In my education to become a licensed wood/metal shop teacher i got to build many things. One of the assignments was to experiment with laminated bent wood. We should do a round part, a part made from a solid piece with cut grooves, and try to laminate something we haven’t done before.
I wanted to make something useful so i decided to build a simple reading lamp. The round part was used for the foot, the solid part with the cut grooves for the stand and the experimental part for the electrical leading top.
As usual - don't do this if you're uncertain about the machines or electrics included. Use common sense and be careful. And sorry for weird English, it's not my native language.
Step 1: Design
I started with thinking about the basic design, since i had some elements that i had to/wanted to incorporate i rather quickly settled for the current shape. First i draw some sketches while riding the train from the university in Umeå home to Växjö, (a nice sixteen hour ride, good for contemplation) and when i got home i continued in sketchup.
I figured i used the round laminated part for the stand so i started with building a jig to fixate it while gluing it.
The solid stand was made with a bandsaw (a circlesaw would be more ideal but i didn’t have one available at the time) Asp with inlayed birch,
The electric bend vas made from ash, aluminum and cork. The cork has a nice feel to it that i somehow associate with fifties furniture.
Step 2: The Round Base
The round part was made from five layers of birch that was glued using ordinary wood-glue and secured in a jig. It worked pretty well and i just had to even out the edges.
The ring on the picture is not the one i ended up using, it was a bit too small but was made in the same way.
Step 3: The Stand
The stand was made from asp, a light quite soft wood with long fibers. I cut the grooves with a bandsaw (no circlesaw available at the time) Put it in hot water together with the birch and fixated it with clamps. The result got a bit uneven from the clamps but i filed it smooth. (a nice jig was made for a later edition, made the result so much better)
A 5 mm wide jack was made with a drill and a hand held router. The knobs was turned and made from a wood hard enough to secure the 5 mm screws without inserting a metal or plastic treading.
Step 4: The Top Bend
The electrically leading bend was made from birch, aluminium and cork. First i just bent three pieces of wood and glued them together in a jig with ordinary wood-glue. When they had dried a day later i put two strips of aluminium on both sides and cork on that. To stop the epoxy i used from getting stuck on everything on the jig i simply wrapped it all in thin fat plastic foil of a kind that the epoxy glue didn’t adhere to. I made sure to not get any glue on the outside of the cork since it ruined the look and feel of it.
When the epoxy had cured i took a belt sander and grinded the edges to make it smooth.
If you use this design make sure you avoid accidents - don’t use more than 12 volts, use fuses, make sure it can’t fall on something conducting and don’t lick it.
Step 5: The Lamp
The lamp housing was made from a 12 volt led and a piece of turned birch. I originally planned to make it larger but the birch i cut down was a bit small (my girlfriend didn’t let me cut down the lager three)
The lamp was fitted inside of the turned cup and two small pieces of brass was soldered to the pins of the lamp.
(sorry for the blurry images)
Step 6: Assembley and Efterthoughts
The stand was screwed onto the round base using 4x40 mm torx screws. The lamp was attached to the top bend using small screws.
The cables were screwed onto the bend using two small screws, one a bit longer than the other. I wanted to connect both the cables on the same side so i drilled a hole in the aluminium to make sure they don’t short circuit.
To make lamps is incredible fun, and judging from the amounts of contestants in the lamp contest i'm not the only one who thinks so.
Be careful if you use light bulbs that can get to hot. If you use low energy lightbulbs you don’t have to worry so much about the heat. Make sure you make the electrics safe! Have fun!