Wednesday, February 6, 2013

bendy wood atomic light fixture

Lighting can easily transform a space with minimal effort. But the reality, custom lighting is super pricey. I say why not make your own. With a little bit of creativity and planning it's totally possible to create something unique and pretty spectacular. Not to mention it can be done for just a few bucks.

As we continue transforming our house each room presents a new fresh lighting opportunity. The room with our current project has a few prerequisites, it needs to be fun, inexpensive, a bit funky, and as always hand crafted.

The bendy wood atomic light fixture met all my requirements.

final product

Stage 1, cutting your strips of wood that make the fixture diameter. First make sure your stock 2x material has minimum knotting (knots don't bend they break). You also need to determine your strip length at this point and cut your 2x material to that measurement (mine are @ 6'). Set your saw guide at 3/8" anything bigger is hard to bend and anything smaller breaks pretty easy. This has to be done on a table saw in order to get a consistent width. You'll need 4pcs total for fixture.

stage 1, setting guide dimension
stage 1, the 4 strips

Stage 2, set up a jig, bend, clamp, and drill holes. The jig will help you reproduce a consistent diameter. Using a 2x6 mark the end in two places to establish the overlap you need for your circles. Bend your first circle and clamp down with each end on it's appropriate mark. Once you have your piece clamped you should be able to drill a through hole on either side. Your hole can be slightly larger or the same diameter as the securing hardware. Do this same op x4.
stage 2, jig set up
stage 2, securing hardware

Stage 3, screwing the circles together. You want to fasten your circles in the two holes you made on each side of your clamp. Take a screw add a washer and start assembling your fixture. If you made your holes the same size as the hardware (#8-32 x 1/2") you just need to add first washer screw it in and add a second washer and nut to the backside and tighten.

stage 3, adding fastening hardware

Stage 4, connecting all your circles together. We chose to use the 50-60's style atomic pattern for the fixtures over all design. This makes the fixture more modern and a bit mid-century in style. Whatever style you choose you will need to connect your circles at some point in order to give the fixture better shape and strength. Drill a through hole at your connection point and assemble with more hardware.

stage 4, connecting all the circles into a pattern

stage 4, the over all look of fixture

Stage 5, adding the lighting. You can take this fixture in any direction you want just add a simple light socket, chain, maybe a mason jar and wire or give it a more finished look. Do whatever excites you!! We went in the direction of a more finished look. I used another light fixtures components and literally a few things lying around the house. All you need to do is determine the top of fixture and drill a through hole that accommodates your lighting set up.

stage 5, cutting the shaft that hides the wiring
stage 5, a view of the shaft installed
stage 5, adding a turkey fryer strainer to hide the bulbs and give a cool effect when on
stage 5, the view of final lighting set up

Again, we could of went in a few directions with this fixture. This same set up with a simple socket, stain, and a mason jar has a really cool rustic look.  Just do your thing.

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