Intro: Chicken Foot LED Lamp
Taking a junk LED light strip, and a couple planks of wood, you too can create this useful lamp.
It has three joints that allow it to articulate a variety of heights and angles.
This makes it especially useful for a desk/workspace combination
The second image is what it looked like before I started this project
Step 1: Materials and Tools
Although I used a table saw, this can be done completely with hand tools (power tools save time)
- Table saw
- Coping saw
- Goggles and gloves
- Cordless with drill bits
- Soldering kit
- 6" pressure clamps (the squeeze kind)
- Chisel and hammer
- Wood glue
- LED work light (from the local tool shed)
- Wood board 3/4" X 9.5" X 29" (preferably hardwood)
- 2X 3" bolt, 1/4th" diameter with two washers and wing nut
- 2.25 bolt, 1/4th" diameter with two washers and wing nut
- 4X wood screws (Mine were 3/4th")
Optional, but helpful:
- Rotary tool (Dremel)
- Disc sander
- Wood planer
- torch (for bending said plexiglas)
Start with a 3/4th inch thick board, 29 inches long and 91/4th inch wide
Cut four planks 1.5" wide
Crosscut the planks so they are 18 inches long. Save three of the shortened lengths, these will make up the leg supports and a spacer for the lower-arm
A 2.75 inch width plank should be left over from the original board. Cross-cut this into a 13 inch length
Lay all of the pieces out after you cut them; that should help you visualize the final product
Step 2: Base
The chicken foot part of this lamp is the base. The shape lets it sit in the corner with stability.
A coping saw (or miter saw) to cut the angle on the leg supports (I guestimated 40 degrees)
5/64th inch bit for pilot holes and 1/4th inch spur bit so the screws could be flush
All I had was 3/4" wood screws, but I made it work
Make sure to assemble on a level surface, so the lamp won't wobble
Step 3: Lower Arm
The leftover plank from the crosscut earlier acts as a space and support for the lower-arm
Measure the centerline for all three boards
Glue them and align on the centerlines
Clamp them tightly so the glue holds well
If glue beads up at the crevices, let them dry, easier to remove than smearing and discoloring the wood
Step 4: Upper-Arm
This will hold the actual lamp part.
Removing a chunk 2.5 inches deep lets the other arm have a larger range of motion
Recycling the switch from the circuit board means I won't have to plug in every time I use the lamp
I traced the switch and chiseled it out, so the button would be recessed more and have space for the wires
A 3/8th spade bit and 1/4th spur point bit made quick work without a chisel
The spade bit also cut a deep channel for the wires to go through, between the switch and circuit board
I modified the circuit board, by drilling and sawing, so that it would fit better on the arm, and would be easier to secure with screws.
Step 5: Electronics
Take apart the LED work lamp and take a picture of the circuitry. (in case you forget what goes where)
I lengthened the wires between the switch and the circuit board
Twist and solder the wires together, then heat-shrink tubing
We are dealing with a 110V, so be careful, It might not kill you, but It can sure hurt
Test the components after you've soldered everything, but before you put it all together. This saves you a great deal of drama should it not work when you flip the switch.
Step 6: (Optional) Troubles With Circuit
After soldering everything together and plugging it in, it wouldn't light up!
After messing around with a multimeter, It turns out a lot of the LEDs were not securely soldered in
Many of them were loose and would pop right out with a tug
A couple of passes with the soldering iron fixed that issue
Some of the LEDs were burnt out, so I replaced them with spares from a broken flashlight from the same hardware store... I might have to stop going to that store!
Step 7: Assembly
When everything is satisfactory, assembly can begin
Drill holes at the intersections of the arms, then throw a winged bolt with washers at each end
All it takes is a slight turn to get the level of resistance you want
The power cable was wrapped around the light, and was naturally curved, so I wound it around the arm
It's very simple to take apart and adjust, perfect if it has to be stored often
Step 8: (Optional) Diffuser and Shield
Supergluing the diffuser together, then gluing that to the LED circuit board worked best for me
I didn't want the circuits exposed, so I whipped up a quick shield from plexiglas
Sawed a rectangle wider than the area to be covered, then blowtorched it till it became flexible
I bent it with scrap wood over a leftover piece from the original crosscut from the beginning
I dremeled a hole, so it could be screwed down, and a spot for the button to be mounted
I could have easily routed out a spot for the circuit board, but I like experimenting when fabricating
Step 9: Test and Adjust
Place it on the corner of your desk and plug it in!
Adjusting to your comfortable height is as easy as turning three bolts.
Due to the base, the lamp can stretch forward further than most lamps, perfect for reaching all areas
From a board and a work light to a beautiful desk lamp (vote)
This creation produces photons within a visible spectrum (Vote)
If you liked it or found it inspiring, please let me know, and VOTE!