Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Lamp Table

4:18 PM Comments 0

Lamp Table – Alder & Metal Bar

This project blog is just a bit late, given that the table we will be looking at today has been in the clients home for 14 months now!

The table was a simple end table, made up of a 22″ diameter top, top and bottom wood rings, and 12 vertical metal bars.

Lamp Table Top

We began by constructing the 22″ round top and adding a small routed detail to the top and bottom edges to give an otherwise simple top a little more sparkle.

Wooden Rings Layout

The next step was to glue-up and layout two 18″ rings that would accept the 12 metal bars.  We cut, mitered, biscuited, and glued the four pieces together. Then, using a compass, we drew the inside, outside, and center of the ring. After using a straightedge and a square to make a mark every 90 degrees along the center of the ring, we divided each ninety degree section two more times to get twelve 30 degree sections, thereby showing us exactly where we would need to drill for each bar.

Wooden Rings Built

Once we marked out the placement for the metal bars, we drilled a 1/2″ deep, 1″ wide hole in both the wooden rings. We also added a small chamfer to the inside edges of the ring an ogee detail on the outer edge.


After we had constructed the three wooden pieces of the table, it was time to turn our attention to the 12 metal bars.  We purchased raw cold rolled steel tube stock from a local metal company, which meant that it still has a slight oily film and other grit all over.

The first step in prepping them for finishing was to wipe them down with xylene to remove the oily residue. We then sandblasted every square inch of all 12 bars. The sandblasting both removed any left over grit and grime and it pitted the surface, which would allow the metal primer to adhere even better.


In the finishing room we sprayed on a metallic primer and an oil-based brown paint. Once the paint had cured overnight, we applied a faux-finish painted detail to the wooden rings and the metal bars.


When the paint had fully cured, we began constructing the base. The metal bars would be sandwiched between the two wooden rings and locked in place using a star nut and a bolt at each end.

The star nut was pushed into the end of the metal bar and, when the bolt was tightened and attempted to pull out the star nut, the wings locked themselves into the bar.

Adding Tubes

The most difficult part of this relatively simple process was keeping all twelve metal bars perfectly ninety degrees to the wooden rings. We quickly realized that if no attention was paid to how plumb the bars were, we were quickly left with twelve bars that were all parallel, but a few degrees out of perfect alignment.

Final Lamp Table

The final product, complete with the stained top, looks beautiful in the clients living room!