Japanese style lamp #2: Style # 2 - Persimmion Box

  • Advertise with us
Blog entry by SPHinTampa posted 06-09-2013 04:09 PM 3511 reads 2 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: Getting Started Part 2 of Japanese style lamp series no next part

I really enjoyed my first Japanese style lamp so I thought I would try another:

It is a box style lamp called the Persimmon. I didnt really like the approach to joinery (all butt joints) for this lamp so I made a few alterations to include rabbeted edges. I also used a handle from another project because I liked the style more.

Here is the general idea:

Here are the general steps for this session:

1. Made the base from mahogany using miter joints
2. Made handle from mahogany using dowels joinery
3. Made sides from maple plywood using router circle jig and scroll saw
4. Made top and bottom from maple plywood, again using router circle jig
5. Finished using shellac on handles and oil on lamp

Step 1 – Getting started with the base

Here is the end product of creating the handle and base

First I laid out my supplies, book and cut list. 6mm rice paper is $15 a roll on amazon. One roll will handle entire book.

In the book, the base is a solid block. Since I only had thin scraps laying around, I decided to go for a mitered square instead.

Cut to length on bench hook

Then used quarter round blade to round over edges

Then cut miters using same bench hook

I used a band clamp to glue up base (not show)

Then I used the tables saw and miter gauge to nibble out notches for the handles

Finally I used the drum sander to flatten the base so there would be no wobble

Step 2 – Making the handle

With the base finished, I then made the handles.

Started by resawing the handle stock to 1/4” thick

Cleaned up using smoothing plane

Cut handle stock on RAS

Glued on handle image from book. I scanned image from book then used adobe photoshop to resize image to exact size.

Rough cut handle on bandsaw

Used Oscillating Drum sander to clean up to lines

I then chucked up a 1/8” round over bit and used it to ease the edges on all handle. I left the last 2” of the handle sides alone so they would fit cleanly into the notches in the base.

I put the handle in place and then used a 1/4” brad point bit to drill the dowel holes.

I glued up the handles and finished the assembly with shellac

Step 3. I then turned to making the sides of the lamp. The original design uses butt joinery. I did not like that approach, so I altered the design. I rabbeted two sides to fit together and in stead of gluing side to base, I rabbeted a bottom into the lamp and screwed the lamp body to the base.

Cut four plywood sides on tables saw. Note that due to joinery, it is not four squares. I created 1/8” rabbets along one side, so 2 pieces will be 1/4” narrower than the others. In addition, they are not the same height – the design of the lamp is such that the right and left side are taller than the front and back.

I then put a straight bit into router table, set height to 1/8” and exposed 1/4” of the cutter. I cut a rabbet along the bottom of all four pieces and side rabbets on left and right pieces.

I then laid out circles. Due to the mismatches sizes, you do not put circles in center but instead you measure the height from the bottom (3 5/8”) and make circles and patterns at same offset from base.

Using a circle cutting jig, I cut out circles in left and right side. Note I did not cut all the way thru to avoid damaging pieces when it came free. I used a fret saw to cut last 1/2”

Place patterns on sides using offset measurement using Elmers spray adhesive. Scanned image from book then used adobe photoshop to resize image to exact size.

Drill starter holes

Cut on scroll saw

Use 100 grit sand paper to clean up cuts. I used a scraper to remove the adhesive, sanded with 180 grit paper. Then I oiled the front faces and let dry

Use white glue to attach rice paper squares. Once dry, mist paper with water and let dry again … will be tight as a drum.

Clamp the assembly, checking for square.

Step 4 – Top and Bottom of lamp body

I get my measurements from the glued up lamp body and cut on TS. Note, I cut the base a 1/2” narrow to accommodate the handles.

I use the router circle jig to cut the semi circles in the top

Then run the bit along the fence to finish the cut.

I cut 1/4” ledges for the top to sit on. I use scrap plywood to position the lid supports and then crazy glue them to the sides.

I glue a scrap of mahogany to center of base to hold the lamp (use prewired candelabra kit from home depot) and drill out 1” hole using Forstner bit.

Insert lamp

Base is meant to sit in rabbet at bottom of body but don’t glue yet.

Run handle thru body and glue base into rabbet. I then used 2 brass screws to attach lamp body to handle base.

Step 5 – Finish

I then waxed and buffed the entire assembly

Plugged it in and enjoy the magic

-- Shawn, I ask in order to learn

4 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile


117915 posts in 4188 days

#1 posted 06-09-2013 04:14 PM

Super blog very nice work.


View GrandpaLen's profile


1652 posts in 2883 days

#2 posted 06-09-2013 04:30 PM

Great looking Lamp and a very thorough Blog/Build.

It appears that you invited every tool in your shop to the party except your lathe and screw drivers. :-)

It’s great to have the right tools for the job at hand.

Very nicely executed.

Work Safely and have Fun. – Grandpa Len

-- Mother Nature should be proud of what you've done with her tree. - Len ...just north of a stone's throw from the oHIo, river that is, in So. Indiana.

View waho6o9's profile


8812 posts in 3187 days

#3 posted 06-09-2013 04:38 PM

Thanks for the pictorial!

Mighty fine work SPHinTampa.

View Roger's profile


21030 posts in 3415 days

#4 posted 06-09-2013 06:13 PM

Yes, very nice project and how-to as well.

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed. [email protected]

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics