Lumitourni Lamp. Sculptural (and Dangerous) Wood Turning by Samuel Bernier





Introduction: Lumitourni Lamp. Sculptural (and Dangerous) Wood Turning by Samuel Bernier

I like to push the manufacturing process to the extreme. My friend Gabriel Beaulieu makes african djembe as a part time job so he is a real pro with the wood lathe. We were thinking of new ways to use this great tool and came up with this complexe shape :

Step 1: The Idea

Everything seems a lot more simple on paper, so we didn't worry much about our chances of success. àThe idea was to glue a lot of scrap wood together, turn it in the shape of sn apple heart. Then cut it in four parts. Flipping each part 180 degrees so a cavity is formed in the middle. Finally turn the part again to give it a nice and round shape... here is how it went :

Step 2: Gluing

we didn't think of bringing wood clamps, se we had to create our own using treaded rods. It was a very messy job. 

Step 3: Instal the Bloc

Once the bloc of scrap wood dried, we installed it onto the wood lathe. It was already becoming scary. 

Step 4: First Turn

The first half hour was a nightmare. It was hard core turning to remove the edges. We still ended up with a neat hourglass shape. Cutting it in four wan't easy. We broke one blade in the process. 

Step 5: Turn 2

We then glued back the four parts together to create the hallow core. The real job began. We had to be very careful not to stick the blade into the holes. Very bad injuries could happen. The model did break at a moment, but we glued it back successfully.  

Step 6: The Shape

After hours of work and sanding, we got the egg shape. But we still had a few hours of sanding to remove the inner edges.

Step 7: Oil and Wires

We used an oil finish and normal equipment. We used a rollerskate bearing to give a little twist to the object. The wooden lampshade turns around the light bulb, creating a stroboscopic light. I see this object more as a woodworker experimentation than as an actual light fixture.

Step 8: Tadam!



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    Next time you want to split a turning into quarters glue it up but put newspaper between the bits of wood where the divisions are going to be. Then the turning will split along the paper with a gentle blow or two from a chisel.

    1 reply

    Szturc, you are absolutely right. This works perfectly. Care needs to be taken but it works just fine.

    Nice work. Next time you want to try inside out turning (as this is called) instead of gluing the blocks together, tape them over completely with painters tape, then recover the mess with duct tape near the ends. This will hold everything together and you will get a nice shape. Then before removing the tape and turning the blocks, sand, seal, and finish the inside first. It is too difficult after they have been turned inside. That is the method I use and it works beautifully.

    I love the finished product. Very nice.

    Good project, Samuel! I'd like to do one of these in a smaller version as a Christmas ornament.

    What are the measurements I would like to make one

    This is called inside out turning. If you cut your wood into 4 sections to start then reglue them putting 2 layers of newspaper in between each section using white or carpenters glue it is strong enough to turn but comes apart at the seam relatively easily. Turn inside out and glue permanently, no newspaper and carpenters glue, then turn the outside.

    Awesome idea I'm thinking about making a small scale one in a teardrop shape as a pendant.

    I dont mean to be a jerk but it looks just like jou copied an article out of wood turning magazine.

    2 replies

    Haha, woodturning magazine? Really? I never heard of that, but thanks. I guess it means I made a nice work. I did this project in 2008 for the competition « Le Bois au Naturel» in Victoriaville, Québec.. But I would like to see this article. Maybe they copied me! ;)

    its a 2005 magazine ill snd you a copy of it

    aswoom ............. dear kindlyshare the pdf drawings

    super .. design

    outstanding… but, as you said, downright dangerous ! … 
    did you think of a safer way for the same result or did you leave it at that ?…

    2 replies

    A good cdc could do it... But it is no fun.

    Very cool and clever design!


    vary cool, I will have to add this to my list of projects I want to do if I ever get a lathe

    when glueing the square blank together...
    stick a piece of paper in between t he 4 quarter sections(where you'll later split, and reverse). Brown paper bags seem to work the best for me.
    A sharp chisel will then split along the paper very nicely, and easily. No broken blades required.

    For the one person who is sure to ask... do NOT use paper between the sections when glueing back together for the hollow-form turning.

    Glad no one was hurt when it broke, as you were turning.
    Which type of turning tool did you use for the final shaping? a gouge?

    It's kinda funny, I JUST saw this technique demonstrated on one of the PBS woodworking shows(roughcut woodworking, I THINK. not sure though). Great to see it's not just the "professionals" that can turn out a great piece..