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Project by woodzy posted 04-03-2011 07:46 AM 2446 views 10 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This lamp was inspired by a fellow LJ. I was looking around the site as I OFTEN do and came across Asher’s “Desk Lamp” I knew immediately that i had to attempt it.

The lamp stands 15” tall , the top is 9.5” sq and the base is 8.5” square. I used 3/4” maple for the frame construction and a veneer i had picked up for a previous project (pine i think).

I finished it (with much difficulty, trial, error and finally victory) with minwax “Dark Walnut” and 4 coats of a wipe on poly.

This was my most difficult build yet i was using materials and techniques that were all new to me. I found maple very difficult to stain. I tried everything i could from sanding to 180 grit max, to wetting the wood to raise the grain. nothing worked. Finally i stained the lamp and waited 3 days for it to dry before i wiped the lamp down the a mineral spirit dampened rag just to get rid of the residue that did not soak in to the wood.

I did however finish it and can say i am still confused as to how maple is properly stained.

I definitely had a few hairy moments but i just kept saying to my self ” Didn’t Asher make 30 of these for Christmas one year, you have to be able to make one”

Anyway, here’s hoping imitation is truly the greatest form of flattery or I’m just a flat out copy cat.


-- Anthony

4 comments so far

View tyka's profile


142 posts in 3056 days

#1 posted 04-03-2011 05:06 PM

Nice lamp. I understand your frustration with staining maple or any hardwood with light grain. I believe the only way to get good results is to use a dye first. My last project (TV console) was a pain to stain. Next project I’ll try the dyes. Tks for sharing.

-- Paul, Plantagenet, Ontario

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6866 posts in 4343 days

#2 posted 04-04-2011 02:01 AM

Very nice job.


-- by Lee A. Jesberger

View vipond33's profile


1405 posts in 2861 days

#3 posted 08-08-2011 02:38 PM

For myself, I would never stain maple, it’s just too hard to get a nice result. I would substitute a wood that is easier to stain, or go with a darker wood in the first place. The panels look great – how were they made?

-- [email protected] : dovetail free since '53, critiques always welcome.

View woodzy's profile


418 posts in 3042 days

#4 posted 08-08-2011 05:00 PM

I agree maple is a tough wood to stain, even though i have tried multiple times since this project to stain maple and been less than successful. The panels were purchased as vaneers from a mill. I tried to cut my own but was unsuccessfull. I think a darker wood would have been a smarter start.

Hindsight is … ... .. well you know. Live and learn.

-- Anthony

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