|Project by Nils||posted 03-31-2008 at 12:58 AM||10880 views||22 times favorited||18 comments|
This is a version of the Arts and Crafts Lamp and Shade from a 2003 Wood Magazine article. The only major modification I made was to use paper for the shade rather than mica. I also, as you’ll see below, don’t have the right lighting fixture in it – I have found a source on the Internet but haven’t had a chance to order it.
I started on this lamp odyssey by building a prototype (just as Norm does every week!) using pine. That’s been sitting on my wife’s bedside table for about a year now, with a store-bought shade that’s not really the right size. She’s gone this weekend – when she gets home tomorrow she’ll have the real lamp with the real shade.
After building the prototype, I still wasn’t ready to spring for “the good stuff” – meaning quartersawn white oak – so I bought red oak stock at the Borg. But, I was inspired to try to simplify and improve the production of the corbels on the base, so I built a jig to hold the roughly bandsawn blanks and act as a template for routing them on the router table. Long story short, this didn’t really work, primarily because a) I didn’t rough cut them close enough to the line, and b) my clamping arrangement was not able to withstand the torque of the router. The end result was corbel blanks being ejected from the jig.
Aside from shaping the corbels, which I found challenging especially with my non-working jig, the construction of the base is quite straightforward, with the slight challenge of the arms being attached with sliding dovetails. This would be easier now with my Incra jig – but as this project took very very long, the base was fully completed – even finished, before I got the Incra jig for Christmas.
Detail of lamp base
The construction of the shade was quite a bit trickier, as there are a lot of angles to be dealt with. The shade is made of four frames, built with half lap joinery in 1/4×1/2 stock. The Wood Magazine article had instructions for a jig for holding the rails and stiles for the rabbetting, which I used with a dado stack, but I was unhappy with it for various reasons. When I recently made a second set of frames, I just used my miter gauge and nibbled with the regular saw blade. Worked much better, and was faster.
The other challenge with the shade was that these little, light frames then had to be mitered, at 27 1/2 degrees, to glue up into the full shade. I do not have an accurate way to set the angle of my table saw, so my first try was not quite right. At that point, I was dead in the water, until I got my Dixie digital angle gauge at the Woodworking show in November. I used that to set my planer fence to the correct angle, and used the planer to give me the correct angle. This was great, except that the planer tore out a bit of the tops of my frames, so I made my one other modification of the design, which was to put a little cap frame around the top opening of the shade to hide the tearout!
Disassembled lamp with the shade sitting next to it
I finished the lamp with Dark Walnut stain, covered with Dark Walnut Danish oil, and then amber shellac. This was based on a recipe in one of the woodworking magazines last year, to get a good A&C-looking finish without fuming. I have to say it’s not bad, although my technique in applying it could be significantly improved. I may have also used some Cherry stain as well. I finished the base months ago, and the shade a few weeks ago.
Finally, this weekend I glued the paper onto the shade. I bought the paper at Mika’s Japanese paper store in Berkeley just after Christmas. I was worried about working with it, but finally just said the heck with it, and went ahead. I used Titebond III to attach the paper to the frame, since after the glue dried I wanted to wet it and let it dry, to get it taut.
Glueing the paper to the lamp shade frame
Shade with all four paper panels glued in
The shade turned out very nice. I hope the picture below shows the very interested pattern on the paper.
Shade paper detail
-- Nils Davis, Menlo Park, CA