Metal Lamp with Handmade Muslin Shade
Alice Nisbet shows us how to make this artistic metal lamp base and handmade muslin shade.
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Thanks to Alice Nisbet of Atlanta, Georgia.
Materials and Tools:
threaded lamp pipe
small jig in a leg vise
spray paint or chemical patina
small belt sander
lamp wiring kit
1. To make the lamp base: Cut steel tubing into sections about 4 or 5 feet long. Bend them back and forth in a pipe bender to make a wave type pattern.
2. Cut those into approximately 16-inch lengths; cut 1-inch sections of larger pipe that will sleeve over the other pipe.
3. Cut small pieces from a length of threaded lamp pipe. Weld the threaded pipe to the top of the 16-inch pipe and then sleeve the short piece over it. Weld it all the way around, and then use a 4-inch grinder to grind it smooth.
4. For the lamp legs: Cut 3/8-inch steel rod into pieces and weld 1-1/4-inch solid steel balls to the ends. Grind the welds smooth.
5. Use a small jig in a leg vise to bend the legs into whatever shape desired. This is all done cold--no heat is necessary to bend the legs. Weld the legs to the post and grind them smooth.
6. Cut a section of 1/4-inch rod and weld one end to the intersection of the legs. With the lamp in a vise, use an oxy/acetylene torch to heat the rod and wrap it tightly around part of the leg intersection. Finish out by using a grinder with a wire brush attachment to soften and polish the welds.
7. Spray paint the lamp or dip it in a chemical patina which is then rinsed off, followed by a clear spray.
8. Unroll rabbit fencing and cut out sections that will be the frame. Use a small belt sander to sand off the sharp points. Cut out other small pieces which will be wired together to make the bulb clips. Shape the fencing into one of three shapes: round, square or football--and then attach the bulb clip to the inside. Curl any exposed ends
9. For the fabric, start with a bolt of 100 percent cotton muslin from a theatrical supply house. Tear sections off and dye them using Rit dye on the stove or in a washing machine. Dry and iron them.
10. The base section of fabric is not dyed, so measure that and tear it to the correct size. Measure and tear strips of the dyed fabric that make the colored stripes of the shade. Also tear two long strips for the top and bottom border.
13. Each stripe is then placed on. Finally, the borders are put on. The whole thing stays wet for the duration of the process.
14. After it has dried, put glass beads on the exposed wires at the bottom and use needle-nosed pliers to bend a spiral to hold the beads on.
15. Screw the bottom of a socket onto the threaded rod at the top of the lamp. Run a 7-foot section of 18-gauge lamp wire through the lamp pipe; split and strip the wire at the top. Tie an underwriter's knot and wrap the leads around the terminals and screw them down tight. The socket assembly and insulator then fit over those parts. Attach the plug if it isn't already. Don't use a bulb over 100 watts.
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