False Spiral Pendant Lamp

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Project by fissionchips posted 12-19-2011 07:07 AM 3644 views 29 times favorited 17 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I worked from photos to construct this version of the talented Tom Rossau’s TR8 Lamp. A couple CAD sketches, some napkin geometry, and a few design challenges later I had a functioning lamp.

The second photo shows the 1:8 scale model I made to wrap my head around the deviously simple design. Each of 14 strips is in the same order around the circumference top to bottom, though the eye may want to tell you otherwise. I think ‘false spiral’ is an apt name for this illusion.

No bending of veneer was required; a tension wire along the length gives it the shape you see. As I said, deviously simple!

I can’t describe what a warm glow it emanates, the photos don’t quite do it justice. The possibilities of veneer lighting have been revealed to me and I’m excited to experiment further with my own designs.

17 comments so far

View twokidsnosleep's profile


1077 posts in 2333 days

#1 posted 12-19-2011 07:24 AM

Looks really cool!
Brilliant design

-- Scott "Some days you are the big dog, some days you are the fire hydrant"

View Stonekettle's profile


135 posts in 2264 days

#2 posted 12-19-2011 08:33 AM

That is some kind of awesome!

Well done.

-- Jim Wright, Stonekettle Station

View lanwater's profile


3111 posts in 2293 days

#3 posted 12-19-2011 09:38 AM

It’s beautifull. the flow of the veneer is quite elegant.

well done.

-- Abbas, Castro Valley, CA

View goriak's profile


58 posts in 1950 days

#4 posted 12-19-2011 09:55 AM

Cool! I want to do a similar one

-- почти столяр

View MShort's profile


1767 posts in 2778 days

#5 posted 12-19-2011 01:07 PM

Wow now that is taking lamps to a new level. Very sharp.

-- Mike, Missouri --- “A positive life can not happen with a negative mind.” ---

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2554 posts in 2375 days

#6 posted 12-19-2011 01:13 PM

very elegant concept.

View grosa's profile


986 posts in 2188 days

#7 posted 12-19-2011 01:20 PM

WOW! That’s a cool design. Simple LOOKING design with a twist. Very nice.

-- Have a great day.

View Blake's profile


3442 posts in 3234 days

#8 posted 12-19-2011 05:39 PM


-- Happy woodworking!

View ed220's profile


624 posts in 2752 days

#9 posted 12-19-2011 06:29 PM

Very cool. Great design.

View Hopdevil's profile


210 posts in 2445 days

#10 posted 12-19-2011 11:40 PM

Awesome! (But more importantly, where can I get pancakes and sausage for 15 cents?) ;-)

-- Buzz ---- Fare Thee Well!

View fissionchips's profile


99 posts in 1817 days

#11 posted 12-20-2011 12:07 AM

Hopdevil, you’ll have to invent time travel for that particular deal. I consider myself lucky that the diner by my house does a mean breakfast combo for $3. If you like the posters, I posted them here.

View Jordan's profile


1396 posts in 2484 days

#12 posted 12-20-2011 12:47 AM

Does it get hot? Could it catch fire?


View fissionchips's profile


99 posts in 1817 days

#13 posted 12-20-2011 12:54 AM

Jordan, I am using a 12W CFL bulb, so the lamp will not even get warm. With most any type of paper or wood lantern, as long as there is ~2” clearance from the bulb it should be safe. I’ve also experimented with LED bulbs in lanterns, which now have a reasonable performance to price ratio (and very low heat to dissipate).

View fissionchips's profile


99 posts in 1817 days

#14 posted 12-20-2011 02:19 AM

I should mention, there’s a nice profile of Tom Rossau including photos of his build process and jigs here:

View Moron's profile


5032 posts in 3253 days

#15 posted 12-20-2011 06:13 AM

rice paper machete

-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

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