Saving 2 family heirloom wood lamps

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Project by DaleMaley posted 12-23-2016 05:54 PM 992 views 1 time favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I built my first lamp shade from stained glass. It turned out very nice, and I took it to my in-law’s house so they could see it.

Once my sister-in-law sees my 1st lamp….......she says….......”ohhhhh, I have an old wood lamp made by great Uncle Lytle, that is missing a lamp shade… can you make a stained glass shade for it?”

I’m thinking… problem…....I just put my new shade on her old lamp…....then build myself a new shade.

But… know how these stories go… old lamp turns into 2 old lamps…......and by the way….all the old electrical is either worn out or missing.

So, first I had to replace the electrical parts on 2 lamps, using an online lamp supply house. Then make 2 more new stained glass lamp shades. Of course, I had to get more stained glass, because I did not buy enough to make a total of 3 lamp shades!!

The finish on one of the two old lamps was pretty dull. I chucked it back up in my lathe, and polished it using my pen making polish and then wax. Now both lamps are shiny again.

I used the tepee method of making the 6 sided lamp shades. You lay your 6 stained glass panels flat, then run 2 rows of black electrician’s tape around them. You grab all 6 panels in the center, and gradually lift them like a tepee…into their final shape….....then again use the black electrician’s tape to secure the 2 end panels together. This method works pretty slick.

You can see my wood lamp restoration and how I made the stained glass lamp shades on my woodworking web site.

The man that turned the wood lamps died about 1950. The wood likely came from an old barn that may have been built in the 1850’s. So the old wooden lamps are completely refurbished, and can work for another 100 years :)

My sister-in-law will receive the 2 refurbished lamps for her Christmas present in two days from now:)


-- Dale, Illinois,

3 comments so far

View ralbuck's profile


6724 posts in 3327 days

#1 posted 12-23-2016 06:00 PM

A. Dale—no good deed goes un-punished!

B. Fantastic job

C. Now you are going to end up having to make a bunch more; when people see these!

-- Wood rescue is good for the environment and me! just rjR

View DaleMaley's profile


575 posts in 3296 days

#2 posted 12-23-2016 06:04 PM

A. Dale—no good deed goes un-punished!

B. Fantastic job

C. Now you are going to end up having to make a bunch more; when people see these!

- ralbuck


I didn’t keep track of the man-hours required to make the stained glass shade. If I had to guess, maybe 6 hours each. And yes, I may have to make some more of these.

-- Dale, Illinois,

View smitty22's profile


714 posts in 4007 days

#3 posted 12-24-2016 12:57 AM

Wonderful! I really enjoyed seeing the lamps and shades…

I too a ‘Dale from Illinois’, ex-Decatur, left in 1967.

-- Smitty

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