Intarsia Pelican Lamp

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Project by swirt posted 01-17-2022 10:20 PM 696 views 0 times favorited 17 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This was a father – son project to make a Christmas present for my wife. She is a huge fan of Pelicans so we set out to make a Pelican lamp. It didn’t start out as a salt lamp. It was supposed to be an LED light, but ended up looking …. bad with the LED’. The lighting was just all wrong. So we regrouped, and redesigned around a salt lamp.

Beak: Apple limb with the pith separating top from bottom.
Body: Ficus limb from the neighbors, that has a knot for an eye.
Wing: Cypress with gray-blue streaks
Rock: Cypress that has been burned with a torch and brushed away 3 times.
Sunset / cookie: Cypress with a bit of epoxy to hold it together.

Finish: 2 coats of pure Tung oil. (should have had 3 or 4 but… holiday deadlines.

My first intarsia-like project. It was kind of fun matching grain and wood patterns to the various pieces.

Source: Pelican Salt Lamp

-- Galootish log blog,

17 comments so far

View VanDesignWoodworkin's profile (online now)


1040 posts in 258 days

#1 posted 01-17-2022 10:35 PM

What a thoughtful gift… and well executed. It looks incredible all lit up. Nice work!

-- "What do you mean, 'Give me some wild cherry gall?' What do you think, this stuff grows on trees or something?"

View splintergroup's profile


6950 posts in 2682 days

#2 posted 01-17-2022 10:38 PM

Nice effect with the lighting!

Looks great for day or night.

View swirt's profile


7683 posts in 4431 days

#3 posted 01-17-2022 10:51 PM

Thank you both. He definitely looks better at night or in lower light. Otherwise you’re like “why is this bird standing in front of a giant salt rock?”

-- Galootish log blog,

View oldrivers's profile


3111 posts in 3026 days

#4 posted 01-17-2022 11:02 PM

A father – son project to make a Christmas present for my wife. That is tops, great memories being made and a good job to boot.

-- Soli Deo gloria!

View mtnwild's profile


4861 posts in 4987 days

#5 posted 01-17-2022 11:37 PM

Great idea, well done…

Wonderful project of the heart….

-- mtnwild (Jack), It's not what you see, it's how you see it.

View pottz's profile


25822 posts in 2444 days

#6 posted 01-18-2022 12:24 AM

great team effort,wife im sure loves the result.

-- 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 swirt's profile


7683 posts in 4431 days

#7 posted 01-18-2022 12:57 AM

Thanks oldrivers, mtnwild and pottz.

-- Galootish log blog,

View BB1's profile


3199 posts in 2307 days

#8 posted 01-18-2022 02:26 AM

Very interesting. Looks great with that light. Had to look up “salt light” as I had never heard of that before. Once again, learning new things on LJ!

View swirt's profile


7683 posts in 4431 days

#9 posted 01-18-2022 02:40 AM

Thanks BB1. Salt lamps are pretty easy to find and not too expensive. I really like the glow they give off.
They are a bit of a pain though… at least down here FL with humid conditions. They need to be left on 24/7. The slight heat from the bulb keeps them dry. If you turn them off, they actually attract moisture and start to drip and dissolve.

-- Galootish log blog,

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

10290 posts in 2041 days

#10 posted 01-18-2022 03:38 AM

Nice, Swirt! I saw that on your blog yesterday evening, and wondered when it would appear here.

-- Dave - Santa Fe

View MikeB_UK's profile


1027 posts in 2494 days

#11 posted 01-18-2022 08:38 AM

Cool project Swirt.

Good switch to the salt lamp, LED’s seem to work best as back lighters or with frosted glass.

-- Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.

View  woodshaver Tony C   's profile

woodshaver Tony C

8639 posts in 4812 days

#12 posted 01-18-2022 01:14 PM

What a cool lamp Swirt! Nice work guys! A wonderful gift!

-- St Augustine FL, Experience is the sum of our mistakes!

View TZH's profile


643 posts in 4600 days

#13 posted 01-18-2022 02:12 PM

That is sooooooooo cool, swirt! Creating memories in the process….it doesn’t get any better than that!!


-- Where The Spirit In Wood Lives On

View swirt's profile


7683 posts in 4431 days

#14 posted 01-18-2022 02:36 PM

@DavePolaschek Thanks for reading the advance copy on my blog. I usually post there first, then wait for my wife to find all my spelling mistakes and typos. Then I post here :)

@MikeBUK Thank you. Yah the LEDs might have worked if the whole thing were about 10 x bigger and with a diffuser.

@woodshaverTonyC and @TZH. Thank you both. As my son gets older it gets harder and harder to lure him out for some shop time. So I value every bit I can.

-- Galootish log blog,

View mafe's profile


13872 posts in 4549 days

#15 posted 01-19-2022 10:24 PM

How lovely with a father son project for mom.
The light became wonderful at the first picture.
Lucky mom, father and son. ;-)

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

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