Demonstration by Emma Cook
(The Tiny Turner)
22nd February 2023
These photos are screenshots from Emma's online demonstration
Emma Makes an LED Table Lamp
Emma demonstrated the turning of an LED lamp that could be powered by a battery or via a USB cable. She said it was one of her signature pieces but had not made one for a while.
The best wood for the project was sycamore but she had difficult sourcing this at present and so was using Brown oak.
Emma started with two pieces – one 6in by 2in square for the upright and one 5in square by 2in deep for the base.
She was making the USB version of this lamp and said the base piece would need to be deeper for the battery version as the battery had to be housed in the base.
Emma mounted the spindle piece between steb centres and turned it round with a roughing gouge with a lathe speed of 1000rpm. A tenon was then created at each end using a
parting tool with a tip end to allow a dovetail to be easily fashioned. The piece was then drilled from either end with a 7mm bit in a Jacobs chuck at a slow speed frequently removing the shavings produced.
The size of the hole must be big enough to allow the LEDs to be threaded through. She emphasised that the quill of the chuck should not be overextended and told us a squeaky drill can be solved with a little wax coating.
With a careful look at the grain etc of the piece of wood, she decided which way round it would look best when finished. She then mounted it in the chuck by the tenon which would become the base of the piece.
With a 1/4in bowl gouge and a 3/8th spindle, a concave recess for the 100mm diameter glass bowl was cut in the end of the piece, ensuring it was a loose fit. The rest of the wood spindle was then shaped including a bead at the bottom of the piece to match that at the top.
The wood was then sanded, the final sand being with the lathe not moving to allow removal of radial lines.
Emma emphasised the use of tack cloth. She then applied cellulose sanding sealer, cut and polish with a final coat of microcrystalline wax (which should be left 10mins before buffing). She keyed off the beads to allow later embellishment.
After making a new tenon at the bottom of the piece approximately 1/4iin deep and 1 and a 1/4in across she parted off the piece.
The base piece was then mounted between steb centres rounded off and shaped into the required shape including a bead around the base.
A mounting recess was made in the base, but Emma unfortunately forgot to sand and finish it.
The piece was reversed, and a recess cut to fit the base of the spindle section of the creation.
A chamber was then hollowed out large enough to allow a hole for the flex to be drill in the side of the base. This was done with a handheld drill and needed to be 8mm diameter to allow for the size of the cable.
Slight splitting of fibres at the drill entry point was cleaned up with a carving tool. The piece was sanded and finished.
Decoration was done on the three beads with a base of Gesso and a covering of chameleon flecks applied with a dry lightly loaded brush.
Gesso is required for the light colour of the wood and should be allowed 10mins to dry before the flakes are added.
The string of LEDs was then threaded through the base and upright before it was glued together.
The globe was then filled with LEDs and glued in place with Fix-all glue.
The finished creation was admired by all!
Report by Julian Birch