Introduction: Crate Lamp/Shelf! Made From Reused Material!!

My brother and I made this wonderful lamp shelf!! I am really happy with how it turned out! The majority of the material we used is re-purposed too!! From the wood used to the lamp components! I think its so great when you can make something beautiful out of something that was once garbage!! Hope you enjoy!!

Step 1: Here's What You'll Need

Here's what you'll need.

Five 3/4" metal pipe floor flanges

Two 3/4" x 8" metal pipes

One 3/4" nipple

One 3/4" x 1.5" reducer coupling

Edison Bulb

Wood Glue

1 1/2" Brad Nails

Nail Gun

Tape Measure

Dark Walnut wood finish


Belt Sander

Band Saw

Jig Saw

Chop Saw

Table Saw

1 1/2" paddle drill bit

1/4" extended drill bit

Speed Square

Block Plane

A bunch of 1x material. one 8' 1x10 pine board, around two 8' of 1x4 pine boards, and 4 8' 1x3 pine boards.

Sorry, I forgot to take pictures of all the things!

Step 2: Going Green and Saving $$ on the Lumber

Time to go green! Both for the environment and for your wallet at the same time!

I got most of my lumber from shipping crates used for shipping hvac equipment, and the rest from the throw away clearance section at Home Depot.

The great thing about this project is all the cut pieces needed are 19" or less so its easy to find wood that will work.

Shipping Crates.

1x4 material is often used for the shipping of large equipment and is often used once and then thrown away. I see this all the time at work (as I am a construction worker) and it bugs me that this perfectly good wood gets wasted, so I've been taking some home and making projects out of them. This lamp is one of them.

Home Depot

Home Depot has a pile of unwanted wood in the back of their stores. 1x material often makes it in these piles, and the best part is, its 70% off!! I acquired my 1x10 material from this pile. they are usually warped or deformed in some way but big chunks of the board are still good and you only need 12" peaces, so even if you can't use the whole board, it is well worth the money saved and you will be utilizing a board that would have otherwise been trashed.

Step 3: Cutting Your Pieces

Set up a stop 19" from your chop saw and start cutting! This is so you don't have to measure each piece.

You will need 18 pieces at 19" (if you spent money on 1x3 material. you will need 12 1x3 boards at 19" and 6 1x4 boards) If you scrapped them like I did you probably only have 1x4's which mean just cut 18 of them.

Then set up the saw at 13.5" and cut 9 more pieces. (6 will be 1x3s and 3 will be 1x4s)

Then set up the saw at 12" and cut 6 pieces out of the 1x10 material

Step 4: Rip Your Side Slats

If you used scrap material, you will need to rip down some of the side slats.

Set the saw at 2.5" (this is what a 1x3 real size is.)

Rip down 12 of the 19" pieces and 6 of the 13.5" pieces

(Save these cut offs as they will come in handy later on)

Step 5: Cutting the Handles

Now take the 12" 1x10 pieces and cut the handles out.

You'll need to make marks 5 1/2" from each end of the board and 1 7/8" down from the top. You will end up with two exes like on the picture. Take your 1 1/2" drill bit, place the tip on the x and drill straight through each mark.

Then take a ruler or some other straight edge and make a line connecting the tops of each circle and the bottoms.

Take your jig saw and cut the lines out making the handle openings.

Take a curved router bit of your choice and round over the handles

Step 6: Sand Your Pieces

Take all your pieces to the sander. sand the rough ends, and lightly sand all to corners just to give them the smallest round over.

Step 7: Prepare the Holes for the Lamp Wire.

Make a mark 4 5/8" down from the top, and 6" from the side.

Take your 1 1/2" drill bit and drill partially through the board, but not clear through

Step 8:

Measure 7 1/4" from the side and mark the bottom of the board

Line all the boards up. Make sure the holes are on the right side. if you put them in pairs the holes should be facing away from each other on two of the pairs, and the last pair of boards should have the holes facing the same way.

Put all the pairs together and take a quick square, line it up with your mark on the bottom of the one board, and make a mark across all of them.

Take a long 1/4" drill bit and drill a hole from the mark you made to the hole in the center. make sure you drill straight!!

Step 9: Nail the Sides Together!

Stand up the two handle pieces and place 2 of the 2 1/2" pieces on them. One lined up with the top and one lined up with the bottom. (make sure that one of the big crates and the smaller crate have the holes facing outward, and the second of the bigger crates has one hole facing in and the other facing out.)

Using the 1 1/2" brad nails, place one nail in each side of each board. In each corner of the box.

Take a framing square and square up the box. Then place the middle board on. (I centered it with my tape measure, but since I've just eyeballed it and it works great!)

Finish nailing off the boards. 2 nails in each board. That will keep your box square.

flip over and do the same on the opposite side.

Step 10: Nail the Bottom.

Nail off the bottom. Line up the board with the edge of the side board. I put 3 nails in each end and two nails along the side into the side boards.

You will need to leave off the center boards. Your crate will be bottomless for a bit! :)

Step 11: Stain Your Crates!

Take your Dark Walnut stain and stain the crates! (I just used an old t-shirt to apply the stain)

Looking good!!

Step 12: Prepare the Back Board for the Wire!

Now we want to set the table saw sticking up 1/2" from the table.

Set the table guard about 1/4" from the saw and rip all the boards!

After all the boards have the slots ripped, move the saw guard to make the gap about 1/8" bigger, and rip them all again.

These slots made will have the lamp wire going through them.

Step 13:

Measure the gap in the board you just cut and set the table saw to rip pieces the same size of the gap!

Rip 3/4 boards at this width. 2 boards that are 19" in length and 1 that's 13.5" in length. (I just used the excess from the side pieces I ripped down earlier.)

Using the band saw, cut away about 3/16" from the bottom leaving about 1/4" left on each end. (refer to picture above)

Step 14:

Then take a 1/4" drill bit and drill a hole about 3/8" from each end of the board going into the bottom of the groove in the board. (I put an extra piece of wood I ripped the width of the gap inside to prevent the lip from cracking)

Do this on all the boards except for one end of one of the 19" boards. On this one you will drill a hole half way through the center of the opposite side of the board the other hole is on, and then drill a hole starting between the two lips in the grove you ripped till you get to the hole you drilled in the center.

(The picture above doesn't quite have all the holes you need. The top board should look like the middle one. And remember, you can only see one hole on the bottom board because the other hole is on the opposite side facing down)

Step 15: String the Wire Through the Boards!

Time to wire your lamp!

String the wire through the holes in the crates, going through the handle pieces followed by the back piece and so on. (I started with the middle crate because then I didn't have to string as much wire through when I got to the end.)

between each crate string the wire through the pipe floor flanges, and the 8" pipe. (I would screw these together first.)

Note, the board with the hole

Step 16: Attach Pipes to Crates

Now, you need to center the pipe floor flanges on the crate.

Once centered, pre drill a hole through each hole in the flange. (I just did the first hole and then put a screw in it and then finished pre drilling the rest so the pipe didn't move on me)

Then screw the rest of the screws in.

Do the same with the inside of the top crate. Screw together your floor flange, nipple, and reducer coupling, string the wire through, and screw the flange centered on the inside of the top crate.

(ignore the installation of the light socket in the picture above. I just wanted to show what the top crate should look like)

Step 17:

Step 18: Glue Your Boards Shut

Now take that little pieces you cut with the band saw earlier, coat some wood glue on the sides, and wedge them into your boards. (this will hide your wire in the boards.)

Clamp the edge of your boards to insure a good glue joint and let sit for at least 2 hours.

Step 19: Plane Down Your Boards

Once the glue is dried, take your block plane and plane the excess wood sticking out so that your piece is flat.

Once stained, you will never know this isn't one solid board.

Step 20: Stain and Attach Your Boards!

Stain and then nail on your boards! (Make sure you don't nail into the wire inside the board!!!)

Step 21: Attach Your Light Fixture!!

Time to attach the light socket! I looked up a tutorial on how to do this by someone who is more experienced than I am and I suggest you do the same. :)

Note: This is another way you can go green as well. both for the environment and your wallet! People throw away lamps all the time, so we just salvaged one and reused all the components!)

Step 22: Screw in Your Edison Bulb and Plug Her In!!

Blammo!! You have your amazing lamp!! This was just such a fun project and I'm so glad I tackled it! I Hope you all enjoy!!

Please post pictures is you've made your own!!


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