The Tango Lamp

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Project by Castlewerks posted 1468 days ago 3433 views 25 times favorited 17 comments Add to Favorites Watch

The Tango Floor Lamp, which I initially called The Whirly, then The Roto, began as an experiment in bent lamination.

Organic and sculptural. Sensual. The intertwining of the helical form is nature’s Tango.
The graceful shade follows where the base leads. Joined by rare earth magnets, each becomes a part of the other.

Bent laminated American Black Walnut and Shoji White Silk paper with a hand rubbed oil & varnish finish.
61”Tall, 10” Diameter

-- -Michael ( ) Groton, MA

17 comments so far

View dedalo's profile


172 posts in 1492 days

#1 posted 1468 days ago

very, VERY nice! do you have any detail of the magnets usage? great idea!


View Castlewerks's profile


35 posts in 1468 days

#2 posted 1468 days ago

Thanks!! The 3/8” magnets and cups are available from Rockler. There are four magnets recessed into the base of the shade with the washers recessed into the top of the base. There is enough attractive force to hold the shade in place if you tip the base maybe 20 or 30 degrees. It’s tricky to find the sweet spot wherein the shade can be removed easily, but not too easily :-) Four seems to work pretty well.


-- -Michael ( ) Groton, MA

View Gnome's profile


93 posts in 1505 days

#3 posted 1468 days ago

I’m not too sure about this one. It makes me uneasy, leaves me feeling off-balance. Or, is that what’s it’s supposed to do? I can appreciate the concept and workmanship, but reminds me of a tipsy watertower. I like the top, I like the bottom, I’m not sure I like them together.

-- Gnettie the Gnome

View Konquest's profile


170 posts in 2039 days

#4 posted 1468 days ago

That is awesome.

-- 9 3/4 fingers remaining.

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10850 posts in 1710 days

#5 posted 1468 days ago

thank´s for sharing it
and welcome to L J enjoy and have fun
but be aware it can bee addictive believe me


View Dick, & Barb Cain's profile

Dick, & Barb Cain

8693 posts in 2895 days

#6 posted 1468 days ago

A beautiful lamp + work of art!

-- -** You are never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream ****************** Dick, & Barb Cain, Hibbing, MN.

View mcoyfrog's profile


2875 posts in 2189 days

#7 posted 1467 days ago


-- Wood and Glass they kick (well you know) Have a great day - Dug

View WiZeR's profile


17 posts in 2060 days

#8 posted 1467 days ago

Absolutely stunning!!! Can you talk us through how you did the spiral laminations?

-- Home of Woodworking.

View Castlewerks's profile


35 posts in 1468 days

#9 posted 1467 days ago

Thanks everyone for having a look… Gnome—you said the same thing that my wife did, “I like the top, I like the bottom, I’m not sure that I like them together”. I can’t say that I disagree. My intention was to have a matched set—a table lamp and a floor lamp. I think I’d like the shade as a table lamp on a short base, but I might make something a bit different for this base.

As for the bent laminations…. (sorry this is likely going to be long winded)

I made a cylindrical form by stacking 9” diameter discs that I made from 3/4” MDF. In between each disc, I have a smaller 4” diameter disc made from 3/4” MDF. This makes the entire form a bit lighter and essentially gives you slots spaced 3/4” apart to slide a clamp if you go that route, but I think I have a better method. More on that later.

I then took this form and attached a 2” diameter pipe flange on the bottom, screwed another flange into a piece of plywood and connected a section of pipe between them. Since this is a tall form, it allowed me to bolt the ply to the floor and work at a comfortable height. There is a lot of lateral pressure put on the form as you bend the laminates around it, so you need a way to secure it to a surface. Also, the laminates need to be able to hang below the bottom of the form—this way when they are dry, you can cut them flush with the top and bottom of the form and have a consistent length for each piece.

Okay, now that the form was done, I laid out a wheel on the top of the form, marked in 30 degree segments and dropped lines down the sides. I divided the form vertically into 4 sections/quarters. Each laminated leg turns 120 decrees from end to end, or 30 degrees per section. So, on the bottom disk I drilled three 1/4” holes offset by 120 degrees as referenced from the layout lines that I had dropped from the top, and glued a short section of dowel into each one. At the end of the each section, as I moved from bottom to top, I placed dowels offset by 30 degrees from the ones below. These provide registration for the laminates as they are clamped into the form and insure a consistent curve of the spiral.

Now for the fun part—the clamping. The goal was to be able to clamp all three legs at one time and this would require just an insane amount of clamps and just isn’t feasible. Also If using a bar clamp or a K-body style clamp, you’d also only get point pressure on the laminates and you’d need a clamping caul as well. The goal is for the laminates to conform to the radius of the form as well…

Ultimately what I came up with was the idea to use wide diameter adjustable hose clamps—the kind that you use on the hoses of a dust collector. McMaster-Carr sells 15” diameter hose clamps very inexpensively and it appears that you can buy kits to make pretty much any diameter that you need. Fortunately, they are tightened by means of a combo hex/philips head screw so you can tighten them quickly with a cordless drill. I temporarily fastened the laminated bundles into the form and started my clamping in the middle. Just slide the hose clamp over the top of the form and tighten. I basically used one clamp centered on each 9” diameter discs that made up the form—so the clamps were spaced 3/4” apart from each other. I alternated applying the clamps on either side working out from the middle.

It is a somewhat hairy operation, but it works.

-- -Michael ( ) Groton, MA

View Corrigithian's profile


42 posts in 1475 days

#10 posted 1467 days ago

this piece has a really nice flow to it, nice design

View WiZeR's profile


17 posts in 2060 days

#11 posted 1467 days ago

Thanks Michael. Intense Build!

-- Home of Woodworking.

View dakremer's profile


2446 posts in 1687 days

#12 posted 1467 days ago

call me dumb…but i didnt understand a single thing about your jib/forms for getting these curves!!! haha. Anyway you can do a sketchup of them?? AWESOME lamp – i love this

-- Hey you dang woodchucks, quit chucking my wood!!!!

View bfd's profile


502 posts in 2402 days

#13 posted 1467 days ago


The bent lamination on this piece is just stunning. The way you created your form and then used hose clamps is brilliant!!!

View CJay's profile


133 posts in 1826 days

#14 posted 1467 days ago

Elegant, graceful and unique, its beautiful.

-- Chris Boreham, Oxfordshire, UK - -

View Julio Alonso Diaz's profile

Julio Alonso Diaz

173 posts in 1475 days

#15 posted 1467 days ago

it really impresses, very attractive, I wish I could design like that. Smart mate !

-- El hombre que amo la madera.

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