Introduction: Balance Desk Lamp

About: I am an engineer, which has pretty much nothing to do with my love of making and fixing things!!

This is inspired by another instructable: ,....which is a wooden based tall lamp with laced cord.

Also, I wanted to use an old 'Linolite' lamp fitting that they still make bulbs for (4W LED ones that replace the old 60W ones).

I also looked at a bunch of balance lamps on Wikipedia, and the resultant design is a comfortable combination of the materials I had to hand - the only items that were bought are the 3 core twisted power lead and the LED tube.

  • Wood - slats from an old hardwood bed
  • Old Linolite 11" (218mm tube) light fitting
  • 2 x M10 A2 Machine Bolts & Nyloc Nuts
  • 6 (or 8) M10 A2 washers
  • 5m of mains cable - I bought 3 core twisted fabric from
  • Weights - lead & and old brass 1" stud & nut.

Step 1: Cutting & Gluing

The lengths of wood were as per the drawing, and the design was intended to provide free rotation of the two rotating arms.

The base sections were glued with PVA and clamped, and once set, the 3 upright sections glued into the slots.

Step 2: Assembly

Drilling and assembly followed, using an old Linolite lamp holder; The twisted cable was selected as it becomes the colourful feature of the lamp and it was dear (£4.50 a metre), but I think it makes a difference.

Step 3: Fitting the Light & Weights

The weights were thought about afterwards, and they aren't needed if the bolts are tightened enough, but if used, there is a lovely lightness to the movement.

So the yellow one is some lead that I melted into a small mould and then spray painted, but I wouldn't have needed it IF I had done some more thinking! You can see from the 4th photo that I drilled out the underside of the top bar and melted lead into it, but not enough!

The large stud and nut I have had for years (came off a firepump on a North Sea Platform), is Nickel Aluminum Bronze and has the benefit of adjustment. The nut was cut/notched into the two bars and glued with Gorilla Glue.

Step 4: Finishing

Finally, some felt feet were added and I oiled it with teak oil.

It is not completely free swinging; I have adjusted the nuts on the hinges so that only a light touch is needed to move the lamp position.

It's still missing a switch though!