Friday, June 13, 2014

A two hour mental vacation...

When some people need a vacation, they take off for the woods, or the mountains, or the beach. Personally, I'm a beach person. But I haven't had time to get away lately.

I needed a little vacation today - just to take a short break from all the things I'm working on right now. I'm not complaining, but I just needed a little mental down time. 

Play time!

Yesterday when I was picking up some supplies at Lowes, I spotted this lamp for sale. 

Was that a mistake? A lamp for $3.74? 

Are you kidding me? 

On the downside - it was ugly and kind of wobbly, and the shade was a little messed up. But you can't even buy a lamp kit for $3.74, so of course it wound up in my shopping cart. I wasn't really sure what I would do with it, but then today - when I was looking for diversion of the shop - I had a scathingly brilliant idea.  

(Any Hayley Mills fans out there?)

Remember those baby toys  that we all had- the ones that you stack rings around a center pole?  

I started by taking the lamp apart, and finding a thick piece of wood that would make a great base. 

I knew what I was going to make the second I found the piece of wood! It's funny how project start like this - BOOM! - you get an idea, and two hours later - the piece is sitting on your bench, nearly finished.

I love using the Router Buddy - it makes quick work of cutting circles using a plunge router. I think the Router Buddy company may have gone out of business - but if you cut a lot of circles, you may want to track one down on eBay. It's a terrific device for making micro-adjusted circular cuts using a router. 

I cut a test piece first, to see if I had the bit set at the right diameter. 

Of course I did! 

I've used this tool so many times for cutting circles, I could set it up in my sleep.

So I started cutting the inner circle - which by the way - makes one whoop-ass-mess in the shop! 

I kept widening my cut at the center, until it was nearly cleaned out. With the Router Buddy, you can't completely clean out the hole,

so I finished it off with a forstner bit.

Then I switched to a longer bit, to cut the outside diameter. This is a monster 3" straight cutting bit,  which frankly - reminds me of a torture device in a horror movie. That is one scary tool.  

But it cuts the outside shape perfectly! Again - there's a little sawdust action going on everywhere on the bench. 

Time for some Albuterol, even though I was masked up!

  I left a little bit of material on the base, choosing to plane it off in order to separate the circle from the rest of the board.  

Here you can just barely see that I'm nearly through the board. See the outline of the ring in the wood?

And after one more shallow pass in the planer - the pieces are separated.

A little bit of drilling, sanding, (and vacuuming
 up the bench!) 

 and this piece is nearly finished.

 I decided to I re-rout the cord through a side hole, so I drilled one, clamping the piece to a large block of wood for support.

This ensured a perfectly located cord hole. 

A little sanding and stain - and this lamp was really starting to take shape, just as I'd envisioned it two hours earlier.

 I even used the original plastic grommet that came with the lamp -   

which was slick!

Now all I have to do is make a few dozen rings of wood to stack up on this center post.  There are so many options, it would be wise to sit back and think about it for a little while. Shapes? Colors?  I have some of the coolest scrap in my shop - I've been wondering what to do with them, and now - I just may have found their purpose. I love it when a plan comes together, and to tell you the truth - spending this afternoon in the shop tinkering around with this lamp was almost as good as a day on the beach. 

Well ... not quite.... But still, pretty damn fun. Wait 'til you see this lamp finished!


Julie @ followyourheartwoodworking said...

Very cool, Jamie, you never cease to amaze me!

OSr Group said...

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