Here's a simple way to mount a lamp to the side of a desk. This is specifically for the type of lamp that includes a clamp with a socket that the lamp slides into.
My desk/work table is special; it has a 2.5" wide piece of hardwood edging that makes using the included clamp impossible. So, I fashioned a block of wood that accepted the "peg" at the end of the lamp, and could be mounted to the edge of the desk.
This method is great for mounting a work light to unconventional desk tops or to walls, where you can't attach the clamp.
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Step 1: Tools and Materials
- Drill press
- 15/32" drill bit (or whatever matches the "peg" on the lamp)
- countersink drill bit for #10 flat head screws
- table saw, band saw, miter saw, scroll saw, hand saw - really, anything that cuts wood.
- electric drill
- A clamp
- 8-10" of hardwood (maple, poplar)
- 4 #10 x 2" flat head wood screws
- Strong wood glue (I prefer Tite-Bond III)
- paint, varnish or clear coat of some sort (optional)
Step 2: Cut and Glue the Wood
Cut two pieces of wood, about 4-5" long.
Glue them together with high-strength wood glue. I prefer Tite-Bond III, because it rocks. Get some if you see it for sale somewhere!
Tightly clamp the pieces together and wait 24 hours until the glue has dried. If any glue squeezes out, wipe it off with a damp cloth.
Step 3: Sanding and Drilling
Once the glue has dried, trim any uneven edges on a saw, and sand them smooth. I gave all the edges a slight bevel, and a roughly 1/4" radius on the two edges I figured would most likely catch on something.
In my case, the block of wood will be mounted on the side of my desk. I drilled a hole into the side of the block in the exact center, to a depth 2mm less than the length of the mounting peg on the lamp. When you're choosing the right drill bit size, use a scrap of wood to do some sample holes. I drilled three different sizes before I found the perfect one.
Then, drill four mounting holes in four corners of the block. Since I wanted the screws to be flush, I used flat-head screws and drilled countersunk holes for them. These holes should be spaced so they aren't too close to the edges of the wood, and not too close to the peg hole.
Step 4: Finishing, Painting, Staining, Etc.
You'll probably want to match the colour of the lamp mount to that of your desk or wall.
In my case, my desk is simply finished with a transparent wood finish. So, that's what I used on the lamp mount as well. I applied three coats, sanding between each coat, to match the finish of the desk. I used Minwax Polycrylic - great stuff if you need a nice water-based low-odour finish.
Step 5: Mounting to the Desk
OK, when the paint or finish has dried, it's time to attach the lamp mount.
Turn in all four screws so that the point only just protrudes through the other side.
Push the mount up against the surface it will be attached to. In my case, that's the side of my desk. The four screw points will make indentations that precisely indicate where to drill the pilot holes.
Set the mount aside for a moment, and grab a hand drill. Drill four holes where the indentations were marked. For a #10 screw, a 1/8" drill bit should be the right size. If you're mounting the lamp to drywall, you'll probably need to install drywall anchors into these holes (and ideally, you managed to position at least two of the holes over a stud!)
Now screw the mount onto the desk. Drop the lamp into the hole, and plug it in. That's it! Your lamp is probably more sturdy than it ever was with that little clamp it came with. High Five!