How to make an Arts and Crafts style lamp shade

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Blog series by splintergroup updated 12-06-2018 08:14 PM 6 parts 30699 reads 41 comments total

Part 1: Some initial thoughts

11-28-2018 10:39 PM by splintergroup | 11 comments »

I’ve had reasonable success selling Arts & Crafts style lamps and currently I am making another set.One of the challenges with these lamps is building the shade. There are a number of angles and dimension to consider and any error in one of these parameters will alter the parameters of every other piece. When making an A&C style lamp, you build the lamp body and you build the shade. Each is about the same amount of effort. I thought a blog post would be a good way for me to coll...

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Part 2: And so it Begins

11-29-2018 09:17 PM by splintergroup | 2 comments »

I decided to use walnut for this set of shades. I recently scored some narrow, but otherwise nice rift sawn boards with consistent color. When making items like this I like to get all the pieces from the same board so the grain/color will match up. Anyway, this wood made that easy to do. Other wood types can be far less friendly… Prepare the stock Based on the drawing, I needed 16 sides (stiles), 8 bottoms, and 8 tops (rails). I milled up enough walnut stock for two sha...

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Part 3: Assemble the Frame

11-30-2018 10:36 PM by splintergroup | 7 comments »

If everything went well prior to this point (snug lap joints, equal part lengths), there should be a stack of frames that are for all purposes identical. Now is a good time to consider the final shade assembly and arranging the parts in a way that works well with grain/color matching. This is probably the most critical for the stiles. Since they are glued side to side, they should appear as a single unit when assembled. For the best seamless look, the color and grain should match.If you have ...

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Part 4: Rabbet for the mica

12-04-2018 08:01 PM by splintergroup | 3 comments »

Cut the Rabbets The next step in my method is to rabbet for the mica panel. This is optional and I admit it takes the bulk of the time, but in my opinion it produces the cleanest results. Some instructions have the mica panels cut to the full width dimensions of the shade frame. The corners are secured where they butt together with silicone and/or tacks/screws into the shades corner spokes. While this will work, in my opinion it detracts from the look of the shade. With rabbets to ho...

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Part 5: Completing the Assembly

12-05-2018 10:45 PM by splintergroup | 7 comments »

Time to bevel the sides and put the darn thing together! On a previous episode, the sets of four frames that make up each shade were assembled, rabbeted for mica (or any other flat panel) and flush trimmed on top. There are a few more places that need the chamfer to be cut now. The inside of the lower rail: If you want, you can square up the transition from the protruding stub to the lower rali. I just leave it as is since no one will ever see it. At this point, every edge on t...

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Part 6: Securing the mica

12-06-2018 08:14 PM by splintergroup | 11 comments »

This chapter is the last, but I may add some more information later as/if I develop some simpler jigs or techniques. Here is a finished shade, walnut with Watco oil and a topcoat of pre-cat lacquer: I did a smoothing with #0000 steel wool then a rub down with a blue shop towel. The entire part was then waxed. It is much easier to do all this now when there are no mica panels in the way. I discussed the installation of the mica panels earlier, mainly focusing on ways to do it a...

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