Block Lamp - Plan of attack?

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Forum topic by Xavier posted 12-18-2015 04:22 AM 698 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Xavier's profile


7 posts in 914 days

12-18-2015 04:22 AM

Topic tags/keywords: drill press

Hi everyone. For a christmas gift, I’d like to build a small lamp from a solid block of hardwood (example below). There are a few ways to go about this, but I’d like some feedback.

The top surface would be simple: drill press, brad point bit, and a forstner bit for the bulb. But the bottom … I’ll need to hog out a fair amount of material to get the wiring in there. I was thinking about using a large-ish forstner bit to do most of the hogging, followed by a chisel and/or router pattern bit to clean things up. I’ve also seen people bandsaw the top and bottom 1/2” off the block, then cut the cavity in the middle piece using a bandsaw, then glue the pieces back together for a seamless look.

I’d rather not go the bandsaw route because my bandsaw is mediocre and wouldn’t make a clean/straight enough cut needed for a seamless glue-up. Any ideas or suggestions? Should I hog out material with some kind of up-spiral router bit instead? Spade bit? Maybe something else I’m not thinking of? Pointers are greatly appreciated!

6 replies so far

View jerryminer's profile


916 posts in 1407 days

#1 posted 12-18-2015 04:34 AM

I would use either a large forstner or a lot of holes with a smaller one

-- Jerry, making sawdust professionally since 1976

View MrUnix's profile


6592 posts in 2165 days

#2 posted 12-18-2015 06:08 AM

Since it looks like it has a smaller base on the bottom, you could just hog out the bottom of the large block any way you have available, drill the two holes on top, put in the guts and then glue on the base. Would leave a nice solid piece. Kind of neat looking actually, but what is it’s intended use?


-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

View SirIrb's profile


1239 posts in 1196 days

#3 posted 12-18-2015 02:15 PM

I agree with the above. My only concern would be the bulb being easily snapped off. If you can find them I think a “cage” would look cool on this.

Something like this.

EDIT: and of course, little rubber feet to keep it from sliding. I use cabinet door bumpers for small stuff.

-- Don't blame me, I voted for no one.

View conifur's profile


955 posts in 1117 days

#4 posted 12-18-2015 02:47 PM

A glass dome like this?

-- Knowledge and experience equals Wisdom, Michael Frankowski

View bondogaposis's profile


4683 posts in 2317 days

#5 posted 12-18-2015 04:30 PM

Not liking the glass dome idea as an incandescent bulb needs a way to ventilate the heat that will build up. An LED could work.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View Xavier's profile


7 posts in 914 days

#6 posted 12-18-2015 04:37 PM

Thanks for the suggestions so far! I’d like to stay away from the glass dome on this project because I’d need to make the base larger, and I’ll also be mailing this lamp as a gift. I hate shipping/wrapping glass, it stresses me out!

Regarding heat under the dome, I see a lot of lamps with the glass dome design, and haven’t heard of heat issues, so it must not generate enough heat to be a problem.

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