I’ve been needing a bedside table lamp in our new house for a while now. So I spent over a month designing and building this thing with a whole host of tools and techniques. Needless to say, it was a hell of a learning experience! I detailed pretty much the whole process through instagram (which I do often with my artwork – follow me if you wanna keep up):
My bedside table lamp is complete! It only took me a month. lol. I finished it up with rice paper and polystyrene for the lampshade today. I designed it myself from scratch and constructed it from mahogany and walnut wood scraps and cutoffs (bought for almost nothing on Craigslist). It was made mainly using a @portercable scrollsaw, @dewalttough table saw, @makitatools sander and angle grinder with carving wheel from @kutzall, and a @boschtoolsna router. It’s lit with a #phillipshue white ambience smart bulb. Also, I can control it just by telling Siri on my iPhone what to do, which is more handy than I expected (and works really well). Thanks to my amazing wife @tam_a_ryn for letting me disappear into the workshop far too many nights and weekends for such a simple thing!
Did a little whittling to make an acorn “finial” cap from a piece of walnut wood (not sanded or finished). In the second pic you can get an idea of what the lamp will look like (but not crooked. Nothing is assembled at this point. Just roughly balanced.). And in the third pic you can see more what the actual color will be when finished. I did a ton more grinding today. Then sand and finish!
Got to try out power carving with a dish wheel on an angle grinder for the first time tonight. It was super slow going at first, partly because it’s a fine/medium aggressive wheel and partly because I wanted to be extra careful until I got a good feel for it. It could definitely remove a lot of flesh in seconds if I let it. Working on blocking out the basic shape of my lamp base. Note: after a few minutes of this, I did attach the base to the support log (obvious safety hazard as it is in the video).
One more little step completed on my lamp last night. This will actually go underneath the top rim – I just have it sitting on top right now. I struggled trying to come up with a safe and precise way to cut those 54o angles in the center on my table saw. In the end I decided against it and just sanded the angles down on my disc sander. The center point where they meet will be drilled out to attach to the lamp.
Walnut trim for the lamp shade now roughly cut. No sanding or edge work done yet (will probably chamfer or round over most of the edges. Haven’t decided yet). Also nothing is actually assembled. The pieces are just taped/balanced here. Those angles were a bitch to do on my table saw (with shop-made jigs, sleds, and the crappy miter gauge) – and I’ll admit they’re pretty imprecise. But good enough for being a lamp just for me and my wife. Next up: figuring out how I’m gonna do the center support. Note: so far all of the wood is cheap offcuts from people on Craigslist trying to get rid of it before burning it.
I often find that the hardest part of a project is just getting my ass off the couch and starting. Especially once it becomes cold and gray here in Pittsburgh. But I succeeded in at least that much today after work. This is the very early beginnings of a bedside table lamp (which I desperately need). Step 1 (not including the initial design in my head and computer) was actually acquiring the wood, which I did a few weeks ago when I majorly scored a carload of mahogany offcuts for $15 from a cool dude who does much more serious furniture work. Step 2 is what you see here. I resawed (very slowly and carefully) the wood into 1/4” strips to glue up as panels. Obviously it won’t make sense yet. You’ll see…