Step 7: Assembly

Ah, the moment of truth!  So, you've got a table littered with parts, ready to put together.  I suggest dry-fitting everything to start, before adding glue and making things permanent.  This way, you can determine the order in which the pieces go together, and find any mistakes (but you didn't make any, right?)

Assemble the base first, it's the easiest.  Slot a foot onto each space.  Some may fit better than others in certain spaces, so fit as many as you can without having to bust out the sandpaper.  In some cases though, you may have to sand or cut a little bit of wood to make something fit.  If you're planning to clamp the base to a table, install the feet "upside down," so the base sits flush on a surface.  Once the base is finished, set it aside.

Do the "reflector" next.  Slot in the three fingers.  Hopefully they'll stay in by friction alone, otherwise you'll have to carefully hold them in place until the light bulb socket is slid in the middle.  With the light fixture in place, the whole reflector should hold together.  Set it aside as well.

Now it's time for the arm.  Lay out the "joints" first, then slide in the 1/2" dowels.  The arms and spacers will slide onto these.  The assembly should go roughly like this:

- The curved 1/2" arm sections each have a 1/4" spacer on either side.  4 per arm section.  These go on the outside of the arm.

- The straight 1/4" arm sections that make up the "forearm" have a 1/2" spacer between them.  This pair goes on the inside of the "elbow" and "wrist" joints.

- The straight 1/4" arm sections that make up the "upper arm" go on the outside of the "elbow" and "shoulder" joints.

- A single 1/4" dowel spans the distance between the third position on the shoulder.  The springs for the upper arm attach to this dowel.

- The 2" long 1/4" dowel is inserted through two of the 0.5" long dowel pieces, which in turn connect to one of the 1/2" holes on the straight sections of the upper arm.  The other end of the "upper arm" springs attach here.  The exact distance depend on the length of the springs.

- One of the 1.5" long 1/4" dowels is inserted through the 1" long dowel with a hole drilled through.  The other is inserted through a 0.5" long dowel with a hole.  These are positioned on the "forearm" at such a distance that the springs are not stretched when the arm is "raised"  That is, the springs should support the weight of the arm.

The reflector assembly is attached at the "wrist" using a 2" long 1/4" diameter screw, held tight with a butterfly nut.  Two washers prevent the screw and nut from cracking the wood.  Place a 1/4" spacer on either side (2 total), and tighten the nut to hold the reflector at the desired angle.

Finally, slot the entire arm into the base.  If the spring tensions are set properly, the arm should stay where you move it.  At this point, be mindful that none of the joints pop out.  Remember, they're not glued yet!