How to Make a Simple Industrial Floor Lamp
Want to create an industrial floor lamp for your space? This versatile, easy-to-make fixture can act as a floor lamp for a whole room or be moved in closer for use as reading illumination. It’s a fun, unique accent to your apartment and utilizes the tools you already have.
For this project, all you need is a drill with a set of normal bits, as well as paddle or Forstner bits for the larger clearance holes. If you have them, an orbital sander, miter saw and clamps for gluing can be quite helpful but aren’t necessary. Finally, you’ll need a tool to cut or grind down a small angle on the edge of the “Angled Spacer” seen below. The miter saw or orbital sander mentioned earlier would work, but a rotary tool or small hand saw could also do the job in a pinch.
Supplies for Lamp
- (5) 8’ lengths of 1x2 furring strips or higher quality “common board”
- (2) carriage bolts ¼ – 20 x 5 ½” lg
- (2) carriage bolts ¼ – 20 x 4” lg
- (1) carriage bolt ¼ – 20 x 2 ½” lg
- (5) ¼” washers
- (5) ¼ – 20 wing nuts
- (1) can of urethane and/or stain
- (1) bottle of wood glue
- (1) lamp-making kit
- (1) light bulb (I used an Edison-style LED bulb here)
- (3) screw eyes large enough to fit your lamp cord
- Cut Wood to Length
Cut the 8-foot lengths of wood to the following dimensions. Many home improvement stores will make the cuts for you upon request.
- (26) spacers – 1½ inches
- (1) bulb mount – 5¼ inches
- (1) light hanger – 6 inches
- (2) light horizontals – 8½ inches
- (3) angled supports/back weights – 10 inches
- (4) bottom feet – 18 inches
- (2) vertical supports – 42 inches
- (2) horizontal supports – 44 inches
- Glue Wood
Feet are at the top and bottom. Angled support is shown in the middle.
To make this fixture, we’ll need to put together several sub-assemblies to be fastened together later. Assemble the parts as described below, then clamp or weight them with whatever you have handy (like cans of stain or urethane, for example) while they dry.
- Bottom Feet: Stack and glue two spacers next to each cut on the 1½-inch plane on an 18-inch piece of wood, then glue another 18-inch piece on top of the spacers. Repeat for the second foot.
- Angled Support: Glue one spacer on either side of a 10-inch piece of wood, then glue another 10-inch piece on top of that.
Horizontal support glued and clamped together.
- Horizontal Support: Glue a 10-inch length of wood to one end of a 44-inch piece, as shown above. Glue a spacer nine and a quarter inches from the end of the 10-inch length of wood, then glue another 44-inch piece on top of that.
Lamp shade assembly with light hanger shown to be glued on later.
- Lamp Shade: Glue a stack of five spacers to each side of an 8½-inch length of wood. Glue another 8½-inch length on top of the spacers. Allow it to dry, then glue the 5¼-inch “bulb mount” straddling the middle of the two 8½-inch lengths of wood. More gluing may be required—see step six, “Assembly Frame.”
- Cut Angled Support
Angled support with notches cut.
Cut two notches in the angled spacer assembly at 45 degrees to a depth of roughly 5/16 of an inch. Notches will be on either side of the assembly, as shown in the image here. They will allow the final assembly to sit flush on the ground, but you don’t have to cut them perfectly.
- Drill Holes
A hand drill will work here, or a drill press if you have access to one.
In this design, you’ll drill all holes through the 1½-inch face of each length of wood, three-quarters of an inch from the edge. Holes listed as a quarter of an inch may be drilled oversized as needed.
- Spacers: Drill holes through the middle of the five remaining spacers.
A larger hole will allow you to insert the carriage bolts.
- Bottom Feet: Drill two ¼-inch holes in the 18-inch length of wood. The first should be four and three-quarters of an inch from the end, while the other is 10 and three-quarters of an inch from the opposite end. On one of these assemblies, drill 5/8-inch-diameter holes through the other 18-inch length of wood so that the hole positions are in line with the ¼-inch holes. These holes will allow for the carriage bolts to be assembled. You can optionally avoid this step by inserting the carriage bolts before gluing the feet together.
- Vertical Support: On each of the 42-inch vertical supports, drill ¼-inch holes three-quarters of an inch from each end. Drill another ¼-inch hole six and three-quarters of an inch from one side on each of these lengths of wood.
A screw eye will eventually reside in between the two horizontal supports.
- Horizontal Support: Drill a ¼-inch hole three-quarters of an inch from the end that isn’t glued together. Drill another ¼-inch hole through the center of the spacer glued inside. Drill a hole large enough to fit the entire screw eye (¾-inch-diameter shown here) inside through one 42-inch length of wood about 13 inches from the unglued end.
- Light Hanger: Drill a ¼-inch hole three-quarters of an inch from one or both cut edges (see below).
- Lamp “Shade”: Drill a hole to accommodate your lamp fixture through the middle of the 5¼-inch bulb mount. Optionally, you can also drill a ¼-inch hole through both lengths of 8½-inch pieces of wood two and a quarter inches from the end to attach the hanger. If you skip this, you only have to drill one hole in the previous step. The glue will support the lamp shade.
- Sand, Stain, and Urethane
Smooth the wood.
To smooth the rough edges of your wood, sand each glued assembly piece with sandpaper or a power sander if you have one.
Optionally, you may want to apply a stain or a coat of urethane to your lamp. These may be applied separately, but they are also sold as a combination for one-step application. Application might be easier before assembly, but you can also apply these finishing touches after the lamp is fully assembled if you’re anxious to see how it turns out!
- Assemble Frame
Attach the feet and angled support with carriage bolts.
Insert a 5½-inch carriage bolt through each of the two 5/8-inch holes on one of the “foot” assemblies, then through the ¼-inch holes. Thread the bolt closest to the end of the foot into the hole on the 42-inch vertical support closest to the middle hole. Thread it into three spacers, then into the same side of the other 42-inch vertical support. Thread the other carriage bolt through a spacer, then the angled support—with the angled cutout down—and finally a second spacer followed by the second foot. Secure both with a washer and wingnut.
Secure the loose end of the angled support with a 4-inch carriage bolt through both sides of the vertical support and tighten in the same manner as the feet. Secure the top horizontal support with a carriage bolt and wing nut and washer, with the longer portion facing in the same direction as the longer part of the feet.
Insert the 6-inch light hanger into the shade assembly, using either a 5½-inch carriage bolt or by gluing the inside of one of the middle spacers. (You could also do both.) Once dry, attach the other end with a 2½-inch carriage bolt and wingnut/washer to the horizontal support.
Flatten the bottom.
Once this is done, stand the assembly on its feet and observe to see if it sits flush. If not, you may have to either drill the holes out slightly oversize and adjust or sand the bottom as shown here to take out any high spots.
- Assemble Bulb and Test
Assemble the light fixture per your product’s directions. Before you fully wire in the light socket, install eye screws to support the wire inside of the frame and feed the wire through. This should include one through the middle of the horizontal support, taking advantage of the hole you previously drilled, as well as one or more inside the vertical support structure.
The lamp can be adjusted into the “up” or “down” position, as shown above. Once done, turn on the lamp and light up your room!
And there you go! Set this industrial floor lamp in the corner of a room as an accent piece or in a prominent place to make it a stand-out piece.
Jeremy Cook is obsessed with tech and creating DIYs. He likes to test new gadgets like LED bulbs as part of his custom builds and gives some great advice on how to use them in your own home. To see Home Depot’s selection of LED options, click here.
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