Let's Make a...Wood Block Lamp!

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Boy, am I getting crafty in my old age.

I waltzed past the leftover stump of 4x4 from our headboard project the other day, gave it a glance when it whispered, "hey!  Psst!  You there!  Cut a block off me and make it into a lamp!"

Seriously, I had not inhaled any wacky fumes that day either.  Can you believe it?  Oh.  Wait.  Actually I did.  Never mind.


Clever idea though, making a lamp out of a block cut off.  Great way to use leftovers from other projects, eh?  Note too, this also gave me an excuse to use my beloved newly-ish-set-up toy, the miter saw.  Mmm hm, you're seeing how this works now, yeah?

Over to my fave Menards I went.  Selling stuff on Craigslist that day only served to feed my problematic Menards habit.  Anywhooo.....

Here's what I bought:

Yeowzas, yeah, that's all I needed and now I have a spiffy lil' lamp!  Granted, for what I paid for the parts, I maybe coulda bought a ready-made lamp but then I would not have had the satisfaction of executing this creative plan.

Total cost:  $16.50 sans tax

So a slightly pricier project than I normally present to you, heh.  But bright nonetheless.  (Ah ha, I said bright!  Lamp!  Ha ha!)

I started by unpacking the parts and doing a rough dry fit to see how tall the assembled lamp parts would end up being, which is how I decided the size of the block.  I had a 2" block sitting on the workbench which also helped gauge, so I went for 2.5".

Lovin' me some laser line there, uh huh, yeah. Boy, I am not a normal girl, am I?
Turns out there were far too many extra parts in that lamp kit than I needed so I'll be searching for a more streamlined set o' parts.

So ok.  Cut the block, measure the diameter of the brass piece, find corresponding drill bit size, and it's 3/8".

I marked center on the block which was tricky as this piece of remaining 4x4 turned out to be mildly skewed unfortunately.  I probably bought this one when that cold was setting in, therefore I didn't check for square.  Dang it.  Ah well.  Personality!

Right, so I drill the hole in the top a decent way in.  Because....I thought it'd be cool to shoot the lamp cord out the side.  So next I grabbed a slightly larger than 1/4" drill bit, drilled from the side until I met up with the first hole.

Cool!  I get so proud of myself when a plan in my head works as it's not too terribly often that it does!

I sanded smooth the cut face and used that way stinky but highly effective wood conditioner* on it then off I went to work on the dresser.  (Which is now finished by the way....photos forthcoming!  It is awesome.  So thrilled!)

Pried the sticky lid off the Watco Black Walnut oil*, gave the wood a swipe plus touched up any other areas in need around the block.

Next I threaded the lamp cord into the smaller hole and with a pair of thin needle nose pliers, grabbed it from the top larger hole.  Be sure to twist the ends together.  You gotta kinda pull and push at the same time but it'll go.

And then yay!  Almost there.

Yank apart the socket, thread the lamp cord through the brass tube, then through the bottom half-round socket part and tie a knot.  The knot keeps the cord from getting pulled out and burning your house down.

Happy accident?  The bottom of the socket actually screwed onto that brass piece easy peasy as pie -- the threading matched!  Holy cow, did not expect that at all.  Suh-wheet!

All you gotta do now is wire the cord to the socket, squish all the parts back together and bam!


Tighten the fancy pants, normally not my thing vintage-y retro bulb in there, find a spot in the house and bingo!  Cutie little lamp!

Aww, isn't she sweet?  Came out just as I had envisioned it too.  Mike thinks she needs a creative little of shade but I dunno, I kinda think it's cool on its own.

My precious widdle lamp!  Heh.  All that in under an hour even!  Nice.  I may or may not add some felt on the bottom and may or may not wrap the cord in twine similar to what I did on our re-socketed-for-non-Ikea-shades Ikea floor lamp.

Either way, it's a cutie, yeah?

Don't want to make it?  Rather buy it?  Get it now at my Etsy shop!  How cool is that?!

*The Watco Danish Oil and Varathane wood conditioner links are Amazon affiliate links.  Mwah, thanks!

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