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Project by Stephen Mines posted 02-13-2011 08:58 PM 2006 views 0 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This was a neat job that was done when my son (Stephen III) was working with me. We both milled and glued up, then he turned the parts to round and shape on the Hapfo (not shown) while I did the pierceing on the IMPERIAL across the room. . .we had fun racing, 200+ columns in all. The parts were in Alder; the completed column was 4” dia X 43.5” long, .75” air space between the three leads…the overall height of the finished lamp (with base, top bobeche parts and shade) was (is) 63”. We made these for a venerable lamp company in downtown Los Angeles that had been in business since electricity. The job was for a new Hyatt, a VERY HIGH END, small hotel – 198 rooms (Park Hyatt at Santa Monica Beach Hotel); in the reviews (11/90 issue, DesignersWest) after their opening it stated that the per room cost of the $80-million hotel was $404,000! Whoo-hoo! I think we got $60 or so a unit…as the Fonz would say, “Good groceries, Maynard”. Small, interesting footnotes: 1) Charles Lamp, for all of their time in service, asked me how to do a ‘crackle finish’. They experimented with my formula and you can see they achieved a great result. 2) As I often did with a fun job like this, I offered to make an extra four columns in exchange for two completed, finished, shaded, bulbed lamps. Steve, my son, has one and I have the other (just took specs from it and the finished photos).

-- Stephen Mines (

5 comments so far

View Jack_T's profile


623 posts in 3056 days

#1 posted 02-13-2011 10:59 PM

Very nice. Great idea about making the extra turnings in return for the finished product. Now you and your son have something to help remember the times you worked together.

-- Jack T, John 3:16 "For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life."

View steliart's profile


2700 posts in 2713 days

#2 posted 02-14-2011 01:24 AM

Excelent work!

-- Stelios L.A. Stavrinides: - I am not so rich to buy cheap tools, but... necessity is the mother of all inventions

View ~Julie~'s profile


607 posts in 3059 days

#3 posted 02-14-2011 07:16 PM

Great looking and very original.

Do you have a secret crackle recipe (that you care to share?)

-- ~Julie~

View Stephen Mines's profile

Stephen Mines

226 posts in 2716 days

#4 posted 02-14-2011 11:03 PM

Hi Julie,
No, I don’t have a secret formula. I just told him what we did in my shop when it was called for. This is what I told him: Remember that little glue bottle in kindergarten, had a slanted rubber top with a slit in it (press it agains’t the paper and slide it and you had just applied glue) Well, that same LePages glue can be bought in a tub, or can or bucket and we brushed that on (to a prepared, at least sealed base), let it dry overnight and then applied the top color coat. As it dried it produce the crackle effect. You can experiment with different lengths of glue drying time before applying the top paint to achieve different size ‘crackles’. I know that there are commercial crackle finishes now and that might be a way to go if you’re not looking for an adventure. Best Regards and good luck. Stephen
Ps: if you experiment…show us the results!

-- Stephen Mines (

View ~Julie~'s profile


607 posts in 3059 days

#5 posted 02-15-2011 03:28 PM

Stephen: I did buy a crackle medium a few years ago but I was not happy with the final effect. I do think I will need to experiment more with the thickness of application and drying time, as you say. The crackling you show on that great lamp is large, smooth and even. (Mine were small and lumpy and different sizes!)
Thank you for answering.

-- ~Julie~

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