Create a wooden desk lamp with simple materials.
Step 1: Materials and Tools Needed
For this lamp, you'll need some basic tools and materials, but it can vary depending on how you decide to make the lamp.
2x 8.8 Steel bolts, 7mm x 60mm
2x Steel nuts, 7mm
4x Steel washer, 7mm
2x Countersunk screws, 4x25mm
1x 3/4" Birch plywood sheet
1x Braided 3 core wire, 2m (Length can very depending on how long a wire you need)
1x UK plug head
1x Plastic bulb holder
1x Light bulb
- Test Pen
- Carpenter's square
- Sandpaper, 240 grit
- Wood File
- 8mm Drill Bit
- Cordless Hand Drill
- Pencil for marking
Step 2: Prepare the Wood
I cut the plywood into 5 pieces:
- 3 strips of 25mm wide by 300mm long pieces
- 1 piece for 160mm long by 100mm wide pice for the base
- 1 square block of 40mm by 40mm
You can vary the length of the strips according to how long you want the lamp necks to be, as with the base. Do take note that if you make the strips too long and the base too short, it will cause stability problems with the lamp.
Step 3: Creating the Holes for Joining the Neck
1) Align two strips of wood perpendicular to each other at the corners as shown, and mark out the centre of the intersection of the two pieces.
This is to make sure that the joint will fit nicely and have a good structural integrity.
2) Do this for both sides of 2 of the strips (Neck Bottom) and only on one side of the last strip (Neck Top).
Step 4: Smooth Out the Strips
Using a file or sandpaper (240 grit), smooth out the holes and the edges of the strips. This will prevent splintering and give a more finished look to the piece.
You can also round off or chamfer the edges if you want to add some aesthetics to the design.
Step 5: Adding Wire Holes
1) On the neck top strip of wood (single drilled hole), drill a second and third 8mm hole through the depth of the plywood as shown, about 1/2 an inch from the end without the hole, and about 2 inches from the end with the hole.
Make sure not to overlap the perpendicular hole.
2) Put your 2 washers, bolt and nut on for a test fit.
Your wire would be threaded through these 2 new wire holes.
Step 6: Building the Base
1) On your 40mm square block, drill 2 holes, one about 1cm from each side of 1 corner. Another just slightly off centre as about 1 cm from either of the opposite sides as shown.
2) Place the block at the center of the base and mark it out.
3) Mark a 'x' in the middle of the rectangle, and another one 1cm apart away from the edge of the base.
Step 7: Attaching the Base Hinge
1) Place the base hinge with the holes in the position shown, this will ensure that your screws will not overlap the holes when you fasten them in.
2) Using your 2 countersunk screws, place them at your marking and screw them in until they are flushed to the base. Do not over-tighten as they may damage the plywood.
You would now have a secure base to mount your lamp neck.
1) Thread your wire through the lamp neck top, starting from the first hole going down to the base as shown. You can vary the way in which the wire goes through the lamp according to your preferences.
2) Secure the lamp neck to the base using your other set of bolt and nut. Don't forget to include the washer so the nut does not damage the wood when you fasten it.
Step 9: Wiring the Plug
1) Start by removing all the screws from the empty plug head.
Take note of the correct wire colours:
Live - Brown/red
Neutral - Blue/black
Earth - Green-yellow
2) Use a pair of scissors or cutters to remove about 1 inch of the outermost insulation.
3) Use the wire stripper to remove about 1/4 inch of the insulation and expose the wire strands. Twist the wire strands using your fingers to 'braid' the wire for a better fit and prevent fraying.
4) loosen the contacts for each of the 3 points so your wire can fit in.
Ensure that the wires are connected to the respective points in the plug:
Top - Earth
Fuse - Live
Bottom left - Neutral
5) Insert the respective wires in their contacts and tighten the screws with the test pen.
Step 10: Closing the Plug
1) Replace the wire holder and tighten the two corresponding screws on the reverse side of the plug.
2) Put back the cover and tighten the cover screw on the reverse side.
Step 11: Wiring the Bulb Holder
1) Open the bulb holder and thread the excess wire on the end of the lamp neck through.`
2) Similar to the plug, strip the wires accordingly, but remove the ground wire by snipping it off with a plier.
3) Find the centrepiece connected to the reverse side of the bulb holder's connection point. This will be the to the live connection for safety purposes.
4) Loosen the screws and thread the respective wires through and tighten the screws to secure the wires.
Don't forget to put the wirestop in place to prevent the outer insulation from fraying.
5) screw on the cover of the bulb holder securely.
Step 12: Final Step
Make sure your lamp is not plugged in, twist on the bulb into the bulb holder securely. Plug your lamp in, and enjoy!
You can always vary the design by adding a lampshade, colouring, or playing around with the shape of the neck and base.