As a college student, I spend quite a bit of time at my desk. The other day, when I was working on some mechanics of materials homework, I realized that my desk is quite boring. There is a grey office supplies container and a holder for pending documents in one corner. In the other corner there is a lamp. Most of my desk is usually occupied by my computer and textbooks. I realized that doing my homework might not be so dull if my desk was a bit more inspiring. So, when I knocked my lamp off my desk and broke the switch on the back, rendering it useless, I got an idea.
A few days later, after a bit of time on SolidWorks, I designed an inspiring and friendly companion in order to begin my efforts to spruce up my desk; plus, it doubles as a much more interesting container for office supplies and as a new lamp. I named my new friend, Spotlight, it is a pose-able, dog-shaped lamp and desk organizer.
This Instructable will show you how to make your very own Doggy Lamp/Desk Organizer to keep you company in the early morning hours as you complete your homework or latest DIY project. Or, since the holidays are approaching, you could make a Doggy Lamp/Desk Organizer as a gift for your favorite desk-lurker.
Step 1: Obtain Some Parts
The majority of the Doggy Lamp/Desk Organizer is built from laser-cut MDF. I used Ponoko for the laser cutting since I unfortunately do not have a laser cutter. I have made the design files for the Doggy Lamp available for free in my Ponoko Showroom
. You are welcome to use the design files to order your own Doggy Lamp parts or you can modify the design. Be careful modifying the design too much though because, as you will see in later steps, the pieces of the Doggy Lamp fit together with tabs so you want to be cautious not to mess up the alignment of the tabs. As for a material, I used double sided white-oak veneer MDF
If you have access to SolidWorks 2011, I have also attached an assembly file of the Doggy Lamp to this step.
Other than the MDF pieces, you will need:
- Ten 5/8 inch long, 10-32 bolts
- Ten 10-32 wing nuts
A light bulb socket (available at your nearest hardware store)
An electrical cord for the light bulb socket
A light bulb (I recommend using an LED light bulb, or at least a compact florescent, because these are more energy efficient than incandescent bulbs, but more importantly, incandescent bulbs can get very hot in the wooden lamp enclosure)
Optional: wood glue
Step 2: Drill Holes for the Bolts
I chose not to have the holes necessary for connecting the pieces of the Doggy Lamp cut by Ponoko in order to limit the cost of the order. It is far cheaper simply to drill holes manually than have a laser cutter do it. Plus, in case you have some spare nuts and bolts in your shop, you can drill any sized hole you need.
Holes will need to be drilled in the leg pieces, neck pieces, head pieces, body side panels, and ear pieces. Take a look at the dimensioned drawings on this step for measurements of the desired hole locations. The laser cut pieces will ship with an adhesive paper backing. Do not remove this paper until all the holes are drilled because you can draw marks on the paper in order to locate the holes without messing up the wood.
Step 3: Drill a Hole for the Cord
The light bulb will be mounted on the inside of the Doggy Lamp's head. Therefore, the electrical cord to the light bulb will have to have a place to go. Drill a hole in the head back piece in the center of the tabs. This hole should be just wide enough for the cord to fit through.
Step 4: Start Building
Since the Doggy Lamp fits together with tabs, there is a strategy for putting the pieces together easily. The procedure I use in this Instructable should enable you to put the lamp together with relative ease. Start with the piece that will form the underside of the Doggy Lamp's belly.
Step 5: Attach the Middle Divider
The body of the Doggy Lamp can be used to store office supplies, like pencils, markers, scissors, index cards, or practically any small object. The office supply compartment is divided in half by a MDF piece. Simply slide the single tab on the bottom of the middle divider into the hole in the bottom piece.
Step 6: Attach the Front and Back Pieces
The next step is to attach the pieces that will form the front and back of the Doggy Lamp's body. It does not matter which piece you attach to which side of the bottom piece, but just note that the piece that has a hole near the top is the back (the tail will eventually be attached at that hole).
Step 7: Attach the Sides
Next, to finish the Doggy Lamp's body, attach the two side pieces. There is a particular orientation for these pieces. In the upper corner of each piece, there is a hole. This hole needs to be towards the front of the Doggy Lamp body. Orient the side panels this way and attach them to the rest of the body.
Looking ahead, the hole in the upper corner of the side piece will be used to attach the Doggy Lamp's neck. The holes towards the bottom of the side pieces will be used to attach the legs.
Step 8: Attach the Legs
For this step you will need the four legs, four of the bolts, and four of the nuts. Attach the four legs to the four lower holes in the side panels with the bolts and nuts. You can pose the legs by adjusting the wing nuts.
Once you have all four legs attached, set the body aside because in the next several steps, will be concentrating on the Doggy Lamp head.
Step 9: Attach the Ears
Using one bolt and one nut for each ear, attach one ear to each side of the head. The ears should be oriented as indicated in the picture.
Step 10: Attach the Top Head Piece
Next, attach the top of the head. There three tabs on the top head piece, but they are not centered on the piece., The side with the longer projection should go towards the Doggy Lamp's nose.
Step 11: Attach the Back Head Piece
The back head piece, like the top head piece, is not symmetric. The side with the longer projection from the tabs should go more towards the ear. After the back head piece is attached, put on the other face piece. This complete the construction of the Doggy Lamp Head.
Step 12: Attach the Neck Pieces
Next, attach the neck pieces to the body side pieces by using a bolt for each neck piece through the holes in the upper corner of the front of the body side pieces.
Step 13: Attach the Head
With the Doggy Lamp's head and body complete, it is time to unite them. Place the head on top of the neck so that the neck pieces fit inside the head pieces. Then, line up the two holes, and use two nuts and bolts to fasten the pieces together. Note that you can change the angle of the head in any way you wish.
Step 14: Attach the Tail
Now, attach the tail by simply inserting the tab into the slot on the back body piece.
Step 15: Install the Light
Installing the light is simple. First, if you are using the same kind of socket I used, unscrew and separate the two halves of the enclosure. Inside, you will find a simple light bulb screw with a switch and two screws that act as electrical contacts.
So, first, thread the cord through the hole in the back head piece of the Doggy Lamp. Second, thread the base part of the socket enclosure onto the wire. This should be covered by common sense but, DO NOT PLUG IN THE CORD WHILE YOU ARE WORKING ON IT. And finally, attach the stripped ends of the wire, one to each terminal of the light bulb socket. It makes no difference in which direction you attach the wires.
With the wires attached, screw on the top portion of the enclosure. Then, pull the wire back through the hole until the light bulb socket is flush with the back head piece. If the cord fits tightly enough in the hole, it may be sufficient to hold the light bulb socket by itself, if not, simply apply a bit of glue to the base of the enclosure.
Step 16: Screw in the Light Bulb and Name Your Doggy Lamp
Finally, just screw in the light bulb, plug in the cord, and flip the switch and now you have your very own Doggy Lamp to call your very own! Just name your lamp - mine is named Spotlight because Spot is a typical name for a dog and it is a light (I know, very creative).
Now you will not have to be so lonely at your desk because now you have a nice, illuminating friend.