This is an easy to make bamboo desk lamp and it looks great when finished. The hardest part is cutting/sawing bamboo sticks in short pieces.
This project took me a long time (a few months) because it was supposed to be a birthday gift for my wife and I did it secretly, but at the end I didn’t finish it in time and told her about it :) . She loved it anyway.
- Bamboo sticks - 5 or 6 - 2.5m (8.2ft) long sticks, ~1-2.5cm (0.4- 1in) in diameter
- Hot glue
- Metal hand saw - with mitre saw or table saw it would be faster.
- Lamp cord with socket an lightbulb
- Measuring tape/ruler and marker
- Cardboard an PVA glue - optional – you can use other solutions
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Step 1: Getting Started
Cut the bamboo sticks in short pieces – I chose them to be 5 cm (2in) long, but they can be shorter or longer – that would affect how much light would come out and also how many bamboo sticks you would need.
I used a metal hand saw because the teeth of the saw are small enough that the bark/ “skin” of bamboo wouldn’t splinter. But even if there is a splinter that peals off, it wouldn’t be noticeable on the lamp –so not a big deal.
I cut them in batches and those pieces with nodes (intersections) I left for later because they need to be drilled. I used a regular drill with drill bits.
Step 2: Gluing the Pieces
Take a basketball, set it securely on the table – I used a duct tape roll to set it on. Take the first bamboo piece, apply some hot glue around it and immediately stick other pieces around it on the top of the basketball. Glue the pieces together on the ball so it would take the balls shape. The cut edge of each bamboo piece should lie flat on the ball’s surface – the balls surface should be your guide.
When you get to the middle of the ball, turn the whole thing upside down and start to build it up.
Note that the ball’s air hole should face down at the beginning (where the hole of the lamp is going to be) so that later you can deflate the ball and pull it out.
Be careful, the glue is HOT.
Step 3: Finishing the Lamp’s Form
You should stop adding pieces when the hole is roughly so big that you can easily put your fist in (~12cm/4.7in). Add the final pieces so that the hole looks round.
Stick a ball needle in the ball to let the air out, you can press the ball with hand, but I used small electric air pump to suck the air out, take the ball out and admire your creation. It will be quite heavy because it contains several long bamboo sticks (mine is 3.5kg – 7.71lbs).
Step 4: Installing the Cord and Socket
I used a standard cord with switch and an appropriate socket.
As a base for light bulb socket I cut out a cylindrical form of glued together cardboard – you could use wood or something else. Then I glued the socket in the cardboard base, and put it in the bamboo form with no glue. It should be held in just with friction so it could be taken out easily.
I used long shape light bulb so that the angle of light would be more even, rather than from one point. But this aspect is also changeable as you like.
And you are done!!
Second Prize in the
Indoor Lighting Contest