Japanese Lamp

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Project by Greensabbath posted 09-08-2010 07:34 AM 17471 views 63 times favorited 18 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I made this lamp during my first year of college. It was my first heavy use of hand tools and sparked my interest in Japanese design. It is easily still one of my favorite projects and was in the Fine Woodworking magazine Reader’s Gallery.

-- Nick, Falzone,

18 comments so far

View Rick's profile


8286 posts in 2072 days

#1 posted 09-08-2010 09:26 AM

I Love Japanese Designs also and like you Lamps are my Favourite! You did a Beautiful Job on this one Nick!

The “Balance” & Design is outstanding. Looks like the “Golden Ratio” was applied for the side pieces.

Congrats and thanks for posting.


-- Can You Hear The Toilet Flushing?

View Ken90712's profile


15847 posts in 2228 days

#2 posted 09-08-2010 11:01 AM

I really like this. I wish it would fit in the decor of our house so I could make one. Great work!

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View mafe's profile


10515 posts in 2129 days

#3 posted 09-08-2010 12:23 PM

Beautiful, the Japanese are magicians with deseging and material.
Best thoughts,

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

View Maveric777's profile


2692 posts in 2116 days

#4 posted 09-08-2010 12:39 PM

Yea, I got to join the “I’m A Japanese Design Fan” club…. Now who is going to show me the secret hand shake?

Outstanding piece Nick. Well done….

-- Dan ~ Texarkana, Tx.

View Ollie's profile


146 posts in 2314 days

#5 posted 09-08-2010 01:50 PM

Very elegant, I love Japanese design but sometimes people miss a certain element. You have done it just right. I love it.

-- Ollie, UK.

View AaronK's profile


1411 posts in 2504 days

#6 posted 09-08-2010 02:03 PM

nice work. i love the elegant design on the sides.

one question though: how are those corners joined??? are those extended corners just caps, or integral to the structural members?

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 2114 days

#7 posted 09-08-2010 03:00 PM

This is a fantastic design and very well done.

If only you could hide the cord (or at least make it less noticeable). It’s a distraction on a beautiful piece of art.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View anforte's profile


157 posts in 2384 days

#8 posted 09-08-2010 04:42 PM

There is something about the simplicity, elegant design and symmetry that capture one’s atention and pleasure.

Excellent job!

-- Anforte NJ

View Flemming's profile


417 posts in 1936 days

#9 posted 09-10-2010 12:11 AM

the japanese style is undoubtedly one of the most captivating!
and you captured it beautifully :)
well done

-- Flemming. It's only a mistake if you can't fix it.

View gepatino's profile


177 posts in 1164 days

#10 posted 03-25-2013 06:09 PM

I’ve seen this lamp and send you an email about the joints, then searched here for japanese lamp, and here’s the same beautiful lamp.

So, I was trying to figure out how to make those joints where the three pieces of wood overlap. Could you give me a hand here? At least the name of the joinery type?

thanks a lot,


View AaronK's profile


1411 posts in 2504 days

#11 posted 03-25-2013 06:53 PM

i was wondering the same thing. I made a similar lamp once (well, twice) and used a 3-way lap joint. not the strongest, but definitely strong enough for the application. It’s made by lapping in 2-D like normal, then making another cut halfway across in the 3rd dimension… if that sounds confusing I can get you a sketchup file with my design if you’d like.

View RonInOhio's profile


720 posts in 1904 days

#12 posted 03-25-2013 06:56 PM

Beautiful lamp. I saw some Japanese room dividers somewhere the other days that looked really nice. Thinking about building someday.

View gepatino's profile


177 posts in 1164 days

#13 posted 03-25-2013 07:36 PM

I was browsing this page [1] for a while and couldn’t find any example like this one.

My guess so far is:

Make three frames (the horizontal squares ones) by half-lapping. Then join the vertical bars using mortise and tenons, and add a short piece at the top and bottom of each vertical bar.

That could work if all the pieces are the same width/depth, but are the vertical bars in this lamp a bit thicker than the horizontal ones?

AaronK, I’d really apreciate it if you already have a sketchup done.



View AaronK's profile


1411 posts in 2504 days

#14 posted 03-25-2013 09:47 PM

sure – pm me your email and we can go from there.

View gepatino's profile


177 posts in 1164 days

#15 posted 03-26-2013 02:37 AM

I think it could be done like this:

(I’m not used to sketchup yet, and this site is simple enough to make a small model quickly.)

I was trying to figure out how to do it without cuting one of the bars, but couldn’t find any way. Then I remember seeing something like this before.


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