"Parasitic" floor lamp

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Blog series by Ross Leidy updated 09-27-2021 01:05 PM 14 parts 7724 reads 55 comments total

Part 1: Intro

08-22-2021 06:29 PM by Ross Leidy | 3 comments »

The movie “Parasite” was full of eye candy for those that gravitate towards a modern, minimalist style. One piece of set dressing that caught my eye was the tripod floor lamp that was in the living room of the Park house. The light it gave-off was more atmospheric than illuminating, and I couldn’t quite make out how the light box was constructed to shape the light like it did. It took some googling to track down more photos of the lamp designed and built by the Kore...

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Part 2: Center turret

08-23-2021 12:50 PM by Ross Leidy | 3 comments »

I’m assuming that the circular turret on the original lamp allows the light box to be rotated. In the original, the turret and arms were made of brass. And since I’m not a metalworker (yet, anyway), I’m making this component from wood. For the prototype, I’ll be using wood that I have on-hand. Given the dimensions needed and my stock, that leaves me with just cherry for the turret, turret arms, and legs. If the initial build goes well, I may shop for some more i...

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Part 3: Turret arms

08-23-2021 07:41 PM by Ross Leidy | 0 comments »

I cut the turret arms on the CNC as well, although these could have easily been done on the tablesaw too. Once I’ve drilled the fastener holes for the articulated legs, the arms will be glued together and to the bottom of the turret. Shaping the legs is next.

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Part 4: Leg shaping

08-24-2021 03:57 PM by Ross Leidy | 4 comments »

I would do some things differently if I were starting this step over. I started by creating a template for the curved leg profile. Mistake 1: I second-guessed myself on the shape/width of the leg profile. I drew the lines manually with a flexible batten just based on a few measurements from the Sketchup model. The result looked too narrow, so I widened it a bit. However, once I had the first leg cut out from the template, the proportions were wrong, so I had to re-work the template an...

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Part 5: Hinge joint

08-28-2021 05:37 PM by Ross Leidy | 4 comments »

I’m using furniture connector bolts to fasten the spline to the leg, and another for the pivot for the joint. I would have liked to have found an alternative that had a smaller diameter head that was still shallow, but I wasn’t able to locate any other options. I think these will be fine for this build, though. I then proceeded to drill the counterbore on all the pieces to recess the head and then the 5/16” shank holes. Next up was the spline that would b...

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Part 6: Turret/Arm assembly

08-29-2021 08:04 PM by Ross Leidy | 8 comments »

I glued the arms together with some CA glue. The all end-grain joint wasn’t going to be very strong regardless of glue choice. I just needed it to hold together until I could drill a center hole. Then I applied some wood glue to the arms where they met the bottom of the turret, keeping the glue about 1/4” from the edges to avoid any squeeze-out. I temporarily inserted a bolt through both pieces to align them while gluing. I used a hole saw to cut a disc of UHMW plasti...

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Part 7: Turret revisited

09-05-2021 03:51 PM by Ross Leidy | 11 comments »

After moving the temporarily-assembled lamp to where it might finally reside, I could get a better view of its proportions and see if any adjustments were needed before proceeding. With a taped-together light box sitting on top, my wife and I gave it the critical eye. This was a useful exercise, because she noted that the turret height looked a little short with the light box in-place. I reluctantly had to agree. So, I built a new turret cap. In order to get the additional cap thicknes...

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Part 8: Light box and louver shaping

09-08-2021 05:36 PM by Ross Leidy | 2 comments »

For the main box and louvers, I again used some wood that I had on-hand – some Alaskan yellow cedar – selected because it was wide enough so I wouldn’t need to do a glue-up and it was relatively lightweight. It’s not very striking grain-wise, but I figured this lamp is all about form, so I’m okay with the plain look. AYC is on the soft side, but I figure the lamp isn’t going to get much abuse, so I went with it. I started by resawing and thickness sand...

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Part 9: Louvers - threaded inserts

09-08-2021 07:28 PM by Ross Leidy | 3 comments »

The bolts through the box that provide the pivot point for the louvers don’t need to be very beefy, so I chose some small M4 shoulder bolts. My original plan was to use these threaded nut inserts in the louvers: But, since they were so small and they were going into end grain of a soft wood, they really didn’t grip very well at all when inserted. Here’s what I was left with in a scrap of AYC after trying to seat an insert: So my workaround is to inset a disk of hardw...

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Part 10: Louver pivots

09-10-2021 01:51 AM by Ross Leidy | 2 comments »

Rather than drive a whole mile to the hardware store for some washers, I made use of the cocobolo instead. This let me get exactly 1/16” thick, match the 5/8” diameter of the threaded insert plugs, and make the center holes just slightly larger than the shoulder on the bolts. Confirming the louver height plus 2 washers matches the height of the side pieces. I had intended to drill the pilot and counterbore for the bolts on the drill press, but I didn’t have the right ...

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Part 11: Box glue-up

09-13-2021 12:56 AM by Ross Leidy | 0 comments »

There’s not much to show here except that I decided to use some connector bolts to hold the box to the top of the turret. So, before sanding all the pieces prior to glue-up, I drilled three holes in the bottom box piece and tapped 3 matching holes in the top of the turret. The holes are offset towards the rear of the turret, and they won’t be visible from the front of the lamp once I have the translucent white acrylic sheet (diffuser) mounted inside the box. The mini domi...

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Part 12: Lighting

09-13-2021 01:53 AM by Ross Leidy | 2 comments »

My plan from the beginning was to use LED strip lights that I had left over from my office lighting project. The 4000K LED’s are “natural white”, but may end up too cool for this particular application. But, since I had them, I decided to give them a try. I bought a transformer that was dimmable with an inexpensive 0-10v rotary dimmer, which will be mounted on the back panel along with an on/off switch. Here are the pieces hooked-up temporarily so I could see how the d...

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Part 13: Almost there

09-19-2021 03:52 PM by Ross Leidy | 7 comments »

I’m down to the final bits of construction now. I’ll be down to just sanding and finishing in no time. To finish up the light box, I added some baltic birch ply mounting tabs to hold some captive lock nuts. These will hold the acrylic panel and the rear panel in place. The nuts were a snug fit – I had to tap them down into place. I made a little template to help locate the tabs equidistant from each side. I placed the mounting tabs so that they would b...

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Part 14: The finale

09-27-2021 01:05 PM by Ross Leidy | 6 comments »

I was able to finish the lamp over the weekend – about 1-1/2 months after starting. Here are a few final bits, finishing, and assembly. I punched a couple of leather discs from an old belt to use on the tips of the legs. I glued these on with contact cement prior to finishing. I added some ventilation to the back panel, which should also provide a bit of back-lighting on the wall behind the lamp. I played around with different ideas for the pattern, but eventually landed on...

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