Tripod Floor Lamp #1: Introduction

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Blog entry by Ross Leidy posted 01-07-2020 06:03 PM 640 reads 0 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Tripod Floor Lamp series Part 2: Getting started »

I was casting about for ideas for a floor lamp, and I stumbled across this Mid-Century Modern gem. I say “stumbled” because with all the google powers I could muster, I was only able to find two sites that had example photos of the lamp (here and here) so running across even one image in the first place was fortunate.

The tripod lamp is attributed to Alder Design in Boston, MA in the 60’s. I couldn’t find anything about the company, and assume they went out of business long ago.

Here are some photos taken from one of the sites above:

I’m not entirely sure why it stood out to me – I guess the simple lines and the fact that it looked like something I could tackle. But it also had a couple challenging parts to hold my interest:
  • I didn’t want the cord to be visible, so it had to feed down the center of the three legs where they meet at the top. I think the original probably had some internal hardware holding the legs together at the top, with the bungs concealing the end of a machine screw and nut. It wasn’t immediately clear how I could do that, so I would use a triangular piece of wood instead.
  • The spokes that hold the legs apart at the bottom meet the triangular hub at an angle. I’d need to figure out a way to make an angled mortise in each face of the hub.

Sounds like a fun project to me.

3 comments so far

View BlueRidgeDog's profile


906 posts in 1114 days

#1 posted 01-07-2020 06:41 PM

So how much of the curve is cut, versus bent do you think? Nice lines and my money is on bent.

View Ross Leidy's profile

Ross Leidy

311 posts in 3277 days

#2 posted 01-07-2020 06:59 PM

I’m pretty sure it was just bent. I wasn’t going to mess with steam-bending. I relied on the spokes at the bottom being able to hold the bent the legs under tension. Time will tell if that was the right decision.

View mafe's profile


13682 posts in 4424 days

#3 posted 01-12-2020 01:26 PM

Nice challange, bow building with a light. ;-)
A lamp of it’s time, I can see it for me in a sixties home, cool.
Best thoughts,

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect.

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