LED Scissor-Gate Lamp!




Introduction: LED Scissor-Gate Lamp!

About: I have been an avid woodworker since my first shop class in middle school. Since then, I have worked in many creative industries, each affording me the opportunity to gain skills working with additional materi…

We wanted his/hers reading lamps for the bed area of our Sprinter van conversion (see that Instructable here!) but I just couldnt find something that checked all the boxes... My father collects antique telephones, and as a kid I always loved this one phone he had that was a Candlestick telephone on a scissor gate mechanism. The scissor gate allowed it to be tucked in flush against the wall, but also allowed it to pull out enough to use comfortably. I decided that there was no reason I couldn't build a lamp version of that, especially with my background of Yurt building, which uses the same concept for the lattice structure.

I built these lamps a while back, so forgive the minimal amount of build pictures. I will supply my files in case anybody else has access to a CNC router/laser/whatever and wants to build their own! Since I am writing this Instructable in retrospect, it may be lacking in some of the finer details of the build, but I think you'll be able to choose your own adventure a little and figure it out!


Step 1: Gather Your Materials, and Prep the Files

My files are based around using the following materials:

- 1/8" polymetal (dibond, alumabond, etc)

-15 sets of 1/4"x20 bolts (1/2"), locknuts, washers (3 per set)

-Zip tie anchors

-SMD "Little Dot" prewired LED

-Inline dimmer switch

-.030 PETG with semi-opaque vinyl applied

-Good double stick tape and electrical tape (for fastening layers of polymetal together and for assembling lampshade)

-Aluminum piano hinge (for attaching the scissor-gate to the wall)

That being said, you could build this thing out of a variety of materials. Acrylic, solid aluminum, wood, etc could be used instead of polymetal; cardstock, rigid vinyl, or anything foldable could be used instead of PETG for the Shade; and rivets could be used instead of the bolts/nuts. The sky is the limit! This is just how I went about it!

Step 2: Cut the Parts

My files should work as-is if you choose to use the same material as I did, but they could be easily tweaked if you decide to use materials of different thickness. I used my home-built CNC router to cut all the parts except for the PETG lampshade. I had the lampshade cut at my old workplace with their commercial cutting machine, but I could have also just printed out the design (full scale), taped it to a piece of PETG, and cut/scored it by hand. As for CNC routing the polymetal, I used a cheap 2 flute upcut milling bit and it cut beautifully. You will want to do some test cuts to find the right speed and milling direction or course, but you probably already knew that if youve got access to a machine! I would give you the settings now, but I honestly cant remember and Im currently living on the road and am hundreds of miles so far from my CNC station where it is recorded!

Step 3: Assemble!

Assembly is fairly straight forward. The Scissor-gate assembly is essentially 3 layers of the polymetal parts. The base section where the bolt slides up and down the slot gets fastened together with double stick tape, then attach the piano hinge and fasten all of those layers together with rivets or screws. The rest of the mechanism just gets bolted together, except for the little ring handle at the top of the shade also gets taped on. The shade gets sandwiched between all those parts with the help of slots and pressure fitting. Just reference the pics and above and go for it! Its sort of like a very simple puzzle that Ill let you figure out on your own, that way you can feel a bit more accomplished right? Honestly I just have limited access to time/wifi, so I cant really go into it too much at this point. The hardest part was just making the files, and you've got them now!

Good luck!

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    2 Discussions


    4 years ago

    Awesome! I wanted to build something like this a pretty long time ago, but decided to build a wooden articulating arm instead, but I can see how this could be useful. I think an articulating am is easier to build , but this looks way better!


    4 years ago

    Voted! These lights turned out great! They look like expensive wall lamps you found online! Very impressive & stylish! Months ago I asked my son (who reads constantly) if he'd like a reading light attached to a thing like "a joke boxing glove on a spring-out arm" SCISSOR GATE! Thank you for teaching me the correct name! Hope you have traveled to New England...if not...come on up...ocean, mountains & lots of history!