Today, I finished a lamp that has taken me the better part of two weeks to build. Now, I know some of you may be wondering why it took so long. Well, it's because this project has been more of an adventure than a project.
To start with, a friend from one of my wood working groups sent me two pieces of wood, what you see in the above photo. On the left is lacewood, and the other is birdseye maple. Well, I don't get the opportunity to work with such beautiful wood very often. So, when I do, I try to make something special with it. With this wood, I decided to make my wife a bedside lamp.
I went through several design ideas in my head. I finally settled on a hexagon body shape. In order to do this, I was going to have to resaw the pieces into much thinner layers in order to have enough wood. That, while working with wood you can't just run out and buy more of if you mess up, is an uncomfortable position to be in itself.
To add to this anxiety though, I was doing this on a saw that I built myself. Some of you may remember the sixteen inch monster I built earlier this year. I have to admit though, if the anxiety level of this scenario seems daunting, it makes the delight of successfully doing it on a saw I built with my own two hands even more rewarding.
So anyway, all went well with the resawing and I built the hexagon shaped lamp body out of sapelle with lacewood panels. So far, things were looking good. Then it came time to add the top to the body. Nothing I could pull up out of my shop looked good. The straight across grain of it all took away and ruined, in my opinion, the hard work I'd put into the sides.
It became time to move out of my comfort zone again. I hate angles. There, I said it and got it out of the way quickly. I hate angles. To do what I wanted to do with this top though, I was going to need twelve pieces of sapelle with sixty degree angles on them.
This is the first time I've really put my Incra sled to the test. I acquired this gem in a trade about a year ago. It's been a good sled. I now know though, that it really shines when it comes to awkward angles.
Here is the top I made for the lamp body. This, to me, looked a lot better than the straight across grain I contemplated before trying this. This is exactly why I love wood work. No matter how long you do this, or what you create, there's always more to learn.
So here is the finished lamp.
The lamp itself is sapelle, with lacewood panels. The lamp shade is sycamore with birdseye maple panels.
After all this work, and because it was for my wife, I wanted a super nice finish. So I started with three coats of Watco Danish Oil. On top of that is three coats of Minwax gloss polyurethane. Then I finished it off with Johnson's Paste Wax and a thorough buffing.
I guess the only thing I can add to that is to show it lit up.