Swing-arm for Lamp (from Old Hang-glider Tube)




Introduction: Swing-arm for Lamp (from Old Hang-glider Tube)

About: I'm a social-worker, working with 12 - 23 year-olds. I used to be a printer. In 2018 I opened a small makerspace (www.imdib.nl) in my house, where I have lasercutters, 3d-printers, Arduino's, Mindstorms and ot…

I bought these great Ikea 'death star' lamps. I'm quite sure that is not the name Ikea uses. I bought them to go above my dining table. The problem is that my dining table is not always on the same spot. With my previous lamps, they sometimes ended up next to the table, with me hitting my had and bad lighting as a result.

To solve this, I want to make a swing-arm for the lamps, so I can move them where I want them.

I have some nice hang-glider parts that I want to use for this project. (bended uprights)

I managed to make this with only parts that I already had, so it cleans up my workshop. ;)

Step 1: You Will Need


  • Aluminum pipes or tubes
  • Nuts and bolts
  • A big o-ring and one or two brass rings that fit inside the hole of the big ring.
  • A sturdy metal plate
  • A square or rectangular profile that we make to fit inside the pipe or tube


  • Drilpress
  • Saw
  • File
  • Screwdrivers
  • Hammer

Step 2: The Base

The forces on this baseplate will be high, so use a thick material.

The length of my plate is 17 cm (6 inch). The width is smaller, so I marked the middle of the 17 cm and 8.5 cm from the width. Here I drilled a 6 mm hole.

Use the special drill tool to fit the bolt flush with the base-plate.

I drilled a 4 mm hole in all the corners (12 mm from the sides)

Step 3: The Tube

The hang-glider tubes I used have a nice shine and aerodynamic shape, but you can use round, square, rectangular or what ever shape you have, as long as it is strong.

Hang-glider parts are made from airplane grade aluminum, so with the strength shouldn't be any problems.

The swing-arm will pivot on a M6 bolt. The longer the arm will be, the higher the forces on this screw, so don't overdo this.

I made my arm 50 cm (20 inch) with an extra hinging part of 20 cm (8 inch).

The part on the other side of the pivot is only 7 cm so every kg on the long arm, will be 10 kg on the bolt.

  • Cut one part at 50 cm
  • Cut an other part at 20 cm
  • Mark on the long part, 7 cm from one side (at least less than the half of the baseplate) and drill a 6 mm hole
  • Drill a 6 mm hole all the way through on the other side of the long tube, 1 cm from the edge
  • Drill a 6 mm hole all the way through on the short tube, 1 cm from one edge
  • Cut a M6 wire just longer than the width of the two tubes
  • Bolt the two tubes together with lock-nuts and an o-ring in-between them

Step 4: The Wheel

Because of the big forces that will be on this arm, we will need a wheel on the short part of the lever to make it possible for the swing-arm to swing.

I had the parts for this wheel left over from an other project. The brass rings fit exactly in the big ring. A aluminum tube fits smoothly in the brass ring and snugly over a M6 bolt.

  • Hammer the brass ring(s) inside the big ring
  • Cut a piece of rectangular tube, to press fit in the swing-arm (see the picture)
  • Mark the hole of the ring so the big ring will just overlap the arm
  • Drill a 6 mm hole for the ring
  • Cut a ring from the small aluminum tube just thicker than the brass ring(s)
  • Put a M6 bolt in the just cut aluminum ring
  • Put the Big ring over the aluminum ring
  • Bolt the wheel on the rectangular tube
  • Press the rectangular tube in the swing-arm
  • Drill a hole through the side of the swing-arm and the rectangular tube
  • Remove the rectangular tube again

Step 5: Mount the Arm to the Plate

You had to remove the rectangular tube again to be able to mount the swing-arm to the baseplate.

  • Put a M6 bolt that will fit flush through the baseplate
  • Bolt the swing-arm to the baseplate with a ring in-between and a locknut to make sure it will stay in place
  • Press the rectangular tube with the wheel back in
  • Put a bolt through the side to keep the wheel in place

Step 6: Place the Arm

  • Now screw the baseplate to your ceiling.
  • Place the lamp
  • Do everything once more if you want to hang two lamps :)

I love the spacey, solid look of the profiled hang-glider tubes.

Finally I have light wherever my table goes.

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    4 Discussions


    4 years ago

    Cool :)


    Reply 4 years ago



    Reply 4 years ago

    thank you