Light fixture- spalted maple, mason jars, squirrel cage bulbs

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Project by Seles23 posted 04-06-2013 03:32 PM 4107 views 7 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch

My wife had seen these fixtures on Pinterest etc. and wanted one for Christmas. A quick check online fed back prices in the $400 range, I thought I could make one myself for at least a little less. I found a sawmill here in the city that mills municipal felled trees and I picked up a couple 1×12x36 spalted maple planks for $10. Another $120 for the mason jars, pendant sockets and and squirrel cage bulbs. Well worth all the effort.

9 comments so far

View Rustic's profile


3256 posts in 3958 days

#1 posted 04-06-2013 04:31 PM

neat idea

--, Rick Kruse, Grand Rapids, MI

View choppertoo's profile


301 posts in 3675 days

#2 posted 04-06-2013 06:02 PM

I like it. At first I thought them ‘r some expensive mason jars but I’m guessing 8 squirrel cage bulbs made up the bulk of the expense.

Are you having any issues with heat build up because the jars are sealed?

-- The greatest danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that our aim is too low and we reach it.. Michelangelo

View Seles23's profile


7 posts in 2822 days

#3 posted 04-06-2013 06:15 PM

yeah those bulbs are very expensive. Hoping my wife won’t notice when I swap them with cheaper bulbs when they burn out. I haven’t vented the jars and your the second person today to ask, so I’ll be venting those this weekend.

View Josh's profile


1234 posts in 2931 days

#4 posted 04-07-2013 03:14 AM

That’s pretty awesome! I love the creativity.

-- Tree, wood, and box lover from Pennsylvania

View jackthelab's profile


313 posts in 3054 days

#5 posted 04-07-2013 12:03 PM

Cool Idea!

-- Dave in Minnesota - If it ain't broke, improve it!

View Bluepine38's profile


3380 posts in 3447 days

#6 posted 04-07-2013 02:57 PM

I had to look up squirrel cage bulbs to find out what they were, am not quite old enough to remember them,
they would add to the antique authenticity, but the cost would definitely be a factor. Definitely a very nice
fixture. Thank you for sharing.

-- As ever, Gus-the 80 yr young apprentice carpenter

View glen's profile


172 posts in 2915 days

#7 posted 04-07-2013 04:43 PM

Nice work – I am actually in the process of making a very similar fixture. Same sort of thing – saw them online for ridiculous prices, thought ‘I can build that’! How did you secure it to the ceiling? I’ve got a t&g cedar ceiling so I’m going to use some hanger bolts and then thread some decorative caps on the machine screw side. How’s the light output? We’re going to be using about 12 30w bulbs in ours… Thanks for the post!

View Seles23's profile


7 posts in 2822 days

#8 posted 04-07-2013 08:07 PM

Thanks! The bulbs are 60w and while I was concerned about output they are actually great. That said I recently put wainscoting in semi gloss white. 12 30w bulbs could be great. I just don’t know. Though you cant tell in the attached images the squirrel cage can still be seen. 30w bulbs may have an even better effect.

I attached a couple 1×1x13 cleats to the ceiling and attached the box part to them. I had high hopes of attaching to the ceiling with no hardware showing but I gave up on that. I used 4 black drywall screws and I think that while the do show they go well with the spalting and accidental saw mark. Win some lose some I guess.

View glen's profile


172 posts in 2915 days

#9 posted 04-18-2013 02:18 PM

cool – thanks for the reply. I’ll post mine once it’s done… Got a few projects ahead of it in the queue. Cheers!

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