Telescoping Lamp

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Project by thresher posted 08-19-2011 06:45 AM 7012 views 28 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Here we have a case of design over reaching. I used Frank Lloyd Wright as an inspiration to make a telescoping lamp. I used a coiled wire that retracts into the walnut upper section when the lamp is compressed and lays exposed between the 4 maple guides when extended. The lamps main boom is tensioned balanced with 2 springs and can pivot 90° and the base can pivot left and right 45°. The lamp source is a 9 element LED shining through 2 thin pieces of polished Plexiglas sandwiched with padauk, walnut, and maple so they pickup side illumination. The neat part is the lamp switch (the 3 inch long piece of padauk laying next to the lamp in the 1st picture) that uses magnets to hold it captive in the on or off position. The padauk switch has a center magnet that activates a conductive leaf in the base as it moves left or right. It can be lifted off the base without affecting the on-off status.
All of this was mind numbingly painful to design, build, and tweak. The end result functioned very well, and looked nice but I felt the whole effort did not pay off in the aesthetic bang I was hoping for. I still have mixed emotions when I look at it.

-- Bryan - Be one with the wood, lignescent Zen.

9 comments so far

View eddie's profile


8565 posts in 3667 days

#1 posted 08-19-2011 08:03 AM

very cool design.nice

-- Jesus Is Alright with me

View rmac's profile


236 posts in 4113 days

#2 posted 08-19-2011 09:44 AM

Frank Lloyd Wright meets the toy crane from Wood Magazine #185! Sort of.

I really like the idea of making mechanical things out of wood. But I agree that there’s just something not quite right about this lamp. Can’t put my finger on it.


-- My table saw laughs at hot dogs.

View Ken90712's profile


17984 posts in 4242 days

#3 posted 08-19-2011 10:41 AM

I like it, so much interesting things on this.

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View Dusty56's profile


11863 posts in 4741 days

#4 posted 08-19-2011 11:23 AM

I like your design , but I think it would look better by using only one wood species.(At least with the current pictures provided) , and the “turret tower” looks a little under scale for what it is supporting. JMHO : )

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View jksmith69's profile


89 posts in 3589 days

#5 posted 08-19-2011 01:48 PM

Very cool design, nice form and function…

-- "Give me wood..... And I will play with it!"

View gul's profile


400 posts in 4015 days

#6 posted 08-19-2011 05:30 PM

It’s awesome and too technical.

View CaptainAhab's profile


214 posts in 3850 days

#7 posted 08-19-2011 08:32 PM

I really like this! Love the mixed woods and the “industrial” feel to it. Clearly FLW inspired, and you can’t go too wrong with that!! Well done.

-- Dave

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 4168 days

#8 posted 08-20-2011 12:22 AM

looking good :-) from the fast look
have favorite it to come back later to look closer of the design :-)

take care

View SawTooth1953's profile


347 posts in 4359 days

#9 posted 08-24-2011 03:21 PM

I like it…

-- Spence in Skokie, IL

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