Arts and Crafts lamp with inlay stem.

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Project by splintergroup posted 12-06-2018 09:15 PM 3548 views 33 times favorited 40 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I wanted to do something different for the stems of these table lamps and some kind of blending of woods kept coming to mind.

I did a recent blog that covered the shade construction in grueling detail so no need to mention any of that 8^)

The lamp sits about 22” tall, the shade is about 18” square at its base. Wood is walnut with a zebra wood inlay. Top cap and stem banding is jatoba. Mica shade panels (“light amber”, 0.030” thick).

Finish is Watco oil (natural), pre-cat lacquer, and paste wax.

The stem

I like the tapered look so I went with that here.
My idea was to make a tapered core (poplar), then add a layer of the zebra wood veneer, finally topping with some walnut that has a portal cut into the center.

Simple to think about, kinda a pain to execute!

I started by making a core with a 1/2” square hole (joined two pieces together) 1-3/4” square by about 18” long

This was tapered from 1-5/8” to 1-1/4” on the table saw with a jig. I then made a bunch of side skins out of walnut (1/4” thick) and used a template to route out the portal.

Fast forward and I now have these skins glued over the veneered and tapered core, edges cleaned up, and slots routed for the shade support corbels.

I wanted a face grain look on all four sides so I routed (later) some 1/4” deep chamfers all edges.

Shade supports

The corbels were also shaped with a router template to get the curves and proper angle (about 2 degrees) with the stem correct.

The router also added the proper chamfers

The base

Again, to attempt to keep the grain orientation the same on all four sides, I made the top plate for the base by making a mitered “box”

For strength and again to keep the grain bias to minimum, I added a bottom plate with the grain running at 45 degrees.

I used a simple jig to help position the foot pads. Each pad is held in the corner with a small piece of DS tape.

glue was added and the base was set on top with some 1/4” key stock spacers used to center everything and give the 1/4” overhang I wanted.

Good pressure for a good glue joint 8^)

The corbels were glued into place and a top cap (jatoba) helps keep things secure. The screws will be hidden by the electrics.

Many plans for these lamps call for the shade to just rest on the corbels, no physical retention used. Having a house with vile critters called “cats”, I always find a way to retain things securely 8^)
In this case, I wanted to extend the threaded tube on up past the shade top.

In order to get the wires to pass through to the sockets a small cast iron “hickey” was used (yes, that is what it is called =8^O )

Here is a photo of the shade retainer block in position.

You can see how I covered the exposed threaded tube with a 3/8” copper pipe sleeve. The light bulbs are vintage looking LEDs.

Comments welcome, thanks for looking in!

40 comments so far

View recycle1943's profile


7004 posts in 3079 days

#1 posted 12-06-2018 09:30 PM

That is sooooo nice I out of words, only thing left is a great appreciation for such artistic talent !

-- Dick, Malvern Ohio - my biggest fear is that when I die, my wife sells my toys for what I told her I paid for them

View sras's profile


6697 posts in 4586 days

#2 posted 12-06-2018 09:39 PM

These look fantastic! I really enjoyed the blog as well.

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

View splintergroup's profile


6944 posts in 2679 days

#3 posted 12-06-2018 10:02 PM

Thanks Steve, I really appreciate the comment 8^)

Dick, I’ve been thinking about adding some of your resin ideas here, everything can use a splash of color. Thanks for the support.

View AandCstyle's profile


3306 posts in 3714 days

#4 posted 12-06-2018 10:04 PM

Splint, you have outdone yourself again! Excellent in all regards.

-- Art

View splintergroup's profile


6944 posts in 2679 days

#5 posted 12-06-2018 10:08 PM

Thanks Art! I just can’t get the story you told about your flying lampshade out of my head. Perhaps I should rephrase my comment about cats to add “lore from the A&C master” 8^)

View pottz's profile (online now)


25770 posts in 2441 days

#6 posted 12-06-2018 10:21 PM

awesome job splint the lamp and all the pic’s are outstanding id say anyone wanting to make one youve given them all they need,nice job.

-- working with my hands is a joy,it gives me a sense of fulfillment,somthing so many seek and so few find.-SAM MALOOF.

View splintergroup's profile


6944 posts in 2679 days

#7 posted 12-06-2018 10:31 PM

Thanks Pottz!

View Jerry's profile


3577 posts in 3105 days

#8 posted 12-06-2018 11:58 PM

Just perfect and beautiful and absolutely stunning with amazing craftsmanship! Thanks again for the blog!!!

-- There are good ships and there are wood ships, the ships that sail the sea, but the best ships are friendships and may they always be.

View JimYoung's profile


450 posts in 3044 days

#9 posted 12-07-2018 01:21 AM

The fit and finish is outstanding. Thanks for sharing the shade construction blog.

-- -Jim, "Nothing says poor craftsmanship more than wrinkles in your duck tape"

View a1Jim's profile


118322 posts in 5034 days

#10 posted 12-07-2018 01:25 AM

Super work and a wonderful blow by blow photo work up. Thanks


View swirt's profile


7669 posts in 4428 days

#11 posted 12-07-2018 02:24 AM

Wow. Soooooo many nice details on that lamp. I also appreciate all the great explanations.

-- Galootish log blog,

View BB1's profile


3195 posts in 2305 days

#12 posted 12-07-2018 02:36 AM

The planning and details are…well, wow! Thanks for sharing all the steps and pictures.

View EarlS's profile


5510 posts in 3805 days

#13 posted 12-07-2018 02:52 AM

WOW – they look great!!! My wife wants me to make one ASAP. You have my vote for editor’s choice!!

The blog is so well detailed that anyone should be able to follow it. Thanks for sharing your build and more importantly, taking the time to provide so many detailed instructions.

-- Earl "I'm a pessamist - generally that increases the chance that things will turn out better than expected"

View stefang's profile


17040 posts in 4791 days

#14 posted 12-07-2018 11:17 AM

Wonderful craftsmanship and a great looking lamp. I also enjoyed your blog on the shades.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

10272 posts in 2039 days

#15 posted 12-07-2018 11:59 AM

Great looking lamp. The only thing I would change is the shade retaining finial, which I would find something just a little bigger – the proportion looks a little off. Very minor niggle on a great project.

-- Dave - Santa Fe

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