Bob the enabler

As fall comes closer on the island I’ve started back to some projects I put on the back burner during the summer. I took Heather out on a roadtrip to Demxx as she hasn’t seen it since they reorganized and as we wandered around I came across some scrap spockets that I thought would make great bases for a lamp. Heather LOVES lamps. We have lots of them in our house already (I mean lots) but I guess you can just call me an enabler 🙂

During the summer Heather and I picked up various bits and pieces at garage sales around our area and I thought I’d build a lamp out of some of the stuff we’d procured. Heather had picked up a number of glass shades so I thought I would add one in to class up my idea.

Project pieces

I don’t know what the steel links were actually used for but I thought they would make a great neck for the lamp. I cleaned up the links and got to work welding them up. Once the links of the neck were welded up I welded it on to the sprocket base. Looked pretty cool.

The next part got me thinking about how I was going to attach the shade to the lamp assembly. My initial thought was to find some pipe, cut a slice of it and create a mount out of that. I did manage to pick up a piece of 2 1/2 inch pipe at Demxx but when I got it home I realized it just didn’t have the look I wanted. What to do, what to do….

That’s when I started looking around my scrap metal pile and found a length of steel corner bead that I had cut down when I was making my wall hanging piece a while ago.  It had a nice convex shape and was about the right width so I thought I would fire up the forge and bend it around a piece of pipe and see what happened. Turns out I’m a genius! Okay, that may be a little strong, but it worked and I had a nice ring that looked good and fit around the glass shade nicely.

I welded the ends of the ring together and ground it down. Then drilled and tapped holes for the brass screws I wanted to use to hold the shade to the ring. Now I had to figure out how to attach the shade ring assembly to the lamp neck as well as connect the bulb assembly. I scrounged around and found a scrap piece of 1/8 flat stock then ground it down to to fit on the back of the ring and drilled a hole for attaching the bulb assembly. I tacked the plate to the ring and then took a piece of 1/4 inch rod, bent a U shaped bracket and welded that to the plate  for attaching the assembly to the neck of the lamp. Hard part done!

Completed lamp shade assembly

I got Heather to eyeball the positioning of the glass shade and welded it into place.  I really liked the industrial elements mixed with the elegance of the old glass shade.  That was enough. Tomorrow I would deal with wiring it up.


Next day I gathered all the electrical pieces I needed and got to work wiring it all up. Pretty straight forward. For running the wire back though the base I had found it had a conveniently placed hole where a set screw secured the keyway that originally held the sprocket to whatever shaft it was attached to so that’s where I ran the lamp cord through. I secured the lamp cord to the links with some copper wire and we were done.


It’s now in a place of honour in our guest room where it sits on the side table that I built previously. I think it looks pretty sharp.

The thing I really liked about this project was that it was kind of a “stone soup” of projects. It started off as a pretty straightforward weld up, but had me doing some on the fly design and fabrication, I got to use the forge again (big thumbs up) and I got to mix the steel with glass, copper and brass.

Now, what’s next? Time to start on the router sled for flattening the tabletop I want to do something with. Gord has graciously lent me his router so I better get on with it. More on that soon.



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