Pipe Lamp




Introduction: Pipe Lamp

I needed a desk lamp for one of the computer desks in my study, and couldn't find one that fit my needs.  I wanted a lamp that would be adjustable both in height and reach, and it had to fit within a fairly small space.  Also, it had to look a bit unusual so it would go with everything else in the room.  I took a look around my shop, and guess what?  I had almost all the parts I needed to build just such a lamp.

Step 1: Materials Required

The materials I used for this lamp were as follows:

- the sprocket from a bicycle (the big one from the crank)
- two 18" lengths of 1/2 inch threaded iron pipe
- one pipe floor flange
- one pipe "T" fitting (1/2 3/4 3/4 threads)
- one 1/2" 45 degree pipe fitting
- one 1/2" 90 degree pipe fitting
- two 3/4" copper tubing couplers
- one lamp socket
- one 9' extension cord
- one rubber bushing
- one old mechanic's trouble light

Step 2: Building the Base

For the lamp's base I used the sprocket set from the cranks of an old bicycle.  I removed the sprockets as a single unit and cleaned about 10 years worth of dirt and grease off them.

I then drilled holes and mounted the floor flange in the center of the outside (smallest) sprocket.

Next I sprayed the sprocket/flange unit with copper paint.  Once the paint was dry, I screwed one of the lengths of black iron pipe into the flange.

Step 3: Making the Lamp Adjustable

The adjustment for the lamp is relatively simple.  In Photo 1 you can see that at the top of the pipe fastened to the lamp's base I have attached a 90 degree fitting and a "T" fitting.  Since I used 1/2" threaded pipe, the 90 degree fitting and the leg of the "T" are threaded for 1/2" pipe.  The other part of the "T" is threaded for 3/4" pipe to allow for a 1/2" pipe to slide through it.

This gives me the ability to swivel the top part of the lamp up and down and slide the top pipe in and out (of the "T" fitting).

In Photo 2 you can see where I drilled and tapped a hole for a set screw to lock the sliding pipe in place.  I also soldered 3/4" tubing connectors to the "T" for a couple of reasons: (1) it centers the pipe in the 34 inch part of the "T"; and (2) it sort of looks cool!

For the set screw I used a 1/4" bolt attached to an outdoor faucet handle (Photo 2)

Step 4: Let There Be Light.....

For the business end of the lamp I used the shroud from an old shop light -- I think this are sometimes called mechanic's trouble lights.  I removed the shroud from the light and cut off the wire hanger at the top.  I cleaned the shroud and painted it with the same copper paint I used for the base.

While the paint was drying I attached the 45 degree fitting on the second iron pipe.  I screwed a rubber bushing into the other end of the fitting (Photo 2), and drilled out the bushing to accept the fitting from a new lamp socket.  I then cut off the female end of the extension cord and ran the wire through the pipe and wired it to the lamp socket.  Next I screwed the lamp socket into the bushing and clamped the shroud around it.

Step 5: Done!

That's all there was to it!  The mounting allows for the shroud to be rotated, and the top pipe to swivel up and down, and in and out of the "T" fitting.

This design allows for a lamp with a relatively small footprint to provide just the right amount of light where I need it.  And since this lamp was made from mostly junk parts, the price was right, too!

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    7 months ago

    Could you give more details about how you made it "rotatable"?


    6 years ago

    Can you show how the lamp bar moves up and down without a locking mechanism? It actually looks like it is fixed.


    6 years ago on Step 5

    Nice instrucable! I still don't understand though is how the lamp bar moves up and down without a locking mechanism when it is adjusted?


    7 years ago on Introduction

    SWEET! : )

    I'm already thinking of how I could make this with PVC pipes & fittings. :)

    I love it!

    TY for sharing Sir.


    8 years ago on Step 5

    Very cool lamp man. I especially liked that idea to use the shade from the trouble light, might need to try that myself. Keep up the good work. :)

    Winged Fist
    Winged Fist

    10 years ago on Introduction

    Very nice design knife141! I've been thinking about a design like his myself... I think this would qualify as "Dieselpunk." Thought you might like to know that a lamp of similar design sold on ebay recently, after a bidding war, for about $250 (if I recall correctly).

    Industrial lamp.jpg

    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks for your comment. I got the idea from some lamps I saw in a store -- they wanted $400 for each one. That convinced me to make my own!


    10 years ago on Introduction

    @knife141 You have created such a nice lamp which suppose to use at multiple places. DIY is for lamps is quite interesting and always give us more attraction as well as attention. I am selling attractive and modern table lamps on my website and have addiction to find out attractive lamp across the web. I am planning to create one DIY section on my website and suppose to include this one. Thanks for sharing. I have similar desk lamp on my website which was described by you in your post. I have attached image to know more about that lamp. :)

    Desk Lamp in Burnished Wood Tone Finish.jpg