the temp down?

[ Edited by: Polynesiac on 2004-07-29 20:33 ]

Cool and the gang.


why do they break?, sometimes the glass cools and is stressed, when you put a hole in it, it acts as a stress riser and allows the glass to crack and sometimes shatter.I always make a hole opposite the plug, it looks goofy , but no breaks since.

This's a little different way of looking @ the problem: has anyone tried putting white or colored LEDs against the glass? You don't have to drill or cut the glass, & the LEDs don't put out enough heat to cause cracking or shattering like a lightbulb against the glass would. White LEDs & their drivers can be found on the Internet & should work well for colored glass floats. If you have clear glass floats, or those very light blue-green floats, you could try colored LEDs. I think you can get R-G-B sets with drivers, & even drivers that'll fade between the 3 LEDs giving you other colors...


Just tossing out some ideas here...

  1. Would it be possible to us sandblasting to bore completely through the glass rather than just etching the surface

  2. What about etching with acid? (Probably would take something really nasty...) Although craft shops carry glass etching gel. What if you just left it on longer thatn was required to do the etching? (Probably would take all week!!)

KAHAKA posted on Wed, Mar 3, 2004 1:44 PM

I tried the acid etching. Didn't work for me.... I ruined a float. Looks like crap.


I made some lights for my floats out of bamboo and lamp parts. Its basically a section of bamboo long enough to hold a candelabra socket & bulb, fastened thru a hole in the inside disc at one of the nodes (segment, joint, etc), and a little bit of chain to secure it to the float netting. I used night light bulbs for illumination. The bamboo just simply sits on top of the float, no drilling required. Works really well, and you don't have to risk cutting your floats.

good job traderpup!, but please dust the float before further pictures..snicker. You can sandblast thru the glass, but be careful of stuff in the sand that might shatter on impact. I like glass media for the job at 30-40psi.

[ Edited by: twowheelin'tiki on 2004-03-08 13:22 ]

anybodt need a small, pre-holed graan fishing float??, email me.

That's a pretty ingenious way of lighting the fishing float. A lot less messy than drilling a hole through the glass. Here's mine:

This is 12" repo with a 15 watt bulb in it and it's still REALLY bright. I think I'll go for a lower wattage.
TWT - did you wire the float? Show us some of your pictures!

[ Edited by: Polynesiac on 2004-03-08 13:49 ]

exny1 posted on Mon, Mar 8, 2004 6:27 PM

On 2004-02-22 23:18, tikitony wrote:
twowheelintiki, are you still pumping these out? I'd love to get a large red one, if possible. I'd trade a carving for one, let me know what its worth to you?

Hi Tony, I have 4 original ones left froma purchase I made years ago from someone who bought out a closed restaurant. I had actually bought 10, but used 6. They are huge, about 24 inches wide, I do have red and blue, I belive.

Let me know, I would do a trade for something I could use.

[email protected]

Yea, Amy has some real cool floats, some are so cool, she forgets to pick them up after payment..........hint-hint. You need to meet me after work at the purple orchid for a lamp pick-up and a drink (I am safe,ask my wife!). T.W.T. just a reminder Amy

exny1 posted on Tue, Mar 9, 2004 2:36 PM

On 2004-03-08 23:00, twowheelin'tiki wrote:
Yea, Amy has some real cool floats, some are so cool, she forgets to pick them up after payment..........hint-hint. You need to meet me after work at the purple orchid for a lamp pick-up and a drink (I am safe,ask my wife!). T.W.T. just a reminder Amy

Now how funny is that.... :) atleast I paid...lol

I will call this week, all is good finally at home, I can use that drink


Great idea Pup! I think you've finally solved the problem that we've all delt with with lighting floats. That is a great solution to the problem. Unless of course you have access to TWT's secret laser beam device.


Wersmo Derinc applied Traderpup's technique to the floats at the Purple Orchid. Here's a picture, although the effect is much better in person:

the laser is only used on special floats, if the glass is thick, you can use "glass media " at 40psi.

[ Edited by: polynesiac on 2004-07-29 20:32 ]

These cracks can spread with tempature change.......it happened to me.

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