Picture of Contemporary Japanese Table Lamp
My mother was eyeing the Asian-style lamps at Target and World Market, so with Christmas approaching, I decided to build her one. This project can be completed with basic woodworking skills and less than $20 worth of materials. If you're interested, read on!

- Jigsaw: I purchased a Makita 4329 and have been happy with it. Make sure to get good blades too.
- Dowel Drilling Jig
- Drill
- Sandpaper
- Electric Sander 
- A Clamp or two
- Ruler
- Try Square or similar: The $2 polycarbonate square I found at Menards is one of my most used tools. It can be clamped and used as a jigsaw-guide.

- Wood: Maple, about $20 for a 6 foot section. About half was used in this project.
- Dowels: I bought a 3 ft long quarter inch dowel and cut it into pieces - much cheaper than pre-made dowels
- Lightbulb Socket: Can be scavenged from an old lamp or purchased at a hardware store
- Wood Glue
- Textured paper for shade: I found a nice "cloud" pattern in the scrap-booking section at Michael's craft store.
- Wood Finish: I used Arm-r-Seal Urethane Gloss, but any finish works. 
- Bulb: I used an orange CFL to reduce the risk of fire and create a more classic look. 

Note: Not all these tools and/or materials are needed to complete this project. Much of the sanding was done by hand. The pieces could be cut with a hand saw, and dowels are not necessary. There are many other choices of wood as well.

Safety Equipment
- Glasses
- Hearing Protection
- Dust Mask or Particulate Respirator (A good respirator lasts much longer and works better than disposable masks)

A few words on safety
Power tools are dangerous and cause hundreds of thousands of injuries each year. It takes less than a second to lose a finger or an eye, and hearing damage, while more gradual, cannot be healed. Always understand proper power tool operation, don't work while tired, and use personal protective equipment. This video by "thinitz12" gives a good idea of how quickly power tools can turn dangerous: http://youtu.be/u7sRrC2Jpp4

A few more words on safety
Woodworking and electrical wiring involve many health hazards. If you are not 100% comfortable with either, ask for assistance.
spylock2 years ago
Getting ready to do one now,but will do cherry blossoms with water colors on my paper panels.Im using ideas from a couple designs here,along with a few of my own,so thanks for the ideas,great job.
skidrum (author)  spylock2 years ago
Awesome idea, and best of luck.
RetroTechno2 years ago
Looking at this, I got the idea that maybe you could use 4 lengths of LED rope light running up the shade behind each leg of the lamp. That way, you would have something that doesn't have a central bright spot that most traditional lamps do. If I ever get some free time, I might try this.
skidrum (author)  RetroTechno2 years ago
That's a neat idea - especially if RGB LEDs were involved.
Xenophon2 years ago
How very lovely. Makes me wish I had a jigsaw. And more experience in fine woodwork.

skidrum (author)  Xenophon2 years ago
Thank you.
dimmaz882 years ago
That's a good elegant design, nice work.

skidrum (author)  dimmaz882 years ago
Thank you