Weekend Project - Floor Lamp

I've wanted to make a Japanese-themed floor lamp to go in our reading nook for quite a while now, and finally got off of my rear to do it. I'll lead off with the beauty shot of it in place, because it really is quite nice.

I wasn't able to find 1"x1" wood anywhere (the actual dimensions are closer to 3/4" square), so I had to cut a 2"x1" in half the long way. I wanted a lamp that would be 4' tall, and around 8" wide. These measurements worked out perfectly, as with one 12' section of board, I was able to cut out 4, 4' lengths for the corners and 12, 7.5" lengths for the lattice.

After a quick stain, I hot-glued each of the four corners with the three of the connecting pieces, and then nailed them together. Two of the corners were then combined, so I had two components of one full side and one partial side.

The longest part of this project was trying to find some good paper. I could only find industrial size sheets of Japanese rice-paper, and eventually settled on tracing paper. The tracing paper worked out very well in the end. With the paper selected, I just hot-glued it to each of the two complete sides.

Next up, the sides were joined together with a cross bar formed from a dowel running through the center. This will allow us to hang the bulb for the lamp.

With that done, the next two sides were covered with paper (the final side is quite difficult once the other three are covered). And you can see that it lights up nicely.

Back to the saw and staining to cut some trim for the base.

With that glued together, the final segments of the paper go in, and we're done.

Here's a cool looking view from the top.

That covers the structure of the lamp. Just as important is the electrical component. This isn't too difficult; it comprises of an electrical cord, a switch, and a socket. I thought I would try something different here, and made a video of the wiring process. Remember to use all safety precautions.

This project was fairly easy and straightforward. Having done it there are a few things I would have done differently, however. Mainly, I would have used a few more cross supports. This would have meant that the windows would have been smaller, which would have made it much easier to find paper to fit (I could have gone with the next size down, rather than the largest tracing paper size). If you look closely, you can also see that for the lowest window, the paper is glued to the base. Again, if there were more cross beams, I could have placed one at the base as well. All in all, you can't tell unless you know what to look for (so perhaps I shouldn't have told you ;) ), and I'm very pleased with the glow it gives the reading nook.

Here's the breakdown:
  • $19 - Wood
  • $5 - Stain (I ran out of the old stuff)
  • $8 - Electrical bits & pieces
  • $13 - Paper
  • Total: $45
  • Jigsaw
  • Random Orbit Sander (only because I had to slice the wood in the beginning, you could do it all with pre-sanded trim)
  • Miterbox & handsaw
  • Nailgun (I wish, this would have made it so much easier to do the frame)

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