Digital Woodworking: Table Lamp

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Resin accents combine with a CNC-made shade that's stitched together

Lamps are fun to build. They go together quickly, require minimal material, and allow a lot of creative leeway. A few years ago, I developed a method for making shades from thin plywood, opening up even more design possibilities and a chance to break away from relying on commercial shades. After making a few of these wooden shades with traditional techniques, I switched to cutting out the pieces and routing the patterns with a CNC machine to take advantage of its speed and precision. In designing this lamp, I revisited that technique.

This lamp’s shade—a truncated pyramid—consists of four leaves with chevron cutouts that allow enough light to pass through to cast a warm glow throughout the room. I made the shade leaves from 1/8" cherry plywood and the base from ash. (See page 52 for more about this struggling North American native.) I’ve been playing with colored resin inlay lately and decided to incorporate a geometric pattern in the base. While not a reproduction, the lamp’s lines are reminiscent of the Arts & Crafts style. And while a CNC machine makes this project easier, you can be build it without one, using patterns available online.

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