Monthly Book Giveaway - January 2023

Craftsman Style Floor Lamp With Copper

Project Information

A fellow had bought a set of my previous lamps and asked if I could make a floor lamp on the same theme.
Normally I hate commissions because it locks me into a project when I'd rather be building the latest project that pique my interests.

I'm just a sucker I guess 8^)

I won't take any down payments which allows me to not keep any promises (commitment issues?), but I knew I would be doing this.

There were a few issues however.

I didn't have the required walnut. I found a source for some narrow (4") walnut with a fair amount of sap wood and no real nice figure, but that was all I could get at a not so reasonable price. This changed the design from keeping 100% with the other lamp designs and allowed me to use the basic shape as a platform.

I wanted to use copper, with a patina.

The shade

I've made many of these shades, but since the lamp was much bigger than the usual table lamps, I scaled it up 15% (glad I had a CAD drawing 8^).
The usual amber mica for the panels.
Normally I can get two shades (8 panels) from a single standard sheet of the mica with some left over. I had guessed that with the larger size I could still get that, but not have any of the extra cutoffs. Big screw up there! I could only get enough for a single shade + one additional panel. The rest was too small to use anywhere, oh well!

The post

Made with four walnut 1"x1" struts, arranged in a truncated pyramid. Knowing these would probably bow and in general be wiggly, I installed "blocks" at the usual top & bottoms, but also put one in the upper center.

These blocks are Honduran rosewood, capped with walnut and the corners were rabbeted to partially inlay the struts. Based on a very early LJ project with a swing arm floor lamp, I added some corner beading strips also rabbeted into the struts.

Jigging up the cuts for all these subtle angles (1.8 degrees) was a RPITA and ate a lot of time, but the results came out well.

To hide the wiring I decided to use four sections of 3/8" copper tube on the bottom and a single link of 3/4" running to the top.
The copper was given a blue-green patina with ammonia. I really like how the color works with the darker walnut.

The base.

Three mitered frames stacked and the typical pad feet

The top

Corbels T&G'd into the upper block, a two lamp cluster with "vintage" style LED bulbs.

This was also a real pain to photograph, I wish I had a room dedicated for photos and tons of light (sigh)

Further lengthening the time involved I also had a huge list of other "housely" items to attend to, including having a large section of the metal roofing stripped from my shop after a mini monsoon season dust devil decided to touch down and tear things up.

I was glad to finally finish this as I went a bit over the top in construction.
The good thing with not getting any down payment is I can let the client take it or leave it if they don't like it (and make something more of their liking based on this lamps pluses and minuses)


About 5'+ total height, base at the bottom is about 18" on a side (approximately the same as the shade) and weighs a lot so it isn't too tippy.

A tad under 14bf. of walnut was butchered in the making of this project.

Finish is Danish oil (natural) and pre-cat (Mohawk) satin lacquer.
i remember this one.still love it too. i like the patina on the copper,gotta try that technique on one of my projects someday.

working with my hands is a joy,it gives me a sense of fulfillment,somthing so many seek and so few find.-SAM MALOOF.

Thanks Pottz, had to rescue it from some other site before it got "damaged"
Stunning - I'm guessing the client had no issues with this one...
Actually a funny thing Steve. I placed this in the gallery with a "Reserved/Sold" sign to get some interest from customers before mentioning to my "client" that it was ready. Someone else really wanted it bad (had bought a set of the table lamps the week before) and offered a price I couldn't refuse. Fortunately my policy of "let me think/work on it" gave me the wiggle room to sell it and do the "clients" piece another day.
Also so awesome!

Ryan/// ~sigh~ I blew up another bowl. Moke told me "I made the inside bigger than the outside".

Nice lamp and a really cool story, Splint!
Sounds like a magical journey. Started with minor problems, easily bested, then turned into a 2 fer sale, and everyone went away happy. Lotta wins there, and this floor lamp certainly is a winner. I love the happy endings.
Love the lamp, and what a great use of copper pipe.