Oak Tripod Lamp
I stumbled across the inspiration for this lamp in the woodworking subreddit you can see it here on imgur
Completed lamp in use.
This project started for me as some Oak that I picked up with a small second hand bandsaw. This was really the first proper tool that I had owned having only seriously started woodworking as a hobby a few weeks prior. Out of sheer luck around this time I stumbled across a lovely tripod lamp build by a reddit user by the name of NORM_ABRAMS_BEARD and the seed of a project was sown.
After about a month of procrastination and familiarising myself with my new bandsaw I finally cut the Oak into 3 even strips. I spent a fair while planning the cuts to maximise the length of the legs but this gave me an issue to overcome as I wouldn't have a piece large enough to make the central 'hub'. The cuts were a little wavy and left me a fair bit to clean up with a plane and chisel.
Now to reconstitute the central hub from the remains. The one advantage I could see from this method is that I get a symmetry to the grain direction so the end of each 'arm' of the hub will be end grain, with the grain direction running along towards the legs.
In hindsight I would have liked to have made this from only three pieces but I was constrained by the size of my leftovers. I don't think the bandsaw setup was quite right and there was quite a bit of tweaking involved to pair up the sections and get a decent fit.
Taking no chances, everywhere the can be dowels, there will be dowels! Take that potential wood movement!
In reality I think this just caused me unneccesary headaches although it was nice having a definite location of the parts when gluing up and prevent the parts sliding as I tightened the clamps.
Time to profile the legs and I got a sudden understanding of how important a properly set up plane is when working with a hardwood instead of nice forgiving Pine! It's not so easy to see but each leg has 3 tapers. The sides taper in evenly along the entire length. The back then tapers from a point about 1 foot below the top to the end and then tapers seperately from the same point but upwards, this give the clearance required for the legs to fold. To finish I added a slight profile to the back of each leg, giving a raised 'spine' which results in a tirangle pattern where this meets the tapers.
More dowels, more jigs, more possibly unnecessary alignment.
How to assemble something that has 3 sides with dowels you ask? I kept them as short as I could and with a slight taper let the whole assembly just enough flexibility to snap together.
I glued this assembly in two stages, first stage required two sets of clamps, to stop either side of the join opening up when pressure was applied. In the end I had to cut off one pair of dowels as when this join was glued, I no longer had the flexibility required to assemble the final third.
Final piece glued in and sanding can commence. Here I'm using my homemade down draught table. This connects to my workshop vaccuum cleaner, the idea being that each of the holes acts as a mini vaccuum. This should give an even airflow downwards, capturing most dust before it has a chance to float away.
First trial assembly. The legs had just enoguh friction for it to stand up unaided.
Time to drill out the centre section to take the lamp fitting.
Here I'm using a test piece to see if a hole saw will behave itself to cut the inner corner radius.
Corner radii cut without disaster, arm cut to match on the bandsaw.
I took a fair while contemplating how to align and where to drill the pivot holes for the legs. I didn't have a enough travel or a drill long enough to do this in one, so had to settle for marking the position and drilling each side individually.
Once the sides were drilled and I was happy I'd got the alignment good enough to be able to pass an M6 bolt though I positioned the legs to the desired open angle with the top corner of the leg hard against the inside face of the hub. The idea being that when complete, the legs should all open to the same angle.
The lamp fitting was bought and disassembled allowing me to pass the wiring through the hole in the hub and a tiny notch in the underside ensured that I got the epoxy where it needed to go to hold this in positon. For jobs like this, my go to adheisive is Araldite precision epoxy. Plenty of time to position and reposition parts without panic if required, plus by using heat the epoxy will flow very nicely.
I've not applied any finish yet. I wanted to try and avoid the orangey hue that I find Oak can get but can't find a finish that I like or I can get to work reliably. Still life as a lamp stand isn't hard on the wood so I might just leave it as is.
I did fancy swapping the cord for a nice fabric covered one but hadn't got around to that when I wrote this.