Intro: The Collapsible Tripod Lamp (DIY 1$ Akari Lamp)
This DIY lamp project allows you to create your very own collapsible Tripod Lamp. The tutorial will go over the materials needed and take you through the step by step process of creating the lamp.
This lamp was inspired by the style of Isamu Noguchi's Akari table lamps. I wanted to create something that takes the form of his original light sculptures that uses minimal, obtainable materials and is easy to make (the reproductions of his pieces are very expensive!). I also wanted to make something that can be easily disassembled and stored in a modular fashion.
Step 1: Gather Materials
For this lamp, the main materials I used included:
- A candle box with a lid (Any cylinder shaped cardboard box that is around 6.5 inches in diameter is usable, you can even make one out of a few scrap sheets of cardboard)
- Three 8" inch balsa wood sticks
- One 6" slab of scrap plexiglass
- Three 1.5 inch slabs of plexiglass
- Reflective foil
- LED light bulb
- Lightbulb socket with wire and plug
- White acrylic paint
- Super glue
I build this lamp in a full woodshop with drill presses, band saws, and sanders
Step 2: Shape Lamp Frame and Drill a Hole for Light Socket
I rounded the edges of my 6 inch slab of plexiglass with a sander so that it would fit in the rounded interior of the cylinder box.
With a drill press and 1 inch bit I drilled a hole for my lamp socket in my 6 inch slab of plexiglass. I then screwed it's top to tightly secure the socket in its place in the frame.
Step 3: Cut Drill and Glue Lamp Frame Leg Holders
I used a jigsaw to cut a 110 degree angle in my two of my three 1.5 inch slabs of plexiglass, then sanded the edges and used a 1 cm diameter drill bit to create a hole at the end.
Then I superglued (with Zip Zap brand glue) all three to the frame with the angled two at the side of the turn switch and the third in the center of the other side of the frame.
Step 4: Assemble Lamp Frame Legs and Leg Suspenders
I used a drill press to drill 2 millimeter holes in the end of each of my balsawood sticks. I cut three 1.5" pieces of the Armature wire and bent them into a c shape and also clut three 3" pieces that I tightly wrapped around the circumference of the balsa wood sticks.
Step 5: Test the Legs
Insert and lock your balsa wood legs and adjust them accordingly in order to balance your bulb flat.
Step 6: Cut and Sand Shade Windows
Cut out two 4"x2" slabs of thin plexiglass and sand them with a piece of semi soft sandpaper.
Step 7: Make Lamp Frame Rim and Cut Ceiling Reflective Foil
I used a think strip of scrap cardboard the circumference of my Shade to make a rim that will hold my lamp frame. Then I cut a circle of my reflective foil that was a bit larger than to the circumference of my shade so that its edges would cave when I inserted it.
Step 8: Cut Out Window Frames
I cut two 4"x5" window frames out of opposite sides of my lamp.
Step 9: Paint Lamp Shade
I used White Acrylic Paint to give a nice matte to the interior and exterior of my Shade.
Step 10: Cut Slits for the Shade Windows
I used box cutter to cut inch deep slits in my window frame that I inserted the windows into on either side.
Step 11: Place the Shade Over the Light Frame
And there it is! The Collapsible Tripod Lamp made completely out of trash and parts salvaged from a woodshop trash bin.
Step 12: Collapse
Disassemble the lamp and reconfigure the pieces within the shade box so that the cap can fit on nicely.