My recent experiments with copper pipe projects, like my reclaimed wood and copper pipe clock, inspired me to experiment further with copper pipe. This time I decided to make a copper pipe table lamp. I mean, what’s not to love about a copper pipe lamp? It’s modern, yet industrial, and oh so easy to do-it-yourself.
Watch the YouTube video or read on!
Step 1: Materials
Here are the materials you’ll need:
- Piece of wood (approx. 5” x 9” x 2”)
- (1) 3 foot ½” copper pipe (cut to 15”, 6”, 2 ½” and 2”)
- (4) ½” 90° copper elbows
- (1) ½” copper threaded male adapter fitting CxM
- Push through light socket
- 10 foot extension cord
- Vintage ‘Edison’ light bulb
- Wood stain (I used Early American)
- Copper spray paint
- Weldbond glue
- Felt pads
And the tools:
Step 2: Stain the Wood Base
Start by sanding down the piece of wood to a smooth finish. Wipe off all the sawdust and apply a stain of your choice using a foam applicator or a clean cloth. I used my all time favorite: Minwax Early American.
You can use a simple 2 by 6 cut to approx. 9 inches. I had some left over butcher block from my floating shelves project, so I used that.
Step 3: Make the Holes in the Base
Measure and mark a spot 1-½" from the center of the shorter edge of the wood base. Use a 3/4" spade bit to drill almost all the way through, but not quite.
Make a second hole on the side face of the wood block using a 1/4" drill bit. The 2 holes should connect.
Step 4: Install the Threaded Adapter
If you're using an extension cord like I did, start by cutting off the end using your wire cutters. Don't cut of the end that plugs into the wall (yes, I actually did that by mistake once) but instead remove the other end.
The wire will end up being shorter once you've threaded it through the copper pipe, so you'll want a cord that's at least 10 feet long to begin with.
Thread the wire through the small hole on the side and up through the base. Use a small screwdriver if need the help pull the wire up through the larger hole.
You can then thread the adapter onto the wire and screw it into the base. You will notice the fit is snug, so use an adjustable wrench to screw the adapter on.
Tip: Make sure it goes on straight and be careful not to scratch your wood base with the wrench!
Step 5: Cut the Pipes
You need 4 sections of copper pipe: 15", 6", 2-1/2" and 2". Measure and mark the lengths and use a small pipe cutter to cut the pipe. Just keep tightening the knob, then twist the pipe a few times, and repeat the process until the pipe is cut.
Step 6: Dryfit
Thread all the pieces onto the wire and push the pieces together. Start from the longest pipe to the shortest, inserting an elbow in between each section.
Step 7: Wire the Socket
I started by taking apart the lamp socket and spraying the brass pieces with some copper spray paint to match the copper pipes.
You will notice 2 different wires. One should be smooth and the other ribbed. The smooth wire is the HOT wire and should be connected to the brass screw. The ribbed wire is the NEUTRAL wire and should be connected to the silver screw.
Reassemble the light socket by first sliding the cardboard sleeve on, then the metal sleeve. Do NOT throw away the cardboard sleeve – it acts as an insulator.
Step 8: Glue It Up
To finish off, I used some Weldbond to glue all the parts together.
Let it dry as per the instructions, then add the light bulb of your choice. I went with a 60-W vintage Edison bulb. It adds the perfect touch of warmth to this vintage looking lamp.
If you haven't already done so, watch the step-by-step video.