Lamp and Shade....what a wonderful experience

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Project by joan posted 04-23-2009 03:20 AM 2001 views 0 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

For the last 2 days I had the privilege and honor of taking a lesson with a master woodturning named Peter Asselyn of Durham, Maine. I was there to learn and make a lamp shade and lamp. But that wasn’t all I learned. He showed me all kinds of techniques for turning green wood, use of a bowl gauge, sharpening, using different chucks, and some of the jigs or methods he uses to make turning more convenient and “user friendly”.

We started off with a log of poplar which had been cut about a year ago but was still green. It was 12” long by about 12” across. Out of this log we made the lamp shade. The whole process was very fascinating. Using a light right up against the outside we could tell just how thin the sides were and how much light was coming thru. There was no sanding, it was finished with just a very precise and fine finishing cut. We let the shade sit overnight and then we brushed on “wipe on poly”. Just one coat.

The base is made out of 2 different pieces. Both pieces are cherry burl. The foot or bottom base piece was turned as if it was a bowl. Then turned upside down and the other base piece was turned as a spindle piece. A tenon connects the two. The bases were sanded and then finished with a special mix Peter uses on all his bowls and vases.

I hope you enjoy looking and I appreciate all comments, questions, and suggestions.

-- spinning into a new adventure

8 comments so far

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18269 posts in 3673 days

#1 posted 04-23-2009 03:25 AM

Looks nice. Did 99% of that log turn to chips when you made the shade?

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View dustyal's profile


1294 posts in 3473 days

#2 posted 04-23-2009 03:27 AM

A wood lampshade that passes light… ugly green wood turned to beauty. Absolutely fascinating… thanks for the post.

-- Al H. - small shop, small projects...

View scrappy's profile


3507 posts in 3428 days

#3 posted 04-23-2009 03:30 AM

Very facinating art work.
Great oppertunity and learning experiance.
Very Beutifull turning.
Would love to have a lathe myself.
The only thing I have ever worked on was a machinest lathe my father had doing gun smithing when I was a kid.
Turned some fishing lures with the machine cutters. Very steady feed but not much agility allowed.
Keep up the great work.

-- Scrap Wood's the best...the projects are smaller, and so is the mess!

View a1Jim's profile


117091 posts in 3575 days

#4 posted 04-23-2009 06:09 AM

Hey Joan
That’s a great story . I can’t believe wood can be turned that thin and still be structural enough to hold the shape of a lamp shade. Very cool. Maybe you could write a blog about all the steps involved.
Thanks for sharing.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View jeffthewoodwacker's profile


603 posts in 3802 days

#5 posted 06-02-2009 05:03 PM

Nice job with the lamp shade. Being able to turn clean enough to not have to use sandpaper is very rewarding.
I like the finish that you used – brings out the natural beauty of the wood.

-- Those that say it can't be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.

View Daniel Wise's profile

Daniel Wise

107 posts in 2957 days

#6 posted 06-24-2010 08:32 AM

Wow…looks like one false move and that shade would explode into a million pieces. Very cool.

View LouJC's profile


59 posts in 3205 days

#7 posted 09-10-2010 02:11 PM

Joan, I hope you had a good time learning from him, there is a lot of great woodworkers here in Maine, thay just seem to like to keep to themselves. But if you meet one thay are more than willing to teach you anything thay know.

Us Maineacks can do some nice woodworking :)

-- Lou - Maine

View Manitario's profile (online now)


2630 posts in 2880 days

#8 posted 01-31-2011 10:37 PM

wow, a wood lampshade. Very cool.

-- Sometimes the creative process requires foul language. -- Charles Neil

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