I got inspired to make this after working with acrylic to solve a small problem in the baby’s bedroom. I started thinking about compound angles and decided to build an octagon shaped lamp. I also wanted to try out the pallet wood oak I collected a while back. It was sitting in the garage untouched for too long.
First off, getting the angles requires math that I am no longer capable of doing so I found a website to help me calculate the proper crosscut and bevel angles. I blogged about that experience already so no need to repeat myself.
With a successful mockup, I moved on to making the lens. First I sanded the acrylic on both sides to frost it. Who wants to look at a light bulb anyway? Plus, it helps hide glueup screwups.
After that I cut the pieces into squares about 6" and started cutting the angles on the jig I made for the mockup.
The crosscut angle and mitre bevel are cut simultaneously. The crosscut angle for this project, for which each facet of the octagon leans forward at 60 degrees, is 11.7 degrees. The blade is beveled at 19.4 degrees to achieve the mitre.
The glue up of this stuff is virtually impossible. I probably won’t be working with acrylic again anytime soon unless its just a simple thing that doesn’t require gluing. I used PVC pipe cement to glue the pieces. I think regular acrylic cement would not work very well due to the rough edges created by cutting on the table saw. To get a clean edge, according to the interwebs, the edge must be routed. I’m sure it can be done by building various jigs, but I didn’t even consider it because of the work involved and the material expense if I mess up. Anyway, I taped 4 pieces of each octagon together and brushed glue into the joint, then stuck them into a piece of scrap that had a mortise cut into it. That worked well. I let gravity to the work instead of attempting to clamp these fragile things together.
Then I glued the assemblies together.
Voila! A lamp lens. Not shown is the couple of hours of sanding off glue runoff, which makes the surface clear instead of frosted. That was a pain.
Next up is the pallet wood. I never worked with it before. I bought a metal detector to make sure I got all the nails. Rough looking stuff.
This was printed on the side of a few.
I started by planing all of the runners I had and also a few of the slats. Then I jointed each piece on my table saw jointing sled. Here is the finished product planed and one edge jointed.
Lots and lots and lots of defects… er… character … er… NAIL HOLES! LOL.
Next I cut 8 octagonal pieces for the base. These were not an angled facade, so the cuts were simple 22.5 degree crosscuts. That’s when I realized there would be 8 end grain glue ups. Doh! What to do? Ask here of course. :-) I ended up making blade-width loose tenons. Below is a dry fit. That worked great. I think they would look great too if it weren’t for the damned character… er… nail holes!
I needed a way to receive the lens, so I cut a dado into each piece. Kids, do not try this at home. Yes, I did cut it exactly as shown. Before the peanut gallery chimes in, I promise I was extra careful when performing this dangerous procedure. ;-)
I glued the pieces together using just tape to hold it. That led to a couple of small gaps because its crazy difficult to get a perfect 22.5 degree cut. I came pretty close and used wood filler wherever needed. I also filled in some of the character with wood filler.
Next I made 8 legs for the base. I wanted them to have the same facade as the lens, so back to the crosscut jig. Same angles used to achieve that. I could not figure out how to precisely center the angle so I cut halves and glued them together. Instant center. The feet just get glued in place.
After that I added a slat across the middle to accept the lamp socket. Then I finished it with danish oil. The color of this oak is beyond beautiful. It must have something to do with getting kicked around in the weather or something like that. It sucked up the danish oil very quickly. This part of the project came out way better than expected.
Hmmm… looks like there’s a limit on the number of pictures, so the rest of this will be in the comments section.