Wood Lampshades

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Project by BobTheFish posted 06-01-2011 05:14 AM 1373 views 1 time favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is another rather successful experiment I had with veneers.

Last year I was given a few lamps, which, unfortunately had no shades.

I had some wire lying about, which turned out to be a bit too thick for my original purpose of using for jewelry. I, as I always do, had oodles of veneer lying about (Still have no idea what I’m going to use those 10ft long x 6in wide strips of sapelle for…) So what did I do? I bought a cheapo soldering iron and some solder, and made a veneer lampshade!

if you wish to do this, there’s sites that sell the forms necessary for making lampshades, so you really don’t have to bother with bending wire and solder as I did, and what you don’t see is that the heat from my bulb had started to crack the veneer. A paper or fabric backing is a definite must, and using compact florescents is a must, as they give off far less heat. For the edges, I used scraps of bookcloth (basically a paper backed fabric for bookbinding), though my gluing skills could use improving. There’s materials for sale on the web for that as well.

Also, a word of warning, I tried this with a round shade, and pieced together sheets of veneer, backing them with paper. Both the paper and the veneer had issues with the seams showing, so try to use a single sheet on surfaces whenever possible. No matter how good you are, the light is small enough that it will always find a way to shine through your gaps.

3 comments so far

View BobTheFish's profile


361 posts in 2729 days

#1 posted 06-01-2011 05:20 AM

I also have some other projects I might add tomorrow. I don’t want to overpost and spam the boards. I have some interesting bookmarks/jewelry I did with veneer, a table I build and veneered as well, my first game board, as well as my ill fated second (I was overambitious with trying to glue some half hard silver wire inlay) Maybe also some stripping and refinishing jobs….

I’m horrible at taking pictures of projects, however. I seem to always forget to take before and after pictures (or rather, the before and during pictures), so the worst projects to post are the refinishing ones! the work may look great, but you never see what I am starting with.

Anyhow, I think this will be it for tonight.

View Lotidus's profile


110 posts in 2851 days

#2 posted 06-01-2011 06:43 AM

Looks great I may have to try a variation of this. What wattage was the bulb that cracked the veneer?

-- Lotidus

View BobTheFish's profile


361 posts in 2729 days

#3 posted 06-01-2011 06:55 AM

I think it was a 100 watt, which was overkill, and it did it in less than 2 hours. Regardless, I still recommend the compact florescents, which a 15w is equal to a 100w, and from what I understand, they’re trying to phase out incandescents either this year or next anyhow. I gave the veneer a couple of coats of poly before using them, hoping it might protect a little against drying or warping with too much moisture, but it’s still thin wood. The backing would also help

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