Category Archives: Build

Knap Lamp

The first thing you notice about this lamp is that when it is on, the wooden balls seem to float mysteriously in the center of the lamp.   Remarkably, that is how the lamp is turned on and off.  For now I’ll show you the wood working involved, leaving the mystery switch to your imagination.

Knap is a word in the Dutch language that translates variously to clever, good looking, smart, handsome, or bright.  All words that describe this continuing project.  There will be more designs coming soon that will incorporate this switch design.  This is the first.

To make the frame to hold the LED lights I selected a nice hard maple board and began cutting, forming, and finally mitering and joining the pieces to for an octagon.

The mitered joints are made structurally sound by using carefully designed splines, two at each joint.  Lots of cutting and fitting, but it works well for strength and looks nice too.

I needed lenses to cover the LED’s and they were made from 1/8″ milky white translucent cast plexiglass.  That comes covered in protective paper on both sides so you can cut and fit it without putting scratches in it.

The base holds the wiring and power supply for the LED’s.  It is just a basic box made with miter corners to hide all end grain.  There is a separate top frame to mount the upper framework.

Final sanding and then two coats of stain followed by three coats of poly for the finishing touch.

This is “special walnut” on hard maple.

Finally the wires are all connected, the switch strings and wooden balls installed and it is ready to go.  The lower ball has a special resting place when the lamp is off.

It has a mysterious and elegant look, especially when turned on.



Knap Gen Tu

This is the second design from Knap Lamp.  A play on words, generation two (Gen Tu).  Knap Gen Tu, as most of my designs, is a one of lamp.  It is currently for sale, the price is $250 plus shipping. Click on “Shop” on the menu bar above.  I will ship to US only.  Build pictures are available on request.

Knap Gen Tu features the mystery switch of the first design operating 4 LED strip lights (one strip on each side of the lamp), and has an 8′ cord.  It is made of Oak with a golden oak stain covered by 3 coats of poly.  Measurements of the lamp are shown in the following pictures.

Modern Conventional Lamp

I’m always looking to make something unique.  A lamp is always a good project that allows one to harvest some creativity.   This lamp is one that I actually use.  It’s unique and functional.

It incorporates a dimmer switch located in the base with a low energy use LED bulb so it is versatile to provide the amount of light you want at any given time.

The base was laminated hard maple that was then routed and drilled to accommodate the hardware needed to make it all work.

The top of the base got the edges rounded over and drilled for the switch and post for the assembly that holds the bulb.

The switch is one of the main features of the lamp as it gives it you the ability to dim the light to your needs.  Wire connections all done taking time to make them all secure.

With everything secure it was time to make the upper structure.  More hard maple cut, sized, shaped, and grooved to hold the lenses that cover it.  All glued together to make a nice frame.  The top was designed to have some style and allow the installation of the bulb from the top.  Also it has a space at the bottom, all this to allow heat to dissipate so as not to melt the lenses.  This was a lesson learned on an earlier lamp project.


Glue and screws at the key points make it pretty rugged.


The screws get capped and adds to the detail of the lamp.  Gotta insert the lenses before screwing it all together, but also have to finish the wood before putting in the lenses or any more hardware.  I used a clear finish to let the beauty of the maple wood show through.

One small detail that bothered me was the knob that came with the switch.  Silver covered plastic was functional, but I just wanted something more unique.  So I mounted a piece of maple on the lathe and got creative.  This is what I came up with.

          I think it adds to the design.

Unique and functional.

One final note.  The bottom is covered with a medium weight felt to cover the electrical details and provide a nice pad so it won’t scratch whatever it is set on.



Pasta/Noodle Roller

This is how egg noodles were made “back in the day” before they were mass produced and available on your grocer’s shelf.  By varying the distance between the cutting ribs you could make anything from spaghetti to fettuccine to wide egg noodles.  Depending on the recipe for the dough you used you made pasta or egg noodles.

Starting with a glued up, laminated, turning blank of hard maple (Cherry, Walnut, etc.) it isn’t a hard project, but does require some precise turning to make it work.  I took the corners off on the table saw to save some time on the lathe.  I wanted the finished piece to be about 19″ long with the handles so I made the blank a couple inches longer than that.

The first step is to just make the whole thing round  with a roughing gouge, which doesn’t take too long.  You want to get it close to the same diameter the full length of the piece.

Next I did the a handle on each end using whatever tools I found necessary.  A large skew, a small skew, spindle gouge, and parting tool.  Then took my time sizing the main barrel of the roller to make it precisely the same size from one end to the other.  This is necessary to have the “cutting blades” all contact the work surface at the same time.  The final touch was to use sand paper on a wood block to get it exact.

The last turning step was to lay out the cut outs for the noodles and remove the material between the cutting blades.  I made this one to make 1/2″ egg noodles, with each blade being 1/8″ wide at the base, tapered to almost a point where the roller meets the work surface.

The tapering to almost a point is precise turning with a small, sharp skew.

Final sanding and the turning is done.  Removed from the lathe and checked on the top of the table saw shows the “blades” all meet the work surface at the same time.

The handles are accented with five shallow turns accented by holding a steel wire against the wood turning on the lathe which burns the accent into the wood.  Simple but elegant addition to a wood turning like this.

Finally the excess material is cut off with the chop saw.  I know some people just use a parting tool to do this but I’ve had things go flying doing it that way.  A little hand sanding finishes the handles.

The finished raw wood is nice looking and then doing three coats of walnut oil really makes it look great.

Now where did I see that recipe for the perfect egg noodles?

Wooden Spoon


This was just something I wanted to make.  No real reason except that I never made one before.  It started out as a leftover piece of hard maple wood.  I cut it in half to make two spoons, which I did.  I kept one and have one for the table at the next craft fair.

After cutting them to size, the fun begins.

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The marks on the end of the wood finds the center of the piece, important to mount it on the lathe later.  Meanwhile, I drew a rough outline to remove some of the wood for the handle and to rough shape the piece.

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I made both “blanks” at the same time.  Marking and using a sharp punch to make a center hole to mount each one on the lathe when the time comes.

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Once on the lathe it was just a matter of shaping the spoon part and the handle to a desirable shape.

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Next it was just a trial and error method of scooping out the wood to form the bowl of the spoon.  I used the drill press and a forstner bit to do the bulk of it, then used a sharp chisel to finish the shaping.  After it was really close I used coarse to fine sand paper to finish it up.

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Because I plan to use it and not just display it, the finish used is just a number of coats of the right oil.  I used coconut oil on this one, which is one of the recommended oils for such an item.  It doesn’t get rancid at room temperatures.  Walnut oil is also a good oil to use for wooden cooking utensils.


I’ve since finished the second one and have been using it in the kitchen.  Very nice because I shaped it to fit into the round edges of our cookware so it stirs things very well.