For over two years I have been making sketches and designing a series of furnishings. As my interests and experiences expand, the designs have been becoming more complicated and their manufacturing has come to involve a greater number of processes.
Limiting myself more-or-less to the processes/capabilities available in my slowly growing office shop has allowed me to pick a few materials and processes and/or techniques that I am really into, and refocus my designs around them. The drawback of this approach is that it is possible to easily design beyond your capabilities (when you are planning to do all of the manufacturing/fabrication yourself).
The Tab Desk Lamp is a project that I created for myself almost exactly two weeks ago as an opportunity to try out a few new techniques without the risk of wasting money on materials, or encountering failure on some of the more complicated projects that I have been planning. Also, in acting as my own shop, I created manufacturing drawings for each part, and directly followed them during fabrication.
I have wanted to cut glass with a waterjet machine ever since I learned that it was possible. Originally, I had a sheet of 0.150-in thick tempered glass laying around that I wanted to use…ends up that tempered glass explodes as soon as the pressurized beam of water touches it. I found a place that sold me “used” 0.375-in thick plate glass as a replacement. (Thanks to my friend Steve for the waterjet parts)
The formed aluminum bulb frame tabs through the glass, and a raw porcelain panel-mount light socket is attached through a hole in the sheet metal. When the bulb is installed, it locks the glass in place. This fixture was designed around the exact geometry of this 25-watt globe light bulb. The glass plane is centered around the origin of the bulb sphere, which I thought would allow for the most light to be piped through the plate glass - and look cool.
The upright of the lamp is ⅝-in OD stainless steel tubing, bent to 110-degrees - which creates a vertical upright when mounted to the adjacent leg of the right-triangle sheet metal formation base. At the top of the upright, where the bulb frame attaches, a stainless steel fixturing washer was TIG welded onto the tubing. The bulb frame is sandwiched between the stationary welded washer, and a loose washer, and clamped in place with a shaft collar. The bulb frame can rotate around the upright about 20-degrees in either direction before the balance of the light is compromised. I made parts for two of these lamps, but I have no plans for offering them to the public at this point. Big thanks to Stebs for editing my sloppy process footage together into something awesome, and letting me use the gear at New Black Studio for the photos. Media for this project is here.