Lamp - Shoji, midcentury modern - inspired #1: Sketchup Design

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Blog entry by AaronK posted 04-10-2009 04:51 PM 2688 reads 1 time favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Lamp - Shoji, midcentury modern - inspired series Part 2: lumber! »

This is for my wife as a first anniversary gift… the shade is rice paper. The wood will be walnut.

Finally got the hang of sketchup. turns out the key is to make everything into components otherwise it really really sucks! anyway, i made this design, inspired by some other folks’ lamp designs i found.

The joinery is essentially all lap joints of some sort or another. Frame members are all 3/8” or 1/4” other than the obviously thicker pieces, so relatively thin stuff for me. I’m wondering how I’m going to be able to plane/sand/scrape those. The top is removable for getting at the lightbulb. Here are some pics with and without the rice paper lampshade. I still have to figure out what sort of bulb i want in there and the proper fittings for it.

lamp with shade

lamp without shade

i can also send anyone the SKU file, but i dont have a way to post it here.

5 comments so far

View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8901 posts in 3516 days

#1 posted 04-10-2009 05:24 PM

I would recommend a fluorescent bulb. Otherwise you will only be able to spec out the use of a 60w or possibly only a 40w due to the heat build-up in the lamp.

You can get away with a higher wattage equivalent in the fluorescent because the bulbs do not generate nearly as much heat.

You will have to research the brands. Some put out an ugly, cold, greenish glow. Some have figured out how to create a warmer and more pleasing soft white glow.

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana,

View spaids's profile


699 posts in 3110 days

#2 posted 04-10-2009 05:48 PM

Do you think you might want to slip small panel pieces in between the four support columns to hide the cord? It would be a shame to have a visible cord screwing with the design of this lamp. I like this very much. I’m gonna mark this blog to watch so if you could please update back here when you build it so I can check out the finished lamp.


-- Wipe the blood stains from your blade before coming in.--

View 's profile

593 posts in 3388 days

#3 posted 04-11-2009 06:49 PM

It’s a nice design Aaron but I wouldn’t put shoji paper on top. Maybe, as Todd says, if using a compact fluorescent lamp but, even then, I’d leave a way for the heat to escape and not build up. Shoji paper is very delicate and could easily blacken or burn. I’m pretty sure that even a 40W lamp would burn the top in no time.

If you google ”andon” you’ll see that, traditionally, all of them have an open top for this exact reason.

View AaronK's profile


1436 posts in 2881 days

#4 posted 04-12-2009 03:28 PM

you make an interesting point. perhaps i’ll leave the top unpapered, that should do well enough.

View Derek Lyons's profile

Derek Lyons

584 posts in 2984 days

#5 posted 05-02-2009 12:13 AM

Some fluorescents put out ugly light – but that can be filtered/changed by your choice of paper.

-- Derek, Bremerton WA --

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