Table and Desk Lamp in One




Introduction: Table and Desk Lamp in One

I would like to start of this Instructables with some side notes. First of all, I want to say that English is not my native language, so there could be some grammatical errors and I could've used the wrong names for some things I've used during my project. I also want to say that my laser cutting files have lines with 1pt thickness and on my laser cutter that wouldn't have worked. I only enlarged the lines, so that people could see what the shapes are and get an impression of what they're looking at. And last of all I hope that nobody gets confused by the photo's, because some of them were taken on another location or on another time, but I've tried to set the in a chronologically correct order.

The Idea

The idea is to create a lamp which can be used as a table lamp, but it could also transform into a desk lamp. I want to make the table lamp a light bulb surrounded by its housing. The housing is going to have patterns on it where light is able to shine through. These patterns may be inspired by something I really like it or simply a pattern, what gives a beautiful light effect. But in addition, I also want it to be a desk lamp. I want to do this by making it possible to pull the light bulb out of its housing and move it in a position where it could be used as a desk lamp . So I want the light bulb to be attached to some kind of extendable arm, so I could pull it out of the housing of the table lamp and put in in a position, where I could have it shine its light like a desk lamp.

The reason why I made it

I haven't had a Desk lamp in a very long time, because it broke. But in some cases a desk lamp is quite handy to have, for example: When i have to do some homework in the evening. But I find the design of desk lamps often quite simple and I am looking forward to the challenge of creating something special. So I had come up with the idea to create a "2 in 1" lamp. So I thought to make a kind of base, which can also function as a table lamp that would light up with patterns or colors. I want to be inspired by a power cell that is often seen in movies, where they often have turn a handle to get the "core"out of it (witch often lights up).


M - must haves

  • Light bulb
  • Power connection
  • It must function as a floor lamp

  • It must function as a desk lamp

S - should haves

  • A move- and rotatable arm
  • A on/off switch
  • Patterns cut out of the housing

C - could haves

  • A remote control for the light
  • Colored glass

  • Colored light

W - won't haves

  • An electric/remote controlled powered arm

What do you need?


  • 3 mm Plywood
  • 6 mm Plywood
  • 3 mm White (or any color you want) Acrylic
  • 20 mm (ish) wood


  • Trotec Laser cutter
  • Up 3D Printer (with PLA fillement)
  • Hot wire strip heater
  • Hand drill
    • 2 mm bit
    • 6 mm bit
    • Sanding wheel
  • Band saw
  • Disk sander
  • Scroll saw
  • Wire clipper
  • Hammer
  • Screwdrivers (crosshead and flathead)
  • Hot glue gun
  • Clamps


  • Super glue
  • Wood glue
  • Wire clip
  • 10 m roll of flat electrical wire with no ground
  • Aluminium Tape
  • A light bulb that sends out 600 Lumen
  • Round Foot switch
  • Connection cable with plug
  • Socking
  • M6, 30 mm bolts and nuts
  • M6, 40mm bolts and nuts
  • M6 rings
  • M6, 40 bolts and nuts
  • 16 mm long nails from a painting hanger set
  • Electical tape
  • Sanding Paper

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Step 1: Inspiration and Idea Sketch

This is my first idea sketch of the lamp and some photo's that give me inspiration on what my lamp should look like.

Step 2: Dimensions

The first two pictures in this gallery show you what my desk looks like and where my old and broken desk lamp is placed. The lamp I'm about to make is replacing my old desk lamp, so i wanted to know how what the length and with of my lamp should be and what length the expansible arm should be.

Step 3: 3D Models

The lamp

The lamp i wanted to make is like a cube, consisting out of wood and light defusing plastic. The light bulb is placed in the center of the lamp in a kind of "lift", but I'm going to talk about that later on. The light bulb is by default of, when its not used as a desk lamp. The light will be provided by a led strip, that is attached to pieces of cable cover, which are glued to the defusing plastic. The light will be switched from the LED strips to the light bulb, when a pressure sensor feels that the light bulb is being lifted up (so it could be used as a desk lamp.

The lift

This part is used for the removal of the light bulb out of the housing. On this part will be the light bulb for the desk lamp and an extendable arm, so that the lamp could be put in position.

Step 4: Lasercutting

Most of this build was made possible by laser cutting. You can find the files that I've used in this instructables and I've tried to titled them so that you understand on what material you have to use the patterns and what it is you're cutting out. I've used the Trotec laser cutters and they worked perfectly for my project.

Step 5: 3D Printing

I originally wanted to 3D print more parts, but out of all the printers that I could work with only one was available. And there were other people that needed to 3D print. So since it is a relatively time consuming process, I decided to use the laser cutter for parts i originally wanted to 3D print. You can find the STL file in this Instructables that I used to 3D print my Lamp Holder.

Step 6: Bending the Acrylic

To make part of my lamp cap I used a Hot wire heater for the first time in my live. But it was very easy to use. So I measured the space i needed for my lamp to fit between them and I drew to lines. These lines needed to lay directly under the hot wires. When the Acrylic was able to bend i pressed it at a 90 degree angle and hold it there when it could off. If you don't hold it long enough the acrylic will deform and ruin your shape.

Step 7: Assembling Lamp Housing

The lamp housing is fairly simple to make, but it takes of lot of drying time, because its all connected with wood glue or superglue. You will need to hold the parts together when they dry, so use some weights, clamps or use your hands to hold the parts together whilst they dry.

The Lamp base is all connected with wood clue and the button and wire holes need to be on opposite ends. Then you can glue the part that connects the base with the bottom part of the housing with wood glue.

The Housing top and bottom are made the same way, but you have to remember the leave one side open. This is so you can run the electrical wire through and readjust some things later on. For the rest you have to keep in mind witch way the pattern is supposed to go, so the housing bottom pattern needs to bee glued to the wood. For the rest you need to connect the wood/wood with wood glue and the parts with Wood/acrylic with super glue. Make sure to sand the acrylic parts first, so that everything holds better. I also taped the inside with aluminium tape, so that the lights reflects and gives you an evenly spread light.

Next you need to find the 2 6 mm parts and 1 3 mm part that make up the lock, which holds the lamp lift when you use the bureau lamp function of the lamp. You need to glue these together and let them dry. When the 2 locks are dried you can glue them to the edges of the round edges. I've made some lines during the laser cutting process, that indicate the parts where the opening could be centered. You have to keep in mind that he locks don't cross the circle, because otherwise the lamp lift wouldn't get out of the lamp housing.

Then you can glue the acrylic strips together, that make up the middle of the lamp. You can glue this part the top part of the lamp housing. You can glue the Lamp base to the bottom part of the housing. You don't glue these parts together, because you need to put the lamp lift in there first.

Step 8: Assembling Lamp Lift

I firstly put together the extendable arm with both 6 mm bolts and nuts. You can use the 40 mm long ones everywhere, put you can see where the 30 mm ones look better. You can see the end result in the 2nd and 3rd pictures. I used the rings between the beginning and end parts, so i could space them apart. I also glued the rings on the inside of the finger-hole, so that it formed a solid tube. Then handles can also be glued together with wood glue.

To connect the wood and acrylic circles to the arm you need to use the hand drill with a 2 mm bit and both of the glues. You first need to drill holes where the arm needs to be connected to the arms and where the spacers need to go. You also need two holes where the handles connect with the acrylic plate. When you have these hole you first put some glue down to hold the parts in place and then you can begin to hit the small nails from the painting hanger set in place.

After you let the whole thing dry you have a solid structure, which you could easily lift from the ground.

Step 9: Lamp Cap

After I bend the acrylic I found out that the lamp cap wouldn't fit in the circle and would prevent the lift from moving. So I used the disc sander to round over the edges and created a half circle. I also wanted to prevent the light from directly hitting my eyes, so I used some scrap wood and an outline and cut them with the scroll saw. Then I sanded the connecting edges and glued them together with super glue.

Step 10: Putting the Lamp Lift in the Housing

I found out that the top part wouldn't fit through the top part of the housing, because due to the laser cutting the fit was to precise. So I got my hand drill with a sanding bit and sanded the inside of the top part of the housing. When it fit I put the two parts of the housing, with the lift inside, Together with super glue. I saw that I made a fault with my calculations, because my lift didn't level with the top part of the lamp housing. So i found some scrap wood that was roughly 20 mm thick, which could level the lift. I took the wood to the belt sander and cut it to 4 sticks and glued them to the Lamp housing.

Step 11: Electrical Wiring

I don't have any experience with electrical wiring, but the instructions on the back of the packaging and some you tube tutorials made it really easy for me to connect everything.

The connection wire with plug already had stripped of ends so I could easily connect it to the foot switch. I used my wire stripper to cut of a way to big part of the flat wire and strip the ends of to connect that to the foot switch. I tried to connect the wires to the lamp socket so I knew how to do it when the lamp needed to be put in place. And as you could see on the photo's, it worked and i gave it a try to see if the light would shine through the acrylic.

I needed to drill two holes for the cable to pas through the plate, that would hold the foot switch in place, before I placed it in. I used the 6 mm bit for it. When that was done, i placed everything in the right position and ran the wires through to were they needed to go. Next I glued some left over rings to the inside of the base to hold the plate in place. I didn't want to glue the plate stuck inside, because if something happens to the foot switch I could easily fix it this way.

Then i put the lift in the two locks and ran the wire through the housing. I forgot to make holes in the base of the lift, so i drilled a hole, with the 6 mm bit, a little bit right of the middle next to the extendable arm. Now I could run the wire through to the arm. When the wire was the right length, I hot glued the wire to the base of the lift, so it wouldn't pull on the rest of the lamp.

Next, I hammered in some Wire clips to hold the wire in place when the arm is extending and folding. When I ran it through hole of my Lamp holder i cut and clipped the wire and connected it to the Socket.

Step 12: Finishing Touches

Now I screwed on the socket and Lamp cap to the holder and my lamp was almost finished. I only needed to glue the wood panels, that I left open in place. I decided to glue the top housing plate in and press the bottom part in, because this way I could still get to the wire and check on it if something didn't work.

And now I had a finished lamp that sits proudly on top of my desk.

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    2 Discussions


    3 years ago

    This is one next level lamp right there. Awesome job!