Introduction: Making a Freestanding Adjustable Lampshade

About: 18 year old who makes all sorts of different projects, that have with a strong emphasis on experimenting and exploring new techniques and textures! I post weekly over on Youtube, but want to use Instructables …

Learn how to make this adjustable lampshade, made out of steel and oak!
I have also created a full video which you can access to give you some visual reference for the processes steps!

Step 1: Cut Upright & Horizontal Tubing to Length

Cut down your mild steel tubing (15.8mm diameter) into two pieces, one for the upright and one for the horizontal post. The lengths you cut these too is up to you, but I cut mine to approx. 600mm for the horizontal and 1400mm for the vertical.

Step 2: Plugging Ends of Steel Tubing

Cut some oak down into plugs that will fit the interior diameter of your steel tubing, using the table saw to create rough blanks, and a belt sander to create the final cylindrical form. Glue these pieces into both ends of the horizontal steel tubing and one end of the upright piece, using 2 part epoxy resin.

Step 3: Cut-out Lampshade Template

Out of 1mm mild steel sheet, cut your lampshade template.

Step 4: Bend Sheet Into a Lampshade

Using your hands, and/or a vice bend the template into a conical form, ensuring the two ends meet perfectly flush.

Step 5: Connect the Two Ends of the Lampshade Together

Drill two holes in the adjoining pieces, and use rivets to secure the two parts in place through these holes.

Step 6: Cutting a Pivoting Slot

Cut a slot into the horizontal piece of your steel tubing, that is the thickness of your two adjoining pieces (in my case 2 x 1mm, so 2mm.)

Step 7: Drilling the Pivot Hole

Slide the lampshade into the slot, and drill a hole through both the steel tubing and lampshade in order to create a pivoting hole.

Step 8: Creating the Pivot

Secure these in place using a nut and bolt. (This will allow you to adjust how easily adjustable the lampshades pivot is as well capacity to tighten the joint if it becomes loose at a later date.)

Step 9: Cutting & Gluing a Blank for the Base

With the lampshade now complete we can move onto the base. Make this also out of oak, cutting and gluing together a series of blocks to give you a rough blank.

Step 10: Carving/ Shaping the Base

Once the glue has dried, use a flap or power carving disc on your angle grinder to create the required form.

Step 11: Slot the Base Into the Upright

Slot the base into the end of the steel upright that doesn’t have a plug, by creating a wooden ‘tenon.’

NOTE: I later had to weight the base down by cutting a mortise and filling it with steel offcuts.

Step 12: Cutting the Adjustment Block

To connect the upright and horizontal post together, and give the lamp its unique adjustability we need to create a adjoining block. I made this out of oak, but steel or aluminium would be a better choice due to their increase strength and durability.

To do this, I first simply cut a block of oak to size (roughly 20mm x 20mm x 40mm) as well as a 5mm slice of some 12.5mm steel rod.

Step 13: Drilling Holes in the Adjustment Block

We can then drill two holes, on 2 separate faces that are the size of the steel tubing (15.8mm).

Step 14: Threading Holes & Attaching the Tightening Knob

After this we can drill and tap a hole in the centre of one face of this block, as well as the centre of the steel slice, securing a threaded rod into the steel. This way, the knob can be threaded through the wood, securing the joint in place.

Step 15: Applying Finish

With the joint complete we simply need to amply finish and light! For the finish, on the wood I used a clear, satin, acrylic varnish, and on the metal I used paste wax.

Step 16: Attaching the Bulb Mount

For the light, I took a standard ceiling bulb mount, threaded its end, drilled a hole through the lampshade wall, put the fixing through the hole and secured it with a nut.

Step 17: Adding Light

With this secured, I could then wire the mount to mains power, attaching the wire to the tubing with modified Terry clips.

Step 18: Finished!

And there we are, finished! The resulting lamp can be adjusted and secured in any orientation, any height and can be rotated 360 degrees! If you have any questions feel free to message me or alternatively you can check out the instructional video at the start of this post!