Introduction: The "Dead Edge" Lamp

About: artist/maker

for the "Dead Edge" Modern Lamp, I took what even most reclaimers would consider a waste product, the broken and rotten ends of some planks, and flexed my design skills to turn them into something desirable!

Materials and tools needed:

-Tablesaw or anything capable of making a precise angle on the long edge of a piece of wood


-ratchet strap/strap clamp/painters tape

-jigsaw/crosscut sled/saw capapable of cutting a circle

-crosscut sled, miter saw, miter box, saw capable of making an accurate 90 degree cut

-lighting kit (cord, switch, and bulb type)

-drill with a 2.5" hole saw bit or a saw capable of turning a drilled hole into a larger one

-hot glue gun

-wood glue

-ruler/straight edge

-marking device

-wooden planks about 1" or 3/4" thickness with broken, splintered, or rotted ends.

-1/8" plywood

Step 1: Cut the Reclaimed Wood to Width

-Set your saw to cut a 22.5 degree angle

-Take your boards and cut them into eight 4" wide strips so that the edges taper toward each other, and are not parallel

Step 2: Mark and Cut the Lengths for the Sections

-arrange the sections you cut out and mark a line across the back ends where you'd like the top of the lamp to be

-cut the sections at your marks using a saw capable of making an accurate 90 degree cut.

Step 3: Arrange and Mark Your Sections

-Take the 8 sides of the lamp and lay them so the shorter faces are rightside up

-Arrange them to get the best bottom edge for the lamp, and with the tops all aligned as pictured

-Mark a line parallel to the top edge of the sections a few inches down from the top

Step 4: Cut a Groove

-Use a tablesaw or any capable saw to cut a 1/8" wide groove about 1/3 of the way through each face along your mark

Step 5: Check the Alignment

- lay three strips of masking tape across your bench, sticky side up

- lay down the cut lamp sections in the arrangement you prefer, with the outside (longer faces) facing down on the tape, with no space between them

- Roll them up to make sure everything lines up properly

- measure the inner diameter of the flat opening at the top of the lamp (mine was about 4 inches. Add the depth of your groove to that number. (I came out with 4 1/4 inches)

Step 6: Create and Install the Top Insert

- Take a piece of 1/8 inch plywood or other similar, sturdy material and cut a circle to the diameter you measured in the last step. (inner hole diameter + groove depth)

-I cut mine by placing a screw on my crosscut sled at the radius I wanted (2 1/8 inches) away from the blade through the plywood and doing small angled cuts over and over until the piece was round. You can use a compass or measuring tape and a saw capable of cutting curves for this step if you prefer.

- Assemble the lamp body around the insert by gluing it into the grooves of each section and gluing the sections together on their beveled edges. This takes some patience, but you can use the same tape method from the last step if you'd like.

-Clamp the lamp together using a bandclamp, ratchet straps, or even strong masking tape. Let the glue cure for 24 hours.

Step 7: Clean Up the Body of the Lamp

- use a wire brush to really knock off any of the grime and dust that may be lodged in the wood, inside and out. You should also use it to knock off any loose bits on the"frayed" edges of the sections.

- Clean up any misaligned or loose area where the sections meet up with a hand plane or sandpaper, and fill gaps with a combination of wood glue and sawdust, sanding when cured.

-sand the entire outside and inside ad well as any sharp/splintery areas

Step 8: Add Light Fixture

I use bulb kits for paper lanterns for this part, but you just need the type that has two threaded flanges on it to sandwich around your plywood. I use these: and they work great, you just have to reinforce the cord for hanging sometimes.

-Cut a hole in the top center of your lamp.

- install the lamp kit, install a bulb, plug it in and make sure it works

- remove the lamp kit and set aside to prep for finishing

Step 9: Finishing

- I used a spray shellac to finish this piece. You can use any clear coat you choose and any time of finish. I'd say that a satin or semi gloss would look best, but you do you!

Step 10: Optional: Decor the Cord

- I used a hot glue gun and some jute twine to wrap my cord (looks better and helps reinforce it for hanging purposes)

- Just glue one end of the twine an inch back from where the cord meets the socket assembly, run it up to the assembly, then wrap in a spiral back down the entire cord, making sure to capture the endpiece you glued down.

Step 11: Reinstall the Lamp Kit, Hang, and Enjoy!

Thanks for checking out this instructable!

- This is a very customizable build and is of an intermediate skill level for woodworking and tool use.

- Thank you for working with reclaimed and salvaged materials!

Furniture Contest 2017

Participated in the
Furniture Contest 2017