This project all started a few weeks ago… very innocently I might add… when my husband, Brian, and I were enjoying a nice afternoon hike. The sun was shining, the birds were singing, we spotted a heron in the river and we spotted a banged up car in a drainage ditch. Ooooohh, that needed exploring a bit further. For some reason, my husband let me scramble down the hill myself to do the exploring.
The car must have been there at least 50 years, it was a rusted mess… not very useful to me, but lying right beside the hunk of junk was this fantastic spring. I see another lamp in my future.
Here I am coming out of the ditch with my treasure, You can see a little bit of my car in the background.
Putting the lamp together took about a week. It would have been a lot shorter if my varnish would ever dry.
A. I needed a post for the interior of my lamp. I actually went to Southern States first, since I knew they sold round fence posts. Home Depot and Lowes don’t (at least around me) , Southern States had tons of posts but all were pressure treated. I didn’t really want the chemicals on an interior project. Back at home, I checked my own wood pile and found a nicely aged log which was fairly straight. It had come from a portion of our Bradford Pear tree that had fallen in a storm.
B. I cut my new found post to the length of my cool spring.
C. Some of the bark came off fairly easily revealing surprisingly nice wood underneath.
D. The remainder of the bark came off easily with a hammer and chisel. I would not recommend freshly sawed wood, with varnish and stain the wood needs to be dried out.
E. Needed a top and bottom to hold my log in, these were found at Michaels as part of their clockworks section.
F. With a walnut stain, these pine disks start to look rather rich.
G. My Bradford Pear log gets the same treatment., stain and a few coats of hand rubbed tung oil varnish.
H. After about 5 days, I was finally ready to drill a hole down the center of my log. While this picture shows me drilling while the log was in the spring, that really didn’t work. The drill caused the log to spin out of control. Had to hold the log with my feet while drilling. There must be an easier way.
It really shouldn’t have taken 5 days, but 4 days after my first coat of varnish it was still tacky. Tired of waiting and not wanting to start over, I stuck my log outside in the hot sunshine. It happened to be 90 degrees that day. By noon, my log had finally dried out. Yeah. Another coat of varnish, more sunshine, another coat, more sunshine and I was finally ready to move on.
All my supplies were ready for the final attachments.
For wiring a lamp, please check out my post here. I would tell you to try out your lamp before doing your final attachments. Mine didn’t work. Luckily it wasn’t because I had done anything wrong, the lightbulb was burnt out…why wasn’t that thrown away? Second bulb worked great.
I used finishing nails and my handy dandy nail gun to attach the top and bottom.
Hope this has inspired you to make a lamp out of the ordinary.
This project was featured at