Introduction: Modern Decorative Table Light

About: I've been working on construction since the age of 15 and as specialized glazier,aluminum structures,curtain walls. In the last 10 years I've been doing lot of residential renovation and restoration. I like ti…

This is a modern looking decorative table light made from wood (cedar) 5cm diameter acrylic rod and a steel base.


Step 1: Materials and Tools Needed

For this project I've used some materials that I've already had and some I had to buy.
The cost for this project depends on where you get these materials from, like if you can buy used stuff or salvage parts, then that could be a good moneysaver.

•ACRYLIC ROD 1'1/2 - 2' ( around 5cm) diameter and long depending on your design.
•WOOD LOG square of approximately 5''x5'' and long depending on the design of the project OR of the length acrylic cylinder/rod you're going to use.
• THICK (5-7mm) PLEXIGLASS - you can take this from an old LCD PC monitor, otherwise they are expensive to buy.
• LED light - I took it from a flood led bulb and modified it in order to make it fit in the light.
•wires, polyurethane wood glue, screws, metal flats, led light, heatsink, "L" shape steel bar....

TOOLS required:
Table saw, bevel saw, drill, forstner bit, router, clamps, screwdriver, soldering gun, hot glue, black spray paint, .... ALL..EVERYTHING ?

Step 2: Drilling the Core of the Log

First step, one of the biggest challenge, using forstner bit, is to drill the core of the wood piece in middle without going astray. (you can rip cut it after if your's is not square) see 1. image.

You'll need to use a forstner bit the same diameter as the acrylic rod .
I used a table saw and leaning the drill on the rip fence to slide it.You need to adjust the forstner bit with the extender( already in the drill) in the center of the wood log and then you measure the space between the guide and the drill and the base and the drill and then you cut some shims with the same measurements. This way your drill can slide straight.
Secure tight the wood piece along the rip fence with clamps.
Start drilling with low tòrque and not very high speed. This way you avoid twisting, and possibly breaking, your arm in case it immediately stops in wood while drilling. With low speed you also avoid 'burning' your forstner bit. Cool down the bit in water, after approximately every inch of drilling. Drill the length that you need according to the length of the acrylic rod or the design of the lamp.

After that you can rip cut legthwise if needed to make the wood piece square. Use table saw.

Step 3: Side Openings

You can make any design and be as much creative as you can.

I decided to go with three openings in the upper part, and two openings in the lower part.

I chose 30 degree angle and the cutting you do in the beveled sliding saw. It must be sliding so you make the cutting equal on each end.
You adjust the depth of the cutting on the saw ( the

Step 4: Three Layer Wood-plexiglass Sandwich

From the wood log piece cut three slices of twice the thickness of the plexiglass.
Then using table saw cut three same size squares from the plexiglass.
Join all wood and plexiglass slices making a sandwich, secure them tight with a clamp and using same diameter as the rod, drill through all of them in the center with a hole saw.
After that, you need to scrape with a cutting knife all the circle edge of the plexiglass. This will make the edge smoother. After that you, with a small torch you need to glaze the circle edges by not holding the flame too long in the same spot. You need to do this so the light can be better dissipated.
Regarding the outer edges of the plexiglass, you need to sand them with a sandpaper. starting with 100 grit then 120 and finish with 150. don't go with higher grit because you don't want the edges to look clear.

Step 5: Join Wood and Plexiglass Together

Before joining the wood and plexiglass together, make sure to sand and finish the wood surface. I've used 80 and 100 grit sand paper to sand the wood with orbital power sander. Then you can use any wood oil to finish.

Cut a piece of wood same thickness as the side openings with a 30 degree angle. I attached sticky sandpaper to sand the end of the openings.

I've decided to use the polyurethane wood glue to join pieces together. It's a new product in the market and it's very strong and useful since you can use it to glue wood with almost any other material. It's slightly expandable, and you don't want to apply too much since it's going to come out of the edges. You still are going to get some of it out, but clean it just before it dries completely with thinner.
In my case, I had to apply one small layer of glue and wait for the wood to absorb it (the wood was cedar which means it's very absorbent) and then apply another layer so the glue can stick with the plexiglass.
Before joining all the pieces together, make sure to put inside the acrylic rod inside the wood and then glue the pieces together. In my case I had to leave the last piece (bottom slice of wood) to glue it later because I had to insert the LED diffuser between the wood and plexiglass.
Use large clamps to keep the pieces tight for 2-4 hour. Then remove them and leave the glue to dry for 24 hours.

Step 6: Preparing/modifying the LED Light

I took the led light from an LED light bulb. First I removed the diffuser and then cut the wires, and remove the two screws. The electronic led driver will be released. I opened the driver and removed the white silicone in order to expose the wires and to make it smaller. I decided to cut the heat sink in half since it was too thick and it would have taken lot of space in the base of the light. I used non-ferrous blade to cut it in half after I secured it in a piece of wood with a screw. I also needed to cut the heat sink on the sides because it was too large.
Attach new and longer wires to the led, and then fasten the LED to the heat sink by using two screws.

Step 7: Building the Base

I wanted to make a heavy and sturdy base, but I didn't want to be from wood, so I chose L shape steel bar to do that.
Cut the four pieces in 45 degree with a grinder by using cutting disc. Secure tight the steel bar on a working bench with clamps, and use another piece of flat bar as a guide to help you make straight cuts. If you have a steel stationary saw, that would be great for perfect cuts.

Join the pieces by welding them. Weld all the outer corners, grind them and polish them with a sandpaper disc.
Then put the light on top of the base , center it, and score/mark the edges of the light on the steel base.
Use a step bit or a drill bit to drill two small holes on each side of the steel bar. Next: paint the steel with black flat spray paint.

Step 8: Attach the Base and Install the LED

Attach the base on the wood light by using very small screws in order to avoid the wood to crack. Don't use very long screws that will reach the plexiglass.
After that, you need to install the LED. Center the led light with the diffuser, drill a hole on the heat sink and attach the heat sink to the wood.
Use an new plug and wire with a switch on it. Solder the wires and install caps to insulate the wires.

Step 9: Finished

It really looks great.


Lights Contest 2017

Runner Up in the
Lights Contest 2017