A MECHANIC’S light bulb moment saw him come up with a brilliant idea to transform an ugly pile of scrap metal lying in his workshop into unique lamps.
Talented Neville Herron earns a living by fixing and stripping back turbo chargers from car engines with his business Reconditioned Turbos, in Tofts Road West, off Brenda Road, Hartlepool.
Due to the nature of his job he regularly has a pile of leftover metal parts in the corner of his workshop which he normally gives to the scrap man.
But just a few weeks ago the 46-year-old came up with the bright idea of “up-cycling” the scrap into lamps – even using vehicle air filters as lamp shades, which he says give off a “lovely warm glow”.
And the idea seems to be getting off to a roaringly-good start with the dad-of-two having already sold five lamps since he started making them in November and with a list of orders, and bespoke commissions, getting bigger by the week.
He has even sold a few of his one-off lamps to car garages for use in their showrooms or sales offices.
Neville, who lives at Hartlepool Marina, said: “In the run-up to Christmas there was a pile of scrap in the workshop. I started thinking about up-cycling the scrap parts and thought about making lamps out of it.
“For the lampshades I’ve used air filers from a car and I’ve made desk lamps, bedside table lamps and lamps for lounges.
“They look quite good with the light coming through the air filter. It fills the room with a nice warm glow.”
Neville, who has a partner, Lucy Patterson, 35, a recruitment agency owner, has already started to extend his recycling skills to make bathroom and kitchen accessories as well.
“The top of a turbo is nice aluminium and looks like a snail shell so I’ve made toilet roll holders which can be hung or stood on the floor,” he told the Mail.
“I’ve made a kitchen accessory called a ‘lazy Susan’ out of a turbo with a spinning disc on the top. You can put kitchen items or sauces in it and it spins round so you don’t have to lean over and get sauce on your top.”
Neville has even made some door knockers out of the waste metal.
He said: “It’s gone down a storm, I can’t keep up. I’ve got a few corporate clients like car dealers and garages who’ve bought some and I also do commissions for people’s homes.
“If anyone has an old turbo they’d like turning into a lamp then I’m open to ideas!
“I’m getting a website, which is still under development because all of this has happened so quick, and I’m on the look-out for an outlet to stock them. It’s a bit crazy to be honest going from reconditioning turbos to this but it’s all good.
“I am still doing the reconditioning as well, though. It’s a bit quirky and environmentally-friendly and I enjoy doing it because it’s waste that’s getting recycled and re-purposed.”
It takes Neville about two days to make a lamp, which range in price from about £45 to £75, and commissions are individually priced.