Turned lamp base with wood and paper shade

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Project by mnguy posted 04-15-2019 06:48 PM 1353 views 1 time favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch

For my entry in the Northern Woods show this year, I wanted to build on my segmented turning experience while branching out and taking on some new design and construction challenges. I also wanted to make an item that was completely useful vs. largely decorative. One of my sisters has been asking for a pair of lamps, so I started thinking about making a lamp base and a shade.

I didn’t fully design the shade before beginning; I wanted a truncated cone of a defined size, with visible framework. The top and bottom hoops are 1/16” cherry strips, laminated around a MDF form. I then cut the vertical ribs to fit epoxied them in place. Next, the arms were machined with band saw, router table + template and oscillating belt sander. They are expoxied to the ribs, but are just a tight fit on the central washer; no adhesive. The result is quite stiff and strong. Finish is two coats of blond shellac and a coat of wax.

Around the time I assembled the hoops to the ribs, I realized I had no idea how I was going to add panels for light diffusion. I ended up getting some thin styrene with PSA on one side to back the hand-laid Thai paper I chose. The styrene folds pretty cleanly, and I was able to get tight corners and tabs to glue to the ribs. The faces of the panels are glued directly to the hoops. I then added 1/32” thick cherry on the backs of the hoops to trim out and finish off the edges. I just trimmed the styrene flush with the ribs.

The base is a straight-forward segmented form in cherry. I didn’t even need to hollow it :). The finial is also turned from cherry.

Overall, I am very happy with the result.

6 comments so far

View woodcox's profile


2386 posts in 3509 days

#1 posted 04-15-2019 10:21 PM

Very nice work, Sir. It’s shade looks pretty intricate with the framework and I really like the paper.

-- "My god has more wood than your god" ... G. Carlin.

View recycle1943's profile


7086 posts in 3119 days

#2 posted 04-15-2019 11:30 PM

I am totally impressed – a segmented base and custom shade

Bravo ! !

-- 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 swirt's profile


7795 posts in 4469 days

#3 posted 04-16-2019 01:48 PM

Thanks for sharing the details on the shade. I like your solution and the results look great.

-- Galootish log blog,

View Woodknack's profile


13594 posts in 3877 days

#4 posted 04-17-2019 03:05 AM

Great lamp, love the shade.

-- Rick M,

View badluck's profile


61 posts in 4092 days

#5 posted 03-03-2022 02:36 AM

I, too am very impressed, especially with the lamp shade!

-- Bob

View mnguy's profile


322 posts in 4895 days

#6 posted 03-06-2022 01:48 AM


thank you! it was, frankly, a bit of a nightmare to put the shade together :)

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