Veneer Pendant Lamp

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Project by Ross Leidy posted 12-27-2019 08:07 PM 815 views 8 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch

After watching a youtube video on making a paper lantern for a pendant light, I wanted to try something like it with wood veneer. It turns out to be harder than it looked to get the spacing right. On my first attempt, the spiraled strips were too crowded. On my second attempt, the spacing was better, but too loose so there were gaps. I didn’t want a bare bulb being visible from the outside, so I thought I’d carefully detach the supporting ribs, twist the whole thing tighter, and then reattach the ribs. Well, the spiraled veneer generated a surprising amount of torque, and twisting it tighter and anchoring it just wasn’t practical in the end. I set the project aside – this was September. Over the Christmas break, I had a brainstorm for how to salvage the project, and that was to build a smaller inner shade that would cover the bulb. Building from the outside-inward presented a number of problems, but in the end I’m happy with how it turned out. In fact, I’m now scheming some more pendant lamps using the ideas from the inner structure.

Here are some photos of the early failures and the road to recovery.

There’s a big gap here – I didn’t take any photos of the final stage of the 2nd attempt. We now pick up with the build of the inner shade. You can see the loosened spiral in the background:

The bottom cap is removable to get to the light bulb. It’s held on with 4 small magnets:

I didn’t have a place in mind for this lamp, but the front entryway turned out to be a good spot.

13 comments so far

View pottz's profile


7966 posts in 1624 days

#1 posted 12-27-2019 08:53 PM

wow that’s pretty damn cool looking,looks simple but the pic’s show thats not true.beautiful lamp.

-- sawdust the bigger the pile the bigger my smile-larry,so cal.

View FrancoisWorkshop's profile


35 posts in 403 days

#2 posted 12-27-2019 08:59 PM

Very nice! Thanks for all the details.

-- Francois. Sawdust is man glitter.

View mafe's profile


12386 posts in 3729 days

#3 posted 12-27-2019 09:38 PM

Super cool!
Really fine work, fun to see how you got there.
Started Scandinavian and ended Japanese / Chinese.
Best thoughts,

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

View MrWolfe's profile


679 posts in 763 days

#4 posted 12-27-2019 11:56 PM

Very cool build Ross.
Not only does it look great but it looks like you really had to engineer it to make it work.
Kudos. I’m sure it was challenging but you made a beautiful lamp.

View wenge's profile


18 posts in 866 days

#5 posted 12-28-2019 01:39 PM

Very nice work.

View Dark_Lightning's profile


3811 posts in 3749 days

#6 posted 12-28-2019 04:17 PM

That’s beautiful!

-- Steven.......Random Orbital Nailer

View swirt's profile


4769 posts in 3612 days

#7 posted 12-29-2019 02:37 AM

So cool. Incredibly well done. Good job not giving up after the first try.

-- Galootish log blog,

View PPK's profile


1670 posts in 1449 days

#8 posted 12-29-2019 04:30 AM

Holy cats! super neat!

-- Pete

View 489tad's profile


3769 posts in 3651 days

#9 posted 12-29-2019 03:37 PM

Edison tried the light bulb multiple times until he got it right. You got this right. The shade looks fantastic.

-- Dan, Naperville IL, I.G.N.

View Ross Leidy's profile

Ross Leidy

130 posts in 2581 days

#10 posted 12-29-2019 06:03 PM

Thanks for all the kind comments. Keeping the stalled project in plain sight in the workshop helped. I was forced to think about it every time I was in there. The idea on how to proceed came to me one day and the lamp was finished a few days later. The build order was all wrong for this project, but I’m pleased with how it turned out.

View Fhawe's profile


61 posts in 2677 days

#11 posted 01-02-2020 12:40 PM

That is a really beautiful shade.

-- cnarf, Ireland

View mafe's profile


12386 posts in 3729 days

#12 posted 01-03-2020 11:21 PM

Lovely when we get those moments of light.
Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.
S. Kierkegaard (Danish philosopher).

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

View kaerlighedsbamsen's profile


1317 posts in 2353 days

#13 posted 01-20-2020 09:52 AM

Wow Ross, that is a neat project! Like the whole look of it bus especially the way you supported the inner fixture with these elegant vertical pieces

-- "Do or Do not. There is no try." - Yoda

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