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Project by Stephen Mines posted 02-25-2011 03:17 AM 1540 views 0 times favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch

These are some views of reeded lamps that USED TO BE a regular, repeat job for Hallmark Lighting of Chatsworth, CA. Hallmark, being my largest and best customer, enjoyed the luxury of having me do the material and preparation part of the job as well as the turning and detailing. You can tell from the stacks (photos 3 and 4) of parts that the mat & prep for these things was considerable. Hey, good exercise, sure, but I knew that my money was in the turning and detailing, not milling and glueup; so I did my best to be as efficient as possible preparing the parts, the sooner to get them on the lathe. The first picture shows the finish that Hallmark put on many of these…a gold leaf application. The 2nd photo shows one of the two styles of this lamp being turned to shape on my Hapfl. In photos 5 & 6 I’ve tried to show the reeding detail, done on my Imperial lathe and how it differs from fluting…hope it is clear enough (the last photo shows the type of cutter for this work). For efficiency, my two lathes were both in a 15’ X 18’ room, directly opposite each other; I always tried to run both lathes by myself, simultaneously, which was one of my strategies for earning enough money to stay on the planet. To make that possible I have constantly upgraded the automation of these two lathes: limit switches, relays both air and electric and microprocessors. Indexing is mechanical by air cylinders and air solinoids. Some of these parts can take 40 minutes to run the detail work and I can put a piece on the lathe, push start, then go have my lunch. When that part is finished a buzzer sounds in my house and I go feed it again. Both of these lathes were ordinary when I got them…now they are as versatle and nearly as fast as the new CNC machines and more intuitive to set up and run. By the way, this for all of the members of Lumber Jocks that bemoan the outsourcing to overseas that has hurt our US industries, this is a classic example. This was steady, dependable, bread and butter woodwork for me as a one man shop. . . now Hallmarks’ warehouse has aisles 20 feet tall, filled with these lamps. . .cast out of resin, in China. I still make masters that are used to set up the casting and injection machines, but being paid for one master model is not the same as repeat multiple orders. Times change and we gotta change with ‘em, at least those of us that work wood for a living.

-- Stephen Mines (

2 comments so far

View lightweightladylefty's profile


3238 posts in 3707 days

#1 posted 02-25-2011 04:40 AM


Thanks for showing how this was done. It’s sad to see the work going to China. If they thought they needed to change to resin, they could have at least kept it here. No doubt, the gold finishing is also done in China, and the lamps cost the consumer just as much, and we have to keep our eyes open for when they’re recalled for fire hazard due to faulty wiring!

That’s enough rant from me! We wanted to tell you that we love your attitude (from your profile) of sharing what you have learned and getting rewarded with seeing the results of others’ attempts. We can learn so much from experienced people like you who are willing to share unselfishly. That’s what we love about this website.


-- Jesus is the ONLY reason for ANY season.

View jockmike2's profile


10635 posts in 4241 days

#2 posted 02-27-2011 04:00 AM

Wow, what an operation, I guess you do have all the bells and whistles. You definately have a class act going for yourself. mike

-- (You just have to please the man in the Mirror) Mike from Michigan -

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