Pump Lamp

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Project by Dave Rutan posted 09-02-2014 04:51 PM 3650 views 5 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

[Legebla ankaĆ­ en Esperanto]

This is another one of my old projects. I made it a few years ago, but never photographed it. This was probably before I got on LJ.

I’m pretty sure I first heard about a ‘pump lamp’ from my brother in law. He made one in high school and it got lost somewhere along the way. I had him describe it to me and I borrowed an example from a friend to double check sizes and proportions. Then I set out to recreate the lamp.

I used what I had around the shop, which means pine. It’s actually a kind of cool little project because you get to do a little of everything aside from lathe work. ( I suppose you could turn the spout. I used a dowel.) Cutting, driling for the cord, mortising for the handle, jig saw for the handle, etc.

The upright of the lamp is just a 2×2. The trough is resawn wood and the spout, as mentioned above is just a dowel. I gave it to my brother in law when it was finished and he supplied the shade.

I’m surprised there aren’t more of these sort of projects around. It was likely a popular item in it’s day and yet there are no drawings for them around and not so many available through Google. Have you made one of these? Where is it now?

-- Ni faru ion el ligno!

8 comments so far

View Oldtool's profile


2954 posts in 2959 days

#1 posted 09-02-2014 05:01 PM

That’s pretty slick. Like the pump handle switch.

-- "I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The point is to bring them the real facts." - Abraham Lincoln

View Dave Rutan's profile

Dave Rutan

1942 posts in 2956 days

#2 posted 09-02-2014 05:02 PM

I’m still surprised there aren’t more of these around.

-- Ni faru ion el ligno!

View johnstoneb's profile


3144 posts in 2941 days

#3 posted 09-02-2014 05:19 PM

I made one similar to that many years ago. Don’t have a clue where it is now. I like the way you tied the switch to the pump handle. I think the one I made was supposed to be a planter. The trough was really to small for anything to grow in.

-- Bruce, Boise, ID

View CFrye's profile


11003 posts in 2608 days

#4 posted 09-03-2014 10:36 AM

Nice little conversation piece lamp!

-- God bless, Candy

View mtenterprises's profile


933 posts in 3461 days

#5 posted 09-03-2014 11:02 AM

My dad made one of these for me when I was little it had a Davey Crocket lamp shade.


-- See pictures on Flickr -[email protected]/ And visit my Facebook page -

View Rockbuster's profile


499 posts in 3376 days

#6 posted 09-04-2014 12:33 PM

WOW! This sure brings back memories,, This was a second project in 7th grade shop class many years ago. Shop teacher was a stern old guy, he made us use white oak for the body, he also gave every one of us a dull 1/4” chisel that we had to learn how to sharpen before we could properly cut the mortise for the handle. Believe it or not, we still talk on the phone and email each other to this day. Nice lamp, thanks for sharing.

-- Rockbuster,Ft. Wayne,In It is far better to remain silent, and appear the fool, than it is to open ones mouth, and remove all doubt.

View Dave Rutan's profile

Dave Rutan

1942 posts in 2956 days

#7 posted 09-04-2014 01:07 PM

I’m glad this project is bringing out some good memories. I felt bad that I hadn’t photographed it before giving it away. I know I enjoyed making it.

-- Ni faru ion el ligno!

View Jeffery Mullen's profile

Jeffery Mullen

355 posts in 3586 days

#8 posted 09-09-2014 04:53 PM

This would be a nice project to make with a water pump and water running through it out of the faucet and back in to the box . I would use a candle in the lamp shade as electricity and water don’t mix very well. very nice work.

-- Jeffery Mullen

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