prairie style lamp with mica shade

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Project by bygrace posted 08-09-2013 04:51 AM 2164 views 13 times favorited 19 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is my rendition of an antique prairie style lamp (circa 1900) I saw while on the internet. It was fun to build, and I was pleased with the construction, but, being one of my first projects, I struggled with the finish. Can’t really see from these pictures from my phone, but its a little splotchy in some areas. I didn’t use a pre stain conditioner on the red oak which probably would of helped. I also sanded through the finish on the edges when sanding between coats of Watco oil and spray laquer. The finish stages seem to be more difficult on a smaller project with lots of angles and different grain direction. Hope you enjoy and any suggestions on finishing would be appreciated. (books or videos?)

-- Andy, Waxahachie, Tx.

19 comments so far

View mmh's profile


3645 posts in 2756 days

#1 posted 08-09-2013 04:57 AM

Nicely done. Did you make the mica shade also? If so, how tricky is mica to work with?

-- "They who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night." ~ Edgar Allan Poe

View bygrace's profile


151 posts in 1003 days

#2 posted 08-09-2013 05:14 AM

Thanks mmh. Yes I did make the lamp shade, it was much more difficult than the lamp base. The mica however is pretty easy to work with. I’ve used both a utility knife and a scroll saw. The saw was the easiest but be careful as the mica dust is very unhealthy for the lungs!

-- Andy, Waxahachie, Tx.

View Ken90712's profile


15830 posts in 2222 days

#3 posted 08-09-2013 08:13 AM

Well done, great looking lamp…..

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View aussiedave's profile


3090 posts in 858 days

#4 posted 08-09-2013 10:30 AM

Very nice lamp, it looks great to me…well done.

-- Dave.......Keep calm and make more sawdust....

View sras's profile


4236 posts in 2163 days

#5 posted 08-09-2013 01:52 PM

Nice design – I like it!

One technique you can try is to prefinish the parts. Mask off the areas that will receive glue first.

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

View bygrace's profile


151 posts in 1003 days

#6 posted 08-09-2013 02:55 PM

Steve, sounds like an idea worth trying. Thought about that before but was worried about glue up, but masking off those areas might work.

-- Andy, Waxahachie, Tx.

View grace123's profile


177 posts in 1796 days

#7 posted 08-09-2013 04:15 PM

I love it. I am intrigued—Where is the electric cord? I assume it is inside one of the support posts?

View bygrace's profile


151 posts in 1003 days

#8 posted 08-09-2013 04:43 PM

grace123 – In the original piece, the cord actually came out of the top of the shade, which I guess was common during that time period. In mine, one of the columns is two pieces with a channel routed out down the center.

-- Andy, Waxahachie, Tx.

View Bigrock's profile


270 posts in 1996 days

#9 posted 08-10-2013 01:06 AM

Very nice looking lamp. On small projects like this one, after poor finishing on some, I have been taping joints and finishing. I then put the project together and clean is very small. I use a tooth brush to get glue out of places I don’t want it. It looks good in the pictures.

View wooded's profile


344 posts in 1305 days

#10 posted 08-10-2013 01:19 AM


-- Joe in Pueblo West, Colo.

View Dark_Lightning's profile


2265 posts in 2142 days

#11 posted 08-10-2013 02:29 AM

Nice! I have a lamp I bought that has an A&C shade, but it wobbles due to being held in the middle. I like this design. I’ll approach the wife about some of these.

View bygrace's profile


151 posts in 1003 days

#12 posted 08-10-2013 03:19 AM

Bigrock – sound like good ideas worth trying. Thanks
Thanks Joe.
AtomJack – thanks, The downside is the shade isn’t adjustable.

-- Andy, Waxahachie, Tx.

View HillbillyShooter's profile


5489 posts in 1326 days

#13 posted 08-10-2013 04:37 AM

Very nicely done and looks great.

-- John C. -- "Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty's teeth." George Washington

View Skylark53's profile


2595 posts in 2094 days

#14 posted 08-11-2013 04:05 AM

I really like this design. Good work on this project you are sure to enjoy for many years.

-- Rick, Tennessee, John 3:16

View oldrivers's profile


366 posts in 600 days

#15 posted 02-14-2014 01:22 PM

Great job, I love the lamp, workmanship superb.

-- Soli Deo gloria!

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