Turned table lamps with lanterns for shades

My nieces Christmas presents this year were a pair of table lamps that I turned for them to use at their bedsides. As is usually the case Christmas was approaching this year and I still had not come up with an idea for my nieces.  I finally remembered an idea that I had discussed with an artist, Duane Murrin,  who is usually set up with the North Shore Green Markets during their Friday night shipyard market.

He puts some of his artwork into hanging lanterns that work by putting a candle inside. What we had talked about was making a base for them and wiring them up to work with a bulb which we both thought would look pretty good.

Now that I had an idea of what I would make I realized that I did not have any wood on hand in the dimensions that would be needed that was also dry enough to be used. I decided to check at Vancouver Urban Timberworks, a company that I had been aware of for a little but never tried out, to see what they might have available. I came away with a slab of white oak that I thought would do quite nicely.

One thing about lamps is they need a route for the wiring to go. My original intent was to drill a hole down the middle for this purpose but I was concerned about how to drill a hole of that length and have it be at least somewhat accurate, I planned to drill it first and then have it trued up when I did the turning but if it wandered too far I could run out material or have difficulty inserting the lamp rod. After some discussion with a couple of friendly counter people on a visit to Lee Valley to pick-up supplies I decided that a better option was to cut the blanks in half and glue in some contrasting strips to create the channel and also make it a bit of a feature.

For the contrasting strips I sandwiched a thin strip of paduak between two strips of walnut. I then cut the oak lamp blanks in half and glued them back together with the strips inserted to create the channel for the lamp rod. I then needed to make a template for turning the blanks into lampposts.

This is the first template that I sketched out and then tried with lamp to get an idea of how it would look.

I then turned it upside-down and kind of liked that look better so I decided to make a new template based on that.

One I had decided on the template it was a fairly simple matter to turn the blanks to match it and then hook up the lamp parts.

Here the lampposts are turned so that the contrasting wood strips can be seen.

Here the lamps are with the bulbs turned on.

It’s difficult to get a good picture with lamps lit but this shows how the lamps themselves really a look a bit better even though the rest of the picture is not as good.