Turned Table Lamp

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A stack-laminated blank looks great and solves wiring problems.

By Michael Kehs

A table lamp is a useful, attractive turning project that’s not hard to make at all. That said, there are certain criteria for any turned lamp, which this design meets nicely. It’s a good height and overall size for a classic vase form, although there’s no need to hollow it. In fact, the weight and mass of the solid form gives it great stability. One challenge with a wood lamp is creating a wire access hole through the center, since even a bit that’s long enough for the job would inevitably drift off course. The solution here is to stack-laminate the blank, creating a 3/8"-square channel through the axis by leaving a gap in the centermost laminate. Stack-laminating also allows the opportunity to incorporate some design flair in the form of contrasting woods. I used maple here for the main wood, with walnut laminates. Of course, laminating your blank like this also saves you the trouble and expense of finding a large kiln-dried piece of turning stock, which wouldn’t be as stable as a laminated blank anyway. 

I’m pleased with the shape of this lamp and the lamination pattern, but feel free to experiment, and don’t worry about following the shape exactly. The most important thing is to aim for nice, fair curves. Have fun with it!

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