Retro Modern Floor Lamp

  • 2 pallets

  • hard

  • 60h

  • $100

Design

I finished up this floor lamp a couple of months ago; it was something I had wanted to make for my living room for a long time. The general gist came from a few lamps I saw photos of; over time I figured out how I could feasibly build something similar.

The lamp is made from laminated pallet wood (2 pallets total). Mango wood I believe, though I’m not 100% sure (definitely not a domestic wood). The pallets had an origin stamp from S. China. When I came across these pallets, the lamp I had been kicking around in my head is what immediately came to mind. Instead of the rustic look typical of pallet wood projects, I wanted more of a "fine woodworking" finish, more fitting to modernist furniture.

It stands about 6’5” tall to the top of the harp.

Construction

I laminated it layer by layer (a long and tedious process). Each piece was joined and flattened with hand planes, and cut to shape on the bandsaw. Butt joints were cut with my miter saw. Each layer was flattened perfectly smooth with hand planes before gluing the next layer. I tried to avoid knots, chips, and holes in the finished surface as best I could, pallet wood isn’t the best material, but it's free.

The final shape was carved with a spokeshave, rasp, and belt sander. I also did the electrical work and made the lampshade. The shade needed to be so big to look right that finding the perfect shade would be impossible. Fortunately, shades aren't too hard to make.

Finishing

While the wood looked good its natural color, a darker walnut-ish color worked better with our decor (and is what the wife preferred). I used transient dye for the first step in coloring. After that, I put on a couple of coats of Watco danish oil in medium walnut, then finished it off with some furniture wax.

Thanks for taking a look!

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gluing-the-final-layer

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Jay W

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