Introduction: A Tripod Floor Lamp

Tripod lamps are hot! The one I wanted is $800, so my wife said, why don't you make one?

This is more of a "what not to do" Instructable. I'm very pleased with the result but there are certainly better ways to accomplish the same or similar. I did not plan on posting this originally so it is very light on photos.

I also wanted to use this to recommend a great source for lighting parts. See materials list.


Step 1: Design Your 'pod

Decide how you want to fasten the legs together. I don't recommend the method I used. I chose this 3 hole cluster and 1/8" IPS pipe parts to tie everything together:

But I discovered when assembling that the 3 holes were not drilled accurately enough to make the legs straight and true. My workaround is described later.

In doing research on floor lamps I learned that they vary in height typically between 58" and 64". I went with the low end.

Step 2: Cut the Legs

This is the other thing that I would do differently. I made an elaborate jig that enabled me to use a trimming router bit. I did that so that all 3 legs would be identical, and because using a router can produce and very clean edge that doesn't require much sanding.

In practice, didn't work so well. The jig was not rigid enough and the bit chattered in places. So I needed to do much more sanding than I hoped.

Unless you're going to go into the business of making these legs, I would suggest using a band saw.

Step 3: Drill New Holes in the Hubs

Here is what I did to fix the 3 hole hubs. I drilled and tapped 3 new 1/8" IPS holes. That was hard. The template you see here is something I laid out to get the spacing accurate. And I taped the 2 hubs together to keep them in line. I then drilled and tapped in a drill press. I turned the chuck by hand while tapping.

This was very challenging. And it left me with 3 holes that needed to be plugged. Color Cord once again for those.

Step 4: Put It All Together

I imagine that if you decide to make a lamp like this you will use another way to do it. So go to it!