Thursday, May 31, 2012

Lamp shade from a bowl

 I wrote about one Dr.Rama Shastry in my previous post about a Chess board.  Whenever I went to him to play Chess, my attention used to get attracted towards a lamp he had fixed at the edge of his vintage desk that had 1000 draws [exaggerating].  It was a simple lamp with a bulb holder, which was also the clip, something like what we see on writing clipboards.  The shade was adjustable to any angle and without the bulb it was a separate unit.  I found it very very interesting.  It used the curvature of the spherical bulb for tilting to any desired angle as work was done on a desk.  It was a fantastic little lamp that tickled my ingenuity!

I wanted to make one like it for my study table too!  There was a corner shelf fixed to the wall above my study desk and the location suited for using it. The advantage of this lamp was that it asked no space on the desk as table lamps do, but all it wants is something to cling on! 

Dr.Shastry's model was an old factory-manufactured unit and I needed something similar.  So I picked up a clip from a clipboard that was discarded.  Removed the two rivets from the old board, fixed the clip to another customized piece of hardboard.  Then, I fixed an old brass bulb holder to it with small nuts and bolts and a hole for the wire to pass through. 

This became my favourite lamp for many years until I found that it was no longer required for the desk.  I made a hole in the hardboard and hung it above the sewing machine for additional lighting.  It is still in use, 36 years on.  In the above picture, I have made a shade out of a discarded aluminum rectangular bowl. This was the second such shade.

Let me tell how I had made the first one.  There was an old ceramic coated bowl lying in the attic/store room along with other junk. I thought this was the most suitable one, even if I made a hole and damaged it. The spring-clip fixed to it will cling on the bulb and the round shape of the bulb will make it tilt to any direction and the spring tension will make it stay there.  That is the beauty of this design!  The shade must not be too heavy otherwise, it will tilt down by its weight.  That was the right weight too.  

I made the spring from a damaged bicycle wheel spoke I had in my tool section. I made an 'eye' to fix it with a nut to the bowl on the inside.  Ordinary metal wires will not suit for springs.  

This was one of my many enjoyable little projects that is serving me well even today.


  1. This is WAY COOL, Dinu!! Thanks for enLIGHTening me!!!!

  2. Does the clip part of the clip board serve a function Dinu?


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