Fallingwater Bedside Lamp

  • Advertise with us
Project by Randy Price posted 01-24-2009 07:02 PM 14010 views 26 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is Fallingwater Bedside Lamp I built based on photographs of the original examples. There is a free plan on the internet by Popular Woodworking but comparing it to the original photos there were some differences, so I tried to stick as close as possible to the original design.

The shade sides are walnut – I used a wide piece of walnut and mitered it at the center of the flame pattern in the walnut so it wraps around the shade. The shade base is poplar painted black and I used small biscuits to attach the shade sides to the shade base. The lamp base is of the same poplar painted black.

Here are the differences between the Popular Woodworking (PW) plan and what I built:

The walnut shade on the PW plan is 2 pieces mitered giving a 2 sided “L” shape. The original had 4 pieces mitered so there are 2 more shorter “wing” pieces on the shade with the shade having 4 sides.

The PW plan has the lamp shade base attached inside the shade sides so it is not visible from the front. The shade base is square. On the original the shade side sat on top of the shade base with the base extending about 3/16” beyond the shade sides. The original base is not square and has a more complicated shape.

The profile of the lamp base on the PW plan is thicker and more “blocky” looking where the original has a thinner profile.


11 comments so far

View HallTree's profile


5665 posts in 4002 days

#1 posted 01-24-2009 07:09 PM

Very Nice. I like it.

-- "Hold on to instruction, do not let it go; guard it well, for it is your life" Solomon

View dennis mitchell's profile

dennis mitchell

3994 posts in 4548 days

#2 posted 01-24-2009 07:37 PM

With the history and that great bulb you almost want to keep it turned around. Interesting….

View BarryW's profile


1015 posts in 4141 days

#3 posted 01-24-2009 08:04 PM

Yeah, looking at the drawing and your lamp…no reflective surface…wondering if that was your choice? Since wood can develop a pyrophoric condition, I’d want to put a small, spaced, reflective surface on the inside…just a thought. Pyrophoric conditions in wood…or other similar materials…the ignition point lowers after time causing the possibility of burning…also some chemicals burning suddenly when exposed to air is called pyrophoric.

-- /\/\/\ BarryW /\/\/\ Stay so busy you don't have time to die.

View Randy Price's profile

Randy Price

242 posts in 3735 days

#4 posted 01-24-2009 08:09 PM

Dave -

Amazing drawings! I am thinking about building one of the horizontal desk lamps for my office desk. I drew my plans on Eazydraw (Mac software). Both the vertical and horizontal lamps are similar in construction. Thanks for your comments and sketches.


View Randy Price's profile

Randy Price

242 posts in 3735 days

#5 posted 01-24-2009 08:21 PM

Barry -

Some of the originals had a silver reflective paint on the inside of the shade and some did not. I haven’t decided which way to go yet; I also purchased a compact florescent bulb of the same shape and comparable wattage as the bulb I have in the lamp now but it didn’t have the same effect. Thanks for the information on pyrophoric conditions in wood. I have used the CF bulbs along with adequate spacing on my other lamps with success but I agree with this one the bulb is close to wood. I just checked the Fallingwater web site and the lamps currently being sold have the silver reflective paint so I think I will research using a silver reflective heat stable paint and go that way. Thanks for prompting me to think about this.


View Thos. Angle's profile

Thos. Angle

4444 posts in 4196 days

#6 posted 01-25-2009 01:41 AM

I might just have to have one of these. Between you guys, you’ve about done all the thinking for me. Thanks. Great build, by the way.

-- Thos. Angle, Jordan Valley, Oregon

View Dan'um Style's profile

Dan'um Style

14179 posts in 4217 days

#7 posted 01-25-2009 07:57 AM

another thought on the reflective surface … copper might add to the charm. perhaps a slight amber glow

beautiful piece .. excellent thought process on the miter in the middle of the cathedral

-- keeping myself entertained ... Humor and fun lubricate the brain

View Randy Price's profile

Randy Price

242 posts in 3735 days

#8 posted 01-25-2009 02:55 PM

Thanks Dan,

I had the same thought about copper – I’m pretty sure I am going to add the spaced heat shield/reflective surface – maybe with 1/4” spacing behind it using either small bushings or washers. I’m heading to the home center today to see what’s available – aluminum, copper, etc.

This made me think more about the horizontal desk lamp mentioned in the post by DaveR – if I do that, I’ll add the heat shielding and rout a groove parallel to and near the “peak” on the back side of the shade to allow the heat to escape.


View motthunter's profile


2141 posts in 4033 days

#9 posted 01-25-2009 04:04 PM

beautiful way to show this wood and create ambient lighting. nice project

-- making sawdust....

View Randy Price's profile

Randy Price

242 posts in 3735 days

#10 posted 02-01-2009 01:17 AM

I went to the home center and found some aluminum flashing that I think will work for the heat shield/reflector. I also got some smal wood screws and washers to space the reflector out about 1/4” from the shade.

I cut the aluminum with a utility knife and straightedge.

I marked and taped where I wanted to make the bends. I clamped thin pieces of wood to both sides of the aluminum, placed the aluminum on the edge of the work bench and bent it.

The bend wasn’t real crisp so I took a piece of wood and “creased” the bend which did the trick.

Here’s an end view of the shield.

I made a template to mark where I wanted to put the screws.

I put a 1/4” spacer behind the shade and marked the points to drill with an awl.

Here’s a picture with the spacer sticking out the end.

I wanted to make sure I didn’t screw through the shade so I did a mock up with a piece of wood the same thickness of the shade.

Here’s the shield screwed in place. I had to remove the light socket and base to install the shield.

A Picture of the re-assembled lamp.

An end view showing the air space.

A picture with the lamp on. It reflects much more light now. Before the wood shade got pretty warm where the bulb was, now it stays cool. Thanks to everyone who suggested doing this.


View anforte's profile


157 posts in 3578 days

#11 posted 04-03-2009 06:07 PM

Excellent detail and thorough job.
I’ attempting to make one of these and your article is immensely helpful.
I got on to Lumberjacks by “googleing” the lamp and you guys have
all kinds of constructive help I need.

Keep up the good work!

-- Anforte NJ

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics