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Tripod Floor Lamp

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Blog series by Ross Leidy updated 01-19-2020 07:53 PM 9 parts 4638 reads 29 comments total

Part 1: Introduction

01-07-2020 06:03 PM by Ross Leidy | 3 comments »

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 bus...

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Part 2: Getting started

01-07-2020 07:38 PM by Ross Leidy | 3 comments »

The two auction sites referenced in the last entry did not agree on the overall dimensions so I’m eye-balling it. I had some anigre planks lying around that I decided to use for this project. I cut three overly-long strips, drum sanded smooth and ended up with a cross section of 1” x 0.44”. I think the original may have been slightly larger in both directions. I aimed for the legs to describe a circumference of about 14”. To start figuring out the proportions, I...

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Part 3: Preparing the triangular core for the neck

01-07-2020 11:05 PM by Ross Leidy | 1 comment »

I tried 3 different options for making the triangular filler for the neck of the lamp: Cutting some 4” pieces on the tablesaw and then drilling-out the center on the drill press. This would have been my first choice if I could have cut them uniformly. I had a kick-back accident and abandoned this method for the time being. Still have 10 fingers, though. CNC cut triangles of some cherry I had that was an appropriate thickness. I got too much tear-out. CNC cut triangles of bir...

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Part 4: Leg mortises

01-08-2020 12:08 AM by Ross Leidy | 2 comments »

There’s not a lot to show here except for a little clamping block that I made for the mortising jig. Since it would be difficult to directly clamp the thin edge of the legs against the jig, I made this block that provided a shelf for the leg to sit on and a lip to press it tightly against the mortising jig. The shelf width is just shy of the width of the leg. The bottom of the block has a piece of veneer to shim it out to the same width of leg, keeping the shelf level when clamped. ...

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Part 5: Triangular hub angled mortises

01-08-2020 12:36 AM by Ross Leidy | 1 comment »

The cherry triangular hub is 3” long and 2” wide on each face. I needed a way to place an angled mortise in the same location on each face. I started with a little cradle that would hold the hub securely. I could then clamp the cradle to the mortising jig. There’s enough room on the back side for a 15-deg template to ride along the top edge of the cradle to set the mortise angle, which is clamped in place once I got it positioned properly. Not shown here,...

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Part 6: Hub and spokes

01-08-2020 01:03 AM by Ross Leidy | 3 comments »

The spokes are essentially just long floating tenons, 1” x 3/8”. The mortises in the hub slightly overlap, so the ends of the tenons have to be tweaked a little to get maximum depth for each one. I marked the border of the excess of each tenon through the adjacent mortise holes and then used the disc sander to remove the excess. Now the tenons all meet snuggly at the center: After more sanding, I glued in the spokes and set the assembly aside to let the glu...

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Part 7: Final assembly and finishing

01-08-2020 01:18 AM by Ross Leidy | 7 comments »

With nothing left to sand, final assembly was simply putting some glue into the leg mortises and popping in the hub and spokes. The tension of the bent legs provided enough clamping pressure. I left the wedging rings in place an extra day just in case. I used Odie’s Oil on the Z Chair project and really liked it, so I used it again for this lamp. Next up is wiring, which will happen tomorrow after the lamp kit arrives.

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Part 8: Test lighting

01-10-2020 01:42 PM by Ross Leidy | 5 comments »

It turns out I had ordered a lamp kit with the wrong harp size, so I frankensteined some salvaged lamp cord and borrowed parts from another lamp to try out the new floor lamp. The new shade is also going back for something slightly taller, slightly wider. But, it did let me get an idea of the finished product. I figured I would need to cut down the neck of the lamp a bit to get the right proportions, and this test light-up confirmed that. I used a small zip-tie on the near leg to keep t...

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Part 9: Final tweaks and done

01-19-2020 07:53 PM by Ross Leidy | 4 comments »

My niece lives with us, and I promised her the prototype lamp for her room. To make it a bit of a surprise, I opted for a shade I knew she’d like. It’s not a traditional mid-century shade, but it fits her rooms color scheme. The overall lamp proportions with the shade looked a little off, and I cut off 3” of the top. The 2” piece of threaded lamp rod was a minimally snug in the center hole, and to firm it up I wicked-in a little bit of CA glue. Finished....

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