Introduction: Dimmable Pendant Lamp

Welcome to my second Instructable!

I am new to the scroll saw so I wanted to make a project that is both easy and functional. I searched the internet and found many beginner patterns for free. None of them were very functional though. I stumbled into some projects designed for a laser cutter. I found a template for a pendant lamp that is simple enough to be done on a scroll saw. Best of was a free download.

Here is a link to the site I found it at - FreePatterns

BE SAFE!!! - Safety is so important. Especially when using power tools. I will not give any specific safety tips related to the scroll saw as it is new to me and I don't want to provide bad advice based on my lack of skill/knowledge of this tool. Always the obvious - Safety glasses recommended, keep fingers, clothing and jewelry away from blades and any moving parts. READ a book or manual. I picked up an out of print book on the scroll saw for a couple dollars. It covered the basics and some technique that helped me along the way. There are several available from online retailers. My library is small and did not have any but yours may. Check em out.

On to the project !


Supplies :

  1. Pattern/template
  2. 1/8" Plywood
  3. Paper (printer)
  4. Spray Adhesive
  5. White Paint
  6. Black Paint
  7. Glow in the Dark Paint
  8. Water (to clean paint brush)
  9. Pendant Lamp Kit (available on amazon)
  10. Dimmable Light Bulb

Tools :

  1. JigSaw
  2. Scroll Saw
  3. Drill
  4. Drill Bit
  5. Sandpaper 120 grit
  6. Scissors
  7. Paint Brush
  8. Cup (for water)
  9. Printer

Step 1: Print, Cut, Paste

I included both the original PDF template and the resized copy I made for printing. the original pdf will print too small unless resized appropriately. I used windows snipping tool and paint program to resize the image to scale needed for 1/8" plywood when printed on a standard printer.

1. Download and print the template. I cut excess paper away in an effort to save wood. The two round pieces are only needed once. However the U shaped need 16 of them. There are two ways to get 16.

Way 1 - Individual cut. Print and paste 16 of the U shapes pieces (you will be cutting it out 16 times)

Way 2 - Stack cut. Print and past 4 - 6 U shaped pieces (you will stack cut 3 or 4 at a time)

2. Spray the wood and paper back with spray adhesive. Wait about 5 minutes and stick the paper to the wood.

I used Elmers Craft Bond. It is the first time I have ever used spray adhesive.

A couple things I learned,

  • Follow the directions on the can so the paper can be peeled off thus minimizing sanding
  • I sprayed the paper and the template wouldn't stick. So I then sprayed the wood. After spraying both paper and wood, waiting about 5 minutes they stuck and peeled off when I was done.
  • Open space. Do this in an open space because everything the spray touches will have adhesive on it.
  • Cleanup can be a bear. Especially if you have it all over your hand. lol

Step 2: Precut, Cut

A huge piece of wood will not fit on a scrollsaw. Use a jigsaw or saw of your choice to cut things down to fit the scrollsaw.

If you plan on cutting each piece individually the sections don't matter as long as they are manageable on the saw. If you plan on stack cutting then I assume you know how and have already taken steps by cutting your plywood to the same size & shape so they can be temp glued, taped or nailed. I wont give instructions on stack cutting as I am new to it.

Carefully cut the pieces out using the scrollsaw. Cut with constant even pressure against the saw blade. Keep moving. Stopping and restarting can cause your lines to be uneven. I cut most pieces out individually but then did try stack cutting. On the stack cuts I had to cut the slot on each end individually(not stacked) as I could not make the turns necessary with the pieces stacked. Stack cutting can save lots of time. It can also waste lots of supplies. If you make a mistake in your cut then you have made the exact same mistake for each piece in the stack. Some of my pieces didn't turn out so well but I made extras so it worked out. To cut the circle out inside the bottom piece you must drill a hole big enough for you blade to be inserted into. Drill the hole and thread blade through the piece. Reattach to the saw and cut the center circle out.

The top piece I used the lamp socket as a guide to create the right size hole. Remove the socket screw washer. Place it face down onto the top piece and trace around the inside of it. Once you have traced it drill a hole in the center and back to the scrollsaw. Thread that piece onto the scrollsaw and cut that circle out.

When all are cut, carefully peel the paper off and LIGHTLY sand the edges. The goal here is to remove excess wood fibers on the edges. You don't want rounded edges as it will make painting the pieces more difficult. The closer to 90 degree the cut angles are the better.

A couple things I learned,

  • Cut slowly
  • Use even pressure. Some parts of the wood was harder than others. Trying to force through it I wound up breaking a blade. I changed blades and went back to it. Even pressure cut through the tough spots it just moved slower.
  • A good stack cut is all good
  • A bad stack cut is all bad
  • The thicker the wood(stack) the harder it is to make turns
  • Reading the book helped as much as using the scrollsaw

Step 3: Paint

Probably taking the most time is the painting. I wanted black and white blades on my lamp. To do this I painted one side and outside edge black and the other side and inside edge white. The top and bottom pieces get black on one side and outside edges, white on the other side. I put 2 coats of paint on everything using acrylic craft paints.


The pieces already are a tight fit. Painting inside the slots will make it difficult to put it together.

Painting black next to white on sharp edges proved a challenge for me. Don't put too much pain on your brush. It will overflow the edges easily. I found that after I get paint on my brush if I lay my brush almost flat against the piece and draw towards the edge it was easier to keep crisp edges with little to no overrun. Take your time painting. It pays off with time saved to take your time the first time. I did have overrun on several pieces anyway and I had to go back and touch them up. It was very time consuming.

After black and white are done it's time for glow in the dark paint. You can paint the entire lamp with it or do what I did. I want only the white painted areas to glow. If you do as well carefully paint over the white with the glow in the dark paint. If you get paint overrunning edges you can touch it up. I did. The glow paint dries clear-ish. The original color will still be visible through the glow paint. It will however make whatever you paint look a little milky.

A couple things I learned,

  • I am not a good painter
  • Mistakes are easily spotted using black and white paints
  • Clear drying glow paint actually dries a little milky

Step 4: Assemble

Time for results

First thing to do is put the top onto the lamp socket. Slide the top piece on with the white side facing the where the bulb will be. Place the screw washer on and tighten it up. Then carefully attach one of the U shaped pieces by lining up the slot with a slot on the top. Now place the bottom on doing the same. Continue adding pieces till you are about 1/2 way finished. Screw in your light bulb. Then continue adding pieces till they are all on. If some of the pieces are too tight you can sand or file the inside of the slot. All of mine but one fit good. I had an extra that fit better so I used it.

Congratulations!!! Hang your lamp proudly where everyone can see it. Turn it on!! Enjoy!

Not a hard project. Well worth it.

I hope you enjoy my second instructable as much as I enjoyed making it.

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