|Project by TMH||posted 03-25-2015 10:27 AM||3654 views||44 times favorited||28 comments|
Hi, this is my first project post at Lumber Jocks so please excuse the quality of the post.
This is a set of four Arts & Crafts Lamps I just completed. Within this project are two lamps (left side of pictures) from a design I made late last year and two (right side) lamps with Greene and Greene design elements incorporated. The lamps are made with Quarter-sawn White Oak (QSWO); Gabon Ebony plugs, then stained with Minwax Mahogany and sprayed with satin lacquer. The shade has genuine mica panels and vintage electrical hardware. I don’t profess the lamps to be of any particular designer, just an Arts & Crafts style with some Greene & Greene design elements incorporated.
I credit Darrel Peart in the title as an inspiration due to the content quality of his books on Greene & Greene furniture and design. I purchased and read both of these books between making the first lamps and these last four. If you are interested in Greene & Greene style and design, I strongly suggest Darrel’s books, “In the Greene & Greene Style” and “Greene & Greene: Design Elements for the Workshop” due to his passion for the style, his knowledge of the design and necessary methods to recreate the design details.
This project actually started last November with the first two lamps I made and sold. Pictured below are the first two lamps I completed late 2014. The design is combination of many sources of inspiration. Both of these lamps were well received and sold very quickly at an art gallery here in NW IL. I have since refined my design to incorporate a Floor lamp (below) and the lamps shown in the main pictures and throughout this post.
The shade design and dimensions were found in the April/May 2013 “Woodcraft Magazine”, (WM) issue featuring an Arts & Crafts Lamp project. Through research, I found this shade to be a common element in an Arts & Crafts style lamp. I was not fond of the lamp design in the article and felt I could design a stem and base on my own. The best parts of the article for me were the shade dimensions and resources for the electrical hardware and Mica.
The top, bottom, and side rails of the shade sections are ¾” by ¾” by 4 13/16”, 11 1/16” and 17” cut at 40 Deg angles with lap joints to connect the pieces. (The actual Lengths of these pieces can be varied proportionally the make different size shades as long as the angles remain the same. I did this on the floor lamp to make a bigger shade). My Incra HD1000 miter gauge makes this very accurate and straight forward. The laps are cut with a ¾” stacked Dado blade using the miter gauge with the Rip as the stop. A piece of ¼” hardboard stuck to fence allows the blade to graze the fence. I made a gluing jib as recommended in the WM article to glue the pieces together. A ¼” by ½” deep rabbet is cut into each frame section using a rabbeting bit in my router table to accommodate the Mica panels. I use ¼” by ¼” poplar pieces to secure the Mica. Once constructed, the four shade sections are then beveled at 22.5 Deg to join them together to form the shade.
The WM article had you cut the bevels on your table saw using a Miter gauge w/extension and angled saw blade. I found this to be an uncomfortable cut to make and I struggled with accuracy. The completed bevels took a lot of work with a hand plane to clean them up.
I have since refined and simplified the shade construction, (for me anyway). I now use a 22.5 deg Chamfer bit, (Freud 40-101) on my router table to cut the bevels. The shade sections still require some hand plane work on the angles, (I believe the actual angles need to be around 23 Deg) but a couple of passes on the back edge with a Shoulder Plane makes the necessary corrections. This is actually easier and more accurate than it may sound.
The new shade design with the side rails in “relief” is simply a matter of using 7/8” stock instead of ¾”, cutting the side rail length ¼” longer and cutting a ¾” dado instead of a lap leaving a ¼” overhang. This actually makes frame construction easier as the bottom rail is captured by the dados in the side rails.
The stem is made from 4 – 2” x 18.5” x ¾” pieces mitered at 45 deg to form a column with the necessary channel for the threaded steel pipe w/ wiring and more importantly, QSWO faces on all sides. This idea came from a “Woodsmith” show on joinery techniques.
(Note: the first lamps I made I mitered the pieces on my table saw. I found it uncomfortable to maintain the balance of the piece (also my balance over the saw) through the entire cut. After passes on both edges the piece is riding on approx. ½”. The four lamps shown in the main pictures were mitered using a 45 deg chamfer bit in my router table. The bit is a Whiteside model 2310. These miters were near flawless without the need for any cleanup. This method does not solve the issue of the piece riding on a thin edge but does allow my body to be in a better position to maintain balance on the piece itself. In the future I may make a rough cut on the table saw with a final pass on the router table to make the necessary accurate and clean miters. But this issue is maybe just me.)
A ½” wide by 1/4” deep dado is cut around the stem 16 1/4” down from the top: this will eventually form a tenon to connect to the base. A 3/8” taper over approx. 14” from the top is cut on all four sides then evened out with a smoothing plane. The waste is removed from the bottom leaving a final length of 16 1/2” with a ¼” by 1 ½” tenon.
The transition piece, between stem and base, with three square holes, was an idea borrowed from a similar design found through research.
The transition with the single wide Ebony plug and the “indent” in the stem were ideas directly from Darrel’s books. The indent was cut with a router and pattern bit on a jig that is adjustable to accommodate the taper of the stem.
The base is a 6” square by 7/8” piece of nicely figured QSWO with four, 2” square pad feet. I found the pad feet to be a common element in Arts and Crafts lamp design. The stepped pyramid design was inspired by lamps within my house. The cuts are made with the piece on edge using a rip blade set at a 5 deg angle. The angled step gives the base a more downward flow and accents the corners.
I first drill and chop the square mortise in the base then use the off-cut from the stem, (with a short tenon) to hold the piece secure to the fence during the cuts. The edges of the feet and base are chamfered to 1/8” using a shoulder plane. I made a jig to hold all four feet in position as I glue and tack the in place.
I altered the step pattern in the base of the new lamps to accommodate the “Cloud Lifts” cut into each side edge. A 1/8” round over on all edges completes this base. Again thanks to Darrel.
The Shade Support, (Corbels?)
The corbels (not sure if these fit the definition of a corbel) for the shade are a fairly standard Arts & Crafts design with a 1/8” chamfer on the edges. They are sized to fit the overall proportion of the lamps and smoothly transition to the shade. The corbels are attached using glue and two screws each, one behind the Ebony plug, the other from inside the center channel of the stem into the corbel. The connecting edge of the corbel is cut at an angle to match the tapered stem so the corbel sits square. I toyed with the idea of a sliding dovetail but was concerned with keeping them centered on the tapered stem. Plus, I have limited stock to work with due to the taper.
(Note: The original lamps made in 2014 used “faceted” Maple plugs that I dyed black. I used “Pillowed” Ebony plugs in these most recent four lamps and will continue to use ebony.)
I added a “Cloud Lift” and 1/8” round-over to the corbels of the newly designed lamps.
Over the last few months while making these lamps I have learned a great deal about myself and my abilities as a woodworker. I am very satisfied with the original and new design of the lamps and construction methods I have adapted. I have made some adjustments to my machines and/or have altered my methods based on some idiosyncrasies with my machines. It was very gratifying to have the first two sell so quickly, (although it was Christmas season). This last group of four was taken to the Art Gallery for sale but I was sorry to see them go.
I will be happy to answer any questions for those interested in more information (or clarification). And for those suffering from information overload: it’s too late, but I do apologize.
Thanks for reading and in advance of comments or suggestions,
-- Theo's Grandpa Woodworking