Vertical Tree Lamp




You will need:

- a tree

- a saw to cut down the tree

- a hammer and chisel

- (optional) a drill and forstner drill bit to speed things up (or router)

- quick setting concrete

- a sacrificial pail

- an under-counter light kit ( I used one from Ikea )

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Step 1: Chop Down the Tree That's Been Annoying the Neighbors

I have some trees on our fence line annoying the neighbors.

I used a dozuki saw, which is fantastic for everything, but use whatever is convenient for you.

Tip: your life will be easier if you take off the branches first, and if possible top the tree.

This tree is about a fist width wide, the exact size doesn't matter.

The height in mine I wanted to be taller than me, and close to the roof.

Step 2: Trim the Bark

This will take a while, so be patient.

The easiest way is to just use a chisel, get under the bark and just start peeling.

The more knots, the cooler it will look, but the harder it will be to peel the bark off.

Step 3: Chisel Out a Pre-check

This serves two purposes:

- it gives you a place to put in the LED under-counter light.

- pre-checking wood will reduce the likelihood that it will check in an unwanted location.

You can use your favorite tool for this, I used a combination of a chisel, and drilling sideways.

It needs to go the entire length of your tree, and should be at least the depth of the light.

Step 4: Drill Out a Nice Clean Line End to End.

If you have a plunge router, you can probably save some time.

Otherwise, a cheap hack is just to secure the tree with clamps to you working area.

Once your tree is secured, use your forstner drill bit, and drill sideways down the length.

It will follow down nice and cleanly if you made a nice clean chisel line in the previous step.

The size of the drill bit can be inexact, all it really needs to be is slightly wider than the LED light strip that you'll be placing in.

Step 5: Put the Post in Bucket, Put in Concrete, Let It Set

Put the post in the bucket, and secure it to your preferred angle. I wanted mine with a slight lean in it.

This bucket will likely be sacrificial, so choose a cheap one.

Get a bag of quick setting cement, follow the instructions on the bag, and put the cement into the bucket with the post just as if you were setting a fence post.

Step 6: After the Concrete Sets, Take Off the Bucket

I just snipped my bucket down vertically and re-purposed it later as a trash can.

Step 7: Add Your Under Counter Lighting in the Drilled Out Check

I used fairly affordable LED strips from Ikea (DIODER) and arranged them in-line, but really most LED under-counter strips will work just fine.

If your line didn't end up straight, consider using an LED rope.

LED Light Strip

That's it, you will now have a nice soft glow lamp.

Perfect for low light for watching movies, or reading books close by.



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    9 Discussions


    3 years ago

    Nice idea but i think the tree will crack badly when it dries out.

    1 reply

    Reply 3 years ago

    It might, yes, and the big vertical check that I put in should reduce the likelihood of big ones occurring, as it would give a place for the core of the tree to dry (checking occurs when the outer part dries quicker than the inner part, pre-checking helps reduce but does not guarantee elimination ).

    Another way to reduce the likelihood would be to seal the outside, but not the inside (but I like natural wood, and don't mind a few cracks if they develop ).


    3 years ago

    Would be great for a cottage or a patio. Thanks for the inspiration!

    1 reply

    Reply 3 years ago

    Your welcome. Yes, I like your idea of putting it on a patio, that would be fun in the evening.

    benderjamesbondggaray ii

    Reply 3 years ago

    Awesome! I wish you luck. It was pretty simple to make, but it did take a while to strip the bark off and chisel. Well worth the time (for me).


    3 years ago

    This is such a simple and clever idea!