Category Archives: Design

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.

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.

 

 

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.

 

 

Wooden Spoon

img_0058

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.

img_0032 img_0033

img_0035 img_0036

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.

img_0039 img_0040

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.

img_0041 img_0042

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

img_0045 img_0046

img_0047 img_0048

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.

img_0049 img_0050

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.

img_0059

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.

Granite Top Parsons Desk

img_2878

My son is a successful internet guy.  He must be because people pay him really well to do what he does.  What exactly he does is beyond what my mind can grasp, but it really isn’t something you need to know to appreciate this build.  If he wants me to show a better picture of the finished desk in an uncluttered office he will have to send me a better picture.

The story begins with an email from my son telling me he saw a picture of a parsons desk that would work really well for him in his soon to be new  office.  Unfortunately it cost thousands of dollars, and he’s basically cheap like me.  When I looked at the thing it didn’t seem like it would take much to build one similar so we got to talking.  Next thing I knew I was drawing and figuring out how to build such a thing.  And then started measuring the lumber I had to work with.

img_0005 img_0006

img_0001 img_0022

Now unlike the guy in the movie that said “oak’s nice” my son doesn’t really like oak.  And hard maple is pricey like walnut and cherry, so we looked for an alternative.  What we settled on is poplar.  Poplar is easy to work with and pretty structurally sound, which is important when supporting a slab of granite that will weigh in over 200 lbs.

The first parts I made were the legs.  Notched so the weight would be directly supported on those legs rather than rely on fasteners to hold the weight.  To cut down on the overall weight of the finished desk, I designed the legs to be hollow but we wanted them to look, I believe the word my son used was “brawny”.

img_0038 img_0050

Edge gluing with good glue and lots of clamps, then using the planer to do the final sizing produced just what we needed.

Then it was time to make the top framework.  This had to be very structural to support the weight and have the necessary support under the granite so it wouldn’t ever crack.  Laminating seemed to be the answer rather than using a single board of the width I wanted.  Stronger and much cheaper to produce.  Originally I was just going to make up the parts needed and send them to my son for assembly, but as the design came to physical reality, it seemed a better idea to ship it as an assembly.

img_0058 img_0062

It was going to take a lot of clamps and gluing to make this thing come together correctly.  So I went on to assemble the parts and fasten it all together as a unit.  The cross braces are notched to fit snugly into the side rails, which were glued and screwed together.

img_0064 img_0063

The top had to be assembled to be as exactly “square” possible so the granite would fit when it was added to the project.  And the dimensions had to be spot on also.  Another challenge was to be sure no screws or “plugs” would be visible on the outer surfaces, so fastening the legs to the top frame had to be engineered so all the screws are on the inside surfaces.

img_0082 img_0087

The measurements and “square” of the desk were darn near exactly what was ordered.

img_0072 img_0073

img_0074

The finished desk is 30 inches tall, so the wooden base needed to be 29″ to allow for the 1″ granite slab to be installed on top of it.  The top was “squared” to really close tolerances in hopes the granite would be finished as closely as the wooden base.

img_0084 img_0086

The bottoms of the legs were plugged and then the final sanding before staining.

img_0090 img_0095

The first coat of stain turned out to be too red for the desired color so it took another two coats of darker brown to get what we wanted.  In the end, it came out just about how we wanted it.

img_0098 img_0108

Then a couple coats, three actually of semi gloss polyurethane completed the finish.

img_0110 img_0113

One thing you can’t see is that the top edges, where the granite would be glued to the wood surface, was done with a top grade spar urethane, an exterior grade urethane, so the glue holding the granite would have the best possible surface to bond with.

The base was now sent to my son’s house where the granite was to be delivered and installed.  The finished desk is just what he wanted.  Another job well done.

img_2879 img_2881

img_2882

Now I expect him to make a lot of money as he enjoys his new work surface.