The FABULOUS Miss Ginger Grant!

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Sunday, July 14, 2013

Transitional Lamps for Any Decor!

Miss Ginger is appalled by the price stores are getting for good table lamps these days! The cheap ones available at Target look cheap, and the decent ones found at Ikea are decidedly modern, which is great if that's your decor. Momma G gave Ginger some pretty good advice about lamps. "Always buy them in pairs," she said, "even if you don't use them in the same room. Someday you will move or redecorate, and you'll wish you had two of something you can never match! 

After a long search for a decent pair to no avail, Miss Ginger decided to make her own.  Literally, this pair of lamps (above) was made from scraps of lumber!  The lamp kits cost about 10 bucks at Lowe's, and the shades came from Target, for 14.99 each! Miss Ginger chose a gold-leaf finish for her rather traditional decor, but you can finish them any way you'd like, from rustic to formal! Here's how she made them, with Boy G's help on the power tools! 

She started with scraps of 1x2 poplar, and cut them with mitered corners to 8" on the long side. This measurement can be adjusted to make any size square or rectangle you desire, to create a short lamp like these, a tall buffet lamp, or even a floor lamp from a very long rectangle. She also cut 2 scraps of 1x4 for each base.Again, you can adjust the size of your base to make a taller lamp more stable. Here are all of her parts, along with a lamp kit for each lamp.  

To make the "tunnel" for the wire, Boy G ran each piece through the router table to cut a 1/2 channel, about 1/4 inch deep, in each piece.
A straight fence and a feather board make sure that each piece is cut in exactly the same way, so they will mate up later. 

To begin the assembly, Miss Ginger used corner clamps to glue 2 pieces into an "L" shape. 

She continued gluing, until she had created 8 "L"s. Once the glue dried on the last "L"s, she paired them into 4 squares.

While the glue was drying on her "L's" she created her bases by gluing 2 lengths of 1x4 together, and finishing them with black satin spray paint. She distressed the corners with sandpaper, and topped them off with a coat of polyurethane. A hole in the center accommodates the wire. When the squares were dry, she paired them up and drilled a hole at the top and the bottom to create notches for the cord and the socket.
Here are the parts for one lamp.

Assembly is easy.  Miss G ran the cut end of the cord from the lamp kit up through the bottom of the base.  She pulled enough wire through the base to follow the channel, leaving about 3-4 inches at the top.  The rest of the cord, and the plug, stays below the base.

Your lamp kit will come with a short threaded tube that holds the socket, but it may be too short to hold what you need. You can buy a small kit with an assortment of threaded rods if you need a longer one.

The kit also comes with a solid spacer that threads onto the tube.  Miss Ginger screwed the spacer onto the tube, allowing it to sit flush with the top of the lamp, and holding the cord in place against the bottom of the channel.

She covered the pre-finished base with paper to protect it from glue, and used wood glue to join the 2 squares together, sandwiching the threaded tube at the top, and clamping for a secure bond.

After the glue dried, she marked, drilled, and countersunk screws from the bottom, through the base and into the square, making sure she kept the screws away from the channel containing the cord.  A felt pad glued over the bottom covers the unfinished side of the base, holds the cord in place, and protects the surface below the lamp from scratches. All that's left is attaching the sockets at the top, following the instructions from the kit.

They they are, ready for paint, stain, or any other finish your artistic imagination can create!  Stay tuned for a future post, when Miss Ginger will show you how she used metal leafing to give her lamps an old world look! 


Bob Slatten said...


I love the look of those lamps.

Miss G needs her own store, with Boy G in the backroom making lamps and tables, etc.

Tod said...

This is fantastic!


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