Picture of Woodpunk LED Desk Lamp
The Woodpunk LED Desk Lamp is the result of being inspired, perhaps more than a year ago, by a design I saw on a design blog.  It's a bit of a pet peeve that all these fantastic ideas are flaunted but never produced.  So, I set about making my own wooden desk lamp, and I am extremely pleased with the results.  The lamp that served as the inspiration for the Woodpunk actually has since gone into limited production, but of course it's ridiculously expensive.  And besides, I still like mine better!

The majority of the lamp is made of 1/4" and 1/2" Baltic Birch plywood.  I love using this stuff to make things - a quick skim of my other instructables will confirm that!  It's strong and stable and easy to cut - and it's made of a renewable resource!  What's not to love?  Wood dowels serve as the joints.  The springs and socket were stolen from two old lamps; one skillfully located at a thrift store by my wife, and the other was just taking up space in my house (and also "donated" by my wife).  The LED lamp draws just 3W to produce 180 lumens, enough to illuminate a small work area.  It was bought at DealExtreme, but nearly any LED bulb with an integrated reflector would work just as well.

Total cost for this project was $25-$30.

Now, you may be thinking, "Hey - this looks ideal for a laser cutter or CNC machine!"  Well, you're right.  At the moment my designs need a bit of work so they're actually compatible with an automated system - anyone willing to do the conversion?  There's a 3-month pro membership for the first person who does!

So, have you got access to a scroll saw and drill press?  That's pretty much all you need to make this awesome lamp!

UPDATE:  KChappers generously converted my designs to .dwg, .dxf and .cdr formats for your CNC, laser cutter and 3D rendering pleasure.  Thanks so much!!
Remove these adsRemove these ads by Signing Up
1-40 of 173Next »
customsj11 months ago
Just finished most of mine! Great little build! Thanks for the instructable!!!
2014 14:31.jpg2014 14:31.jpg2014 14:31.jpg2014 14:31.jpg
jeff-o (author)  customsj19 days ago

I just realized I forgot to reply. Very nice work - laser cut wood?

Very, very nice!

Woodpunk, I like it!,

Wood as most of us here know is easy to work with and cheap. I plan on soon going into knifemaking as a hobby, and as a teenager, I really don't have a shop. I am into architecture a little bit, and was wondering what style I should build my workshop in. I plan on making a few of these lamps and putting them around my shop, along with 'keeping the theme'. Thank you very much!

jeff-o (author)  zombieslayer01019 days ago

What style workshop? Whatever you like! My workshop is actually very boring. Just lots of workspace and cupboards.

BikeHacker28 days ago
baecker0328 days ago
might want to source the light from another vendor... deal extreme takes forever.
jeff-o (author)  baecker0328 days ago
Indeed they do. I have since replaced the bulb you see in the instructions with a nice one made by Philips, bought from Home Depot. I'm actually using the lamp daily at work.
www. ic has done good selections as well and shipping is consistently approx two weeks
laith mohamed4 months ago

That is good desk light .

earaby4 months ago


Jack Moran6 months ago

So many shiny medals! such a detailed instructable Good Work!

I've downloaded the DXF files and they look awesome (as does your total lamp design!) but question:...What are the notches for? Do they clamp to opposite ended to ratchet when attached? And the rectangles out of the circles? What are those vectors in there for?
jeff-o (author)  gregmosercts1 year ago
I think you can ignore the notches. The rectangles indicate a hole that needs to be drilled through the side of the piece. PRO TIP: cut those pieces out as squares, do the side drill, then finish the circular cut around the circumference.
Thanks bro! I'mma throw it on my cnc machine and cut it for ease. I have a drill vise to drill those pieces after they are cut
...see attached picture I've attached
cut paths.JPG
MRMFWILSON1 year ago
Here are some DXF files that can be imported into CAM program. The vectors are all closed so the toolpaths can be added easily. The they are organized by 1/2 inch parts and 1/4 inch parts. The units are inches.
jamuraw2 years ago
JEFF - Hi - KChappers posted the .dxf and .dwg files for yourLED desk lamp a while back ( along while) I am having trouble downloading these files - any tricks to it ? I am new to the instructables site and was not sure if there was some steps I was missing - I teach high school woodshop and just got a laser cutter for the shop. this would be an awesome project to show its capabilities - any help would be much appreciatiated. Thanks !
Pizzapie5002 years ago
I'll probably sound really dumb, but where do you buy Baltic Birch Plywood? I can't find it at Home Depot. Do I have to order the wood online? Or is it at arts and crafts stores?
jeff-o (author)  Pizzapie5002 years ago
Check the yellow pages for a lumber supplier, specifically one that sells wood to furniture makers. If the city you live in is large enough, it will likely have more than one big-box hardware store, too. Check them all!
BrysonHicks3 years ago
Hi! I saw this mentioned on popular mechanics, (

and I have access to my schools laser cuter. (Trotec speedy 100) I am extremely interested in this project and think it is an amazing idea. I have autocad and am planning on designing this in the program for cutting with 1/4" wood and will just glue identical pieces together were 1/2" is required. I had a few questions though. How easily does it tip over? Maybe I missed this, but are there dimensions anywhere? I reeeeely need these to be able to make the file. If I finish the file I will gladly upload it. I realize that someone else has already uploaded a file, but it is not to scale. Thanks for helping everyone!
jeff-o (author)  BrysonHicks3 years ago
Awesome! I didn't know my project got a mention on popular mechanics!

Yup, definitely cut from1/4" wood and glue together as you've said. The bottom half of the arm can be extended up to 90 degrees with respect to the table, after that the lamp begins to tip. If you made the base heavier then you could extend it further.

There are templates in five different formats. My originals fit on 11x17 paper, to give you an idea of scale. So, the .pdf and .ai files are 1:1 scale.
I just go back from staples and got the sheets printed out. It was only $1.30 :-) I will start making the files over break and will upload them when I am done.
To confirm that the sizing is correct, is the length of one of the arms from end to end 14 5/8" long?
jeff-o (author)  BrysonHicks3 years ago
Yup, that is correct! I measured it on the model I built.
I have everything traced out but I need a few measurements. What is the length or the counter weight and how long are the reflectors if measured directly from one end to the other. Also, are all of the whole that are drawen in the exact size, so if I cut it out with the lazer it will be just as big as if I drilled it?

jeff-o (author)  BrysonHicks2 years ago
The counterweight is about 6.75" long. The length is not overly critical, and you could even stretch it to add weight. The reflector "fingers" are a bit over 9" long.

The only holes whose diameter matters are the joints; they are supposed to be 1/2". All the others are just for show, so if they look about right then they'll be fine. You might want to measure the diameter of the wood dowel used for the joints since 1/2" wood dowel can vary a little bit, especially when choosing between softwood and hardwood dowel.
Where did you measure the fingers from? Also I notice that there is a smaller hole on the wrist, shoulder, one of the reflectors and on two of the spacers. What sizes are these holes?

ok I figured out the fingers, but I still need the answer to what size the small holes are.. I also have a new question.. were the arms designed to be 15 inches because my program says they are, but the print is 14 5/8" other than that everything it to scale except for the base
jeff-o (author)  BrysonHicks2 years ago
The holes for the wrist are smaller; though I forget what size I drilled them. They are large enough for a large machine screw. Max 1/4", though 3/16 is probably correct.

The critical dimention on the arms is the distance between the pivot holes. Mine are 12.5".
thanks! ok figured it all out... how do I send the file to you?
How much did you pay for the led? I also got the file done .... how do I send it to you?
jeff-o (author)  BrysonHicks2 years ago
I think it was $13 or so. There are lots of different bulbs available at, though stock is improving at most hardware stores as well (though they are more expensive). I'll send you a PM regarding the file!
The procces of assembaling the lap has begun! and man does it look awsome. I will send you a picture of it compleated,but I still need to...
Put a finish on it.
Glue the parts.
Find lead for the counterweight.
Buy a mount for the bulb.
Recut one of the arms
laser cut desk lamp partaly compleated.JPG
I`m done! :-) I am waiting for the light to be shipped to my house and then I will post the pictures.
Its done! Here are the photos.
DSC01164.JPGDSC01167.JPGDSC01168.JPGDSC01171.JPGDSC01172.JPGDSC01173.JPGDSC01174.JPGDSC01175.JPGDSC01176.JPGDSC01177.JPGDSC01178.JPGDSC01179.JPGDSC01180.JPGphoto (1).JPG
jeff-o (author)  BrysonHicks2 years ago
That looks fantastic! I especially like your heavier base. If you'd like, I can include the pattern file in this instructable.
Thanks! The heavier base is great because the lamp can come out fully extended and not tip over. It would be great if you could include the CAD files in the instructable for other people with cnc machines and lasers to use. Thanks again for all your help!
fordf150man2 years ago
awesome i saw this from popular mechanics too pretty cool
Rich992 years ago
best 'ible i've ever seen, by far! really cool project, too.
notveryreal3 years ago
Wow, amazing.
1-40 of 173Next »