Mission Table Lamp

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Project by Phil Clark posted 03-31-2008 07:05 PM 3271 views 6 times favorited 17 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This lamp is not for the timid as it is made up of over 60 pieces of quarter sawn white oak. It is an adaptation of an original table lamp seen at the St. Paul, MN Arts & Crafts show. The lamps have become a favorite of our extended family and make a great wedding present.

The changes I made are structural in two major aspects. The column is quadralinear using a lock miter router bit. This allows for even grain on all four sides of the column. A rift-sawn piece would accomplish the same thing. However, the quadralinear form leaves a center opening to run the cord.

The second major change has to do with the support brackets. Traditionally these were attached to the column with round head screws. I think they distract from the beauty of the lamp. My first lamp relied on epoxied mortise and tenon joints. I didn’t feel too secure about that although they have held. The shade is quite heavy with stained glass; less heavy with mica, and lighter yet with parchment paper.

I now cut the quadralinear column and make through brackets with a lap joint – now I know they are secure and can relax. The top column piece is separated from the rest by a ¼” thick rounded over piece to avoid an obvious glue joint but aligned to maintain grain flow.

The finish is Wadco dark walnut and wax.

-- Legacy Woodcraft

17 comments so far

View Mario's profile


902 posts in 5138 days

#1 posted 03-31-2008 07:07 PM

Very nice, I really like the joinery that you choose for the base. Exelent work and a great idea for gifting.

thank you for the post.

-- Hope Never fails

View CharlieM1958's profile


16292 posts in 5305 days

#2 posted 03-31-2008 07:15 PM

Very nice lamp. Are the lock miter joints fairly easy to produce with that bit?

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27249 posts in 4908 days

#3 posted 03-31-2008 07:48 PM

This is a gorgeous lamp. I am a fan of mission style pieces.

Thanks for the post.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View Phil Clark's profile

Phil Clark

359 posts in 4881 days

#4 posted 03-31-2008 07:50 PM

Yes they are Charlie, although you need to make a sled to hold the pieces firmly in place and not take a large bite at one time. The pieces are only 2 inches wide so I like to err on the side of caution and use the hold down sled. I should mention that I did these on a pin router. On a table mounted router the sled would not be necessary but small bites in each pass would be recommended.

-- Legacy Woodcraft

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 5074 days

#5 posted 03-31-2008 09:40 PM

Great lamp. That miter lock joint does a great job.

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View ND2ELK's profile


13494 posts in 4860 days

#6 posted 03-31-2008 10:26 PM

Beautiful lamp. Does the shade lift off? If so could we see more detail of shade and supports? Thanks for posting.

God Bless

-- Mc Bridge Cabinets, Iowa

View Grumpy's profile


26812 posts in 4937 days

#7 posted 03-31-2008 11:19 PM

Beautiful lamp Phil. Great design

-- Grumpy - "Always look on the bright side of life"- Monty Python

View Tim Pursell's profile

Tim Pursell

501 posts in 4868 days

#8 posted 03-31-2008 11:49 PM

A lot of peices….a lot of joints that have to line up…. perfectly. Very nice work in my favorite style.


View Dan'um Style's profile

Dan'um Style

14189 posts in 5069 days

#9 posted 04-01-2008 02:02 AM

double ding ding … it is a beautiful thing !

would be interested in hearing more about making the shade and attachment of the shade materials

-- keeping myself entertained ... Humor and fun lubricate the brain

View rikkor's profile


11295 posts in 4961 days

#10 posted 04-01-2008 10:35 AM

Beautiful lamp. I have a miter lock bit on the way to me now.

View Phil Clark's profile

Phil Clark

359 posts in 4881 days

#11 posted 04-01-2008 05:51 PM

Thanks for the compliments folks.

Tom and Dan – I have posted a new project “Mission Table Lamp – 2” trying to answer your questions. I’m still trying to find my source for the lamp shade and when I do I’ll post it.

-- Legacy Woodcraft

View abie's profile


922 posts in 4857 days

#12 posted 10-24-2008 04:49 PM

Glad you had a chance to attend the G&G weekend.
I’d planned on it but commitments got in the way..
Perhaps next year.
I enjoy your work especially the lamps.
I’ve plans for a lamp and will attempt an example next year.
BT in Walnut creek.

-- Bruce. a mind is like a book it is only useful when open.

View Phil Clark's profile

Phil Clark

359 posts in 4881 days

#13 posted 10-25-2008 12:55 AM

Thanks Bruce – we are now on our way to Dallas to deliver a table lamp and theBlacker inspired ceiling light to our son. The only person who could be more satisfied with Carftsman Weekend in Pasadena than myself has a photographic memory.

-- Legacy Woodcraft

View enzo61's profile


102 posts in 4298 days

#14 posted 08-22-2009 07:04 PM

Hi Stanley2, compliments for your lamp is beautiful.

-- by enzo61

View a1Jim's profile


118162 posts in 4663 days

#15 posted 08-22-2009 08:48 PM

Most beautiful and true sign of advanced woodworking and joinery,


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