False Spiral Pendant Lamp

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Project by fissionchips posted 12-19-2011 07:07 AM 4086 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


1106 posts in 2879 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 2809 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 2839 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 2495 days

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

Cool! I want to do a similar one

-- почти столяр

View MShort's profile


1789 posts in 3323 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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2709 posts in 2920 days

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

very elegant concept.

View grosa's profile


1003 posts in 2734 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


3443 posts in 3779 days

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


-- Happy woodworking!

View ed220's profile


624 posts in 3298 days

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

Very cool. Great design.

View Hopdevil's profile


217 posts in 2991 days

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

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

-- Buzz ---- Of all the things I have ever lost, I miss my mind the most.

View fissionchips's profile


99 posts in 2363 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


1400 posts in 3030 days

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

Does it get hot? Could it catch fire?


View fissionchips's profile


99 posts in 2363 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 2363 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 3798 days

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

rice paper machete

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

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