Lightbulb Lamp

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Project by thiel posted 12-11-2016 02:52 AM 1079 views 2 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I work at a school and one of the things I get to do is staff the “innovation lab” where kids get to experiment with making things. Here’s a project I walked a bunch of kids through to demonstrate some of the different tools available in the lab. I did this write up for the lab, but I thought I’d share it here.

With contributions by over a dozen students (whose names can be seen inside the lamp) the Lightbulb Lamp is made of 1/2 inch baltic birch plywood and off-the-shelf electrical components.

A cardboard template was used to plan and refine the shape of the lamp. From the cardboard, a hardboard template was created and perfected; the hardboard template served as the reference material for all the final plywood slats.
The template was traced onto plywood, where slats were cut away using a handheld power jigsaw. These rough wooden pieces were shaped, faired, and smoothed using a benchtop oscillating spindle sander, a power random orbit sander, and hand sanding blocks were used to break and smooth the edges and faces of the slats.
After calculating the diameter of a central hub against which the slats are aligned, the round hub and cap were cut from plywood (using a jigsaw and holesaw, respectively). These shapes were sanded with a power sander and by hand.

The twelve slats sit approximately 30° apart. Each was drilled using a Kreg Pocket Hole Jig and then secured to the central hub/cap using pocket screws and wood glue.

The electrical portion of the lamp was made using standard, off the shelf components. A corded lamp socket was threaded through a ceiling fan extension pipe (cut to size with a hacksaw) and was secured by bending its supplied connector around the pipe, which was drilled with a drill press and a standard twist bit to accept an 8/32 machine screw. A washer, nut, and additional “snugger” nut was attached to secure the screw, which was then trimmed with a hacksaw to length.

The pipe was threaded onto an octoganal electrical box lid with a mating connection in its lid. Power is supplied through a high-gauge extension cord that was modified for use in the lamp. The cord is secured to the electrical box using a standard clamp/combination connector (screw type).

The electical box is secured to the wooden lamp body with two #8 wood screws. A standard single pole light switch was inserted inline for convenience. All electrical connections are secured with wirenuts and insulated with electrical tape. A reproduction anitque filament lightbulb was used to complete the project.

-- Laziness minus Apathy equals Efficiency

8 comments so far

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

19805 posts in 2945 days

#1 posted 12-11-2016 03:54 AM

WOW, that is really cool. It looks like a lot of work went into it!!

cheers, Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View thiel's profile


377 posts in 3132 days

#2 posted 12-11-2016 04:09 AM

Thanks Jim… honestly though it was pretty easy! If you like it, you should try it!

We did all this with just a jigsaw, a spindle sander, and kreg jig. With a bandsaw and router table it would have been even easier…

-- Laziness minus Apathy equals Efficiency

View Mrkixx's profile


70 posts in 1819 days

#3 posted 12-11-2016 01:36 PM

Ok, so I like it, but is it a pendant/chandler or is it a table lamp? I know you gave the offer to Jim to try it, however I wouldn’t mind giving it a try myself. It looks like a very fun project, my daughter got her very own tool set and has been begging to do a project with me in the shop, but not sure what to do, and since you did this with kids it might be an option.

View JoeinGa's profile


7727 posts in 1847 days

#4 posted 12-11-2016 01:48 PM

A light that LOOKS like a lightbulb! COOL!

And I’m betting it could be used either way, as a table lamp, OR hanging.

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

View bushmaster's profile


2523 posts in 2122 days

#5 posted 12-11-2016 03:22 PM

Well done co-operative project, it caught my eye right away.

-- Brian - Hazelton, British Columbia

View a1Jim's profile


116592 posts in 3417 days

#6 posted 12-11-2016 03:24 PM

cool design well done.

-- Custom furniture

View helluvawreck's profile


29208 posts in 2706 days

#7 posted 12-11-2016 08:14 PM

You really did a fine job on this project. It’s a very creative design.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

View woodbutcherbynight's profile


3650 posts in 2249 days

#8 posted 12-12-2016 01:52 AM

Excellent work, as others have stated very impressive!

-- Live to tell the stories, they sound better that way.

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