Arts and Crafts table lamp

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Project by woodenwarrior posted 05-10-2015 03:22 AM 3183 views 23 times favorited 22 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is one lamp of a twin set that I just finished building. The lamps are made of QSWO and the tree appliqués are 3/16 resawn walnut. The lamps are finished in dark walnut Danish oil with a glaze coat of dark walnut gel stain and finishing coats of garnet shellac from flake. I have seen lamps of this style before, with and without a base light and decided to build a hybrid of both. I tried to project a feeling of looking through the trees at sunset or sunrise and I think I accomplished that goal. I am thoroughly pleased with how they came out and my wife is even happier that I will quit obsessing over them now that they’re done.

The lamp shades were a real challenge with the compound angles and I learned some invaluable lessons about resawing and scroll saw work with the tree motifs. The lamp shades and lamp bases are lined with amber mica and I found out very quickly that it is much easier and accurate to cut with a bandsaw than a utility knife. I made the base lamp very easily accessible so that if it needs to be changed I won’t have to tear the lamp apart to do it. Just in case I installed LED candelabra bulbs so that I hopefully won’t have to worry about it for the next 20 years or so.

-- Do or do not...there is no try - Master Yoda

22 comments so far

View HillbillyShooter's profile


5811 posts in 2496 days

#1 posted 05-10-2015 03:39 AM

Great job and great looking project!

-- John C. -- "Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty's teeth." George Washington

View pintodeluxe's profile


5798 posts in 3017 days

#2 posted 05-10-2015 03:41 AM

Looks great. What a lovely glow when lit. The tree shape is a nice touch.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View DaleMaley's profile


459 posts in 2439 days

#3 posted 05-10-2015 11:55 AM

Beautiful job !!

I fully appreciate how difficult the angles are for the shade. I built a similar style lamp and had a heck of a time with the shade angles…....

I posted my project on this site here:

-- Dale, Illinois,

View stanley2's profile


346 posts in 3999 days

#4 posted 05-10-2015 01:41 PM

I’ve also made similar shades and appreciate what it takes to cut those compund angles – very nicely done

-- Phil in British Columbia

View blasley's profile


32 posts in 1419 days

#5 posted 05-10-2015 01:44 PM

Well done. I think you definitely achieved your objective of looking through the trees at sunset. Love it!

-- Bob in Okieland

View Mathew Nedeljko's profile

Mathew Nedeljko

715 posts in 4033 days

#6 posted 05-10-2015 03:14 PM

Very nicely done…really like the idea of looking through the trees. You got it right!

-- Aim high. Ride easy. Trust God. Neale Donald Walsch

View SenecaWoodArt's profile


438 posts in 1823 days

#7 posted 05-10-2015 04:13 PM

Excellent piece Sarge.

-- Bob

View Bigrock's profile


292 posts in 3166 days

#8 posted 05-10-2015 04:37 PM

Great looking project. I really liked the trees in the base. I do have a couple of questions about the lamp. Did you have planes for the lamp and the tree? Is the light on a separate switch or three way switch or single switch? How simple did you make to change the lights?
I want to make a couple of them for the bed room which is all QSWO furniture that I built.
Thank You

View HerbC's profile


1790 posts in 3063 days

#9 posted 05-10-2015 04:49 PM

Excellent work!

Great design!

Yes, I like it!!!

Keep up the good work.

Be Careful!


-- Herb, Florida - Here's why I close most messages with "Be Careful!"

View woodenwarrior's profile


238 posts in 2398 days

#10 posted 05-10-2015 05:37 PM

Big rock,
This is going to be a long reply so bear with me.
1) The lamp base basic design came from a WOOD magazine publication. I added 1/4 X 1/4 in strips of oak to the interior of the base to create a rabbet for the resawn walnut trees. The walnut tree motifs are my own design, just drawn out on a piece of paper to the dimensions of the space inside the base sides. When I resawed the walnut I ganged up two sets of four slabs of the 3/16 in walnut and using the paper plan I made, scroll sawed the trees. The mica behind the walnut trees fits into a very shallow rabbet made by the remaining space left over from the oak inset frames. The micha is secured with thin beads of silicone adhesive.

2) The lamp shade was supposed to be from a WOOD magazine plan that I saw last year but for the life of me I couldn’t find the damn article when I came back from this last deployment. I tore the house apart looking for it and ended up loosely using a Popular Mechanics plan I found online for free. Honestly, the only angles you need to be concerned with are the corners of the lamp shade sides and the corresponding half laps which are 35 degrees. The angle on the sides of the shade frames that connects the whole thing togetherness are 30.3 degrees but I think you could get away with 29 or 30 degrees and it may even work better. I used my own plan for making space for the mica panels by rabbeting the insides of the shade frames with a 1/4×3/8 in rabbet. One hint, I found that making a hardboard template of the mica panels and fitting EACH frame first to ensure a uniform fit greatly helped in making the panels. They are secured with a thin bead of silicone adhesive around the inside of the rabbets.

3) The lights operate on a two circuit, three way rotary switch I picked up at a local lamp store for two bucks. The top lights are non-keyed S clusters that I purchased online for $10 and the base lamp socket is a lifted (2”)candelabra socket that cost a couple of dollars. The wiring diagram is easy to find online.

4) Lastly, the original WOOD design for the lamp base had a hardboard square that the candelabra socket attached to and helped center the base sides but there was no real way to change the bulb. I made a similar square for centering the sides but made mine of 3/4 plywood( it’s thinner than the bottom of the sides so it will never be seen), cut a 2” hole in the center and rabbeted a 1/4×1/8 deep rabbet on the bottom to recieve a 2 1/2×1/8 circle of hardboard that secures the candelabra socket and can be removed to replace the bulb. The base itself has a 3” hole rabbeted with a 3 1/2×1/8 rabbet to recieve a circular hardboard cover that contains the wiring connections from all of the sockets, the switch and the power cord.

I hope that answered all of your questions. I may be able to make some drawings and post them for you if I wasn’t clear enough in my description. If you have any other questions, just let me know.

-- Do or do not...there is no try - Master Yoda

View woodenwarrior's profile


238 posts in 2398 days

#11 posted 05-10-2015 07:26 PM

One other thing I forgot to mention. The original base plans used a lamp shade harp to suspend the shade. Because of the way I chose to build mine, that design wouldn’t work. I made two cross arms the length of the width of the lamp shade and half lapped them. They are inset into a crossed dado in the cover of the lamp base. I tapered the arms to give them a lighter and less clunky appearance and used the cut off corners from the lamp base miners to make the little nubs that act as centering/holding tabs for the shade. It just rests neatly in the space that it makes.

-- Do or do not...there is no try - Master Yoda

View david38's profile


3518 posts in 2547 days

#12 posted 05-10-2015 08:02 PM

great project

View AandCstyle's profile


3179 posts in 2461 days

#13 posted 05-11-2015 02:06 AM

Wooden, that is a great design and well done! Thank you for sharing.

-- Art

View BurlyBob's profile


5986 posts in 2469 days

#14 posted 05-11-2015 05:22 AM

Nicely done, bet your wife loves it.

View oldreddog's profile


165 posts in 2537 days

#15 posted 05-11-2015 10:47 AM

Very nice lamp! I just finished one my self and plan to build more. Those shades can get your mind spinning some times. I used the same material on my lamp. I actually had a custom pattern router bit made to speed up the shades with the 26 degree angles.
You and your wife will enjoy this project for years to come. Again very nice and well done.

-- oldreddog

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