It’s been a few weeks since I’ve updated this site with some Edison lamp photos. It seems that the walnut lamps are the most popular. In 2013, I’ve sold 21 lamps and 15 of those have been in walnut. While I don’t list more walnut lamps than cherry on Etsy, it appears that their search algorithm favors that iteration of the lamp. Perhaps that is the reason for the popularity of the walnut version. Of course it’s possible that people just prefer the walnut look.
The original prototype I built was walnut. Recently, I took it into the shop to update some of the hardware on the lamp. I updated the switch to a dimmer switch and I swapped out the sockets to a new porcelain version. The prototype also featured a few design elements that I ultimately changed. The most obvious change is the shift from 4 tails (in the prototype) to 3 tails (on the current version). I’ve also recessed the lamp box top a little lower on the current version. Whereas the shift to fewer tails was purely for aesthetics (I think it looks nicer), the change in the lamp top makes the build process a little easier.
The first set of photos below, show the original prototype (which was just sold). Below the 2 photos of the prototypes are photos of the new design. The next lamp was built out of lacewood (and can be purchased from my etsy store if you are interested). The final lamp is built from walnut and was highlighted in an earlier post.
I’ve been working off of the new stack of lumber for a couple of months now. It’s good lumber and I’m happy with the quality of the walnut, but it is definitely different than the last batch of walnut. Not better. Not worse. Just different.
I’ve recently started the 20th lamp of the year (technically it is the 21st since USPS lost one and I had to rebuild it). For those that are interested, this is the 14th out of walnut and the 5th that is of the 3 bulb variety (3 of those 5 have been in walnut). I love the look of walnut and it is my wood of choice, but I’m still surprised that I don’t sell more cherry and maple lamps at the Etsy storefront. I love them all, but sitting on my walnut table I have always found the contrasting maple to be the most striking look.
To “celebrate” the 20th lamp of the year, I’ve gone back to my old format of highlighting the build process of the lamp. To build a 3 bulb lamp I need to shoot for a piece that is 4/4 (this is woodworker talk for a board that is an inch thick; spoken “four quarter”) and at least 4 1/4 inches wide by about 47 inches long. In my last post I wrote about starting the build of leg blanks for a new custom piece. In selecting wood for that piece, I ended up with one extra board (shown in the first picture below). I didn’t end up using that board in that piece, because it had a pretty nasty little bow to it. If you look closely, you’ll see that it isn’t flat on the surface of my table saw.
Fortunately correcting that type of issue is pretty easy for this style build. I’m not going to go into every detail of how I correct the issue because there are numerous posts on this site that talk about the build process for an Edison lamp. Basically it involves cutting the board at a strategic location and then working the jointer, band saw and planer until I get the four boards shown in the second picture. One of the 4 boards there becomes scrap (or turned into coasters), but the rest are destined for dimensioning, time in the dovetail jig and then a pass through the router table. This results in the 5 boards shown in the final picture. From here it is a pretty straightforward build process. The next post related to this build will be for the final “glamour” shots.