Matching Floor Lamps

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Project by brianinpa posted 03-22-2008 06:18 PM 1758 views 0 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This has been a project in my mind for the last 9 ½ years. These floor lamps started life as 5” shells fired from a US Navy Destroyer and in 1998 I was given the assignment of making a set of ceremonial bullets.

These bullets are used during several different Naval ceremonies: Change of Command, retirement, or in this case a Chief Petty Officer Pinning Ceremony. The thought was that all Chief Petty Officers assigned to Commander Naval Air Systems Commands would walk through these bullets on the day they were advanced to the rank of Chief Petty Officer and every year, that year’s group of Chief selectees would add something new to the ceremonial bullets. It could be ropes, stands, or anything else that was determined to be appropriate. Since my group was the first to start this tradition, we had to make the bullets, and because I was the person in the group with the most wood working skills, the turning of the bullets rested on my shoulders.

Most ceremonial bullets are a set of 6 or 8: I had enough lumber and shells for a set of 12: far too many for the purposes we had. Two of the spares became mine with the intention that some day I would make 2 floor lamps. These are the product of that plan, it only took 9 ½ years for me to complete. The projectiles started as a 8” X 8” blocks of ash that had to be turned down to fit in the 5” shell casing. It was a lot of work, but in the end, it was very rewarding. The only drawback to these lamps is that because of them, I can’t make anything without using a lathe to turn at least one piece of the project.

-- Brian, Lebanon PA, If you aren’t having fun doing it, find something else to do.

6 comments so far

View kenn's profile


810 posts in 3898 days

#1 posted 03-22-2008 08:04 PM

They look great, nice tight joints on the glue up. It always seems to me that the most fun projects can be the ones you have floating around in your head for awhile.

-- Every cloud has a silver lining

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 4166 days

#2 posted 03-22-2008 08:40 PM

Better late than never. Very unique. Great job!

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View Bradford's profile


1434 posts in 4001 days

#3 posted 03-23-2008 03:08 AM

Anchors away mate. Nice lamps. I recognized the design instantly. ( Ret. USN ) Did you make the rope braiding, (piping)?

-- so much wood, so little time. Bradford. Wood-a-holics unanimous president

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 4000 days

#4 posted 03-23-2008 03:16 AM


These are beautiful lamps and the design is quite unique. I am sorry about your addiction to turning but that is the inevitable price that venturing into the world of turning brings. The only way to avert withdrawal symptoms is to keep turning as often as you can work it into your schedule. :)

thanks for the post.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View EAGLE's profile


63 posts in 3890 days

#5 posted 03-30-2008 06:13 PM

Very Nice,

Former squid here, served on the U.S.S. Nimitz And the U.S.S. Coral Sea but only did my 3 years and got out, To much potilitcal B.S.for me. I worked on the deck “Catching the birds” in the arresting gear section. It may not have been for me but I must say that I will never forget the experince and the disipline that the NAVY taught me. Working on the flight deck while F-14, A-6’s, E-2C’s and F-18’s are landing was absolutly amazing. Welcome to Lumberjocks Brian

View rikkor's profile


11295 posts in 4052 days

#6 posted 03-30-2008 07:17 PM

Nice lamps that have history. The brass looks pretty authentic. Thanks for your service Chief. (USN 65 – 69)

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