In this video I'm going to show you howto make a curved wood and acrylic LED desk lamp with concrete base.
Combiningthese 3 materials was a bit challenging but the end result wasbeyond my expectations.
Here you'll learn some tips on how tomake a concrete form, how to shape wood, and most interesting – how to bend acrylic.
Be sure to check the video description, to find all the tools and materials thatare used for this project.
Also, don't forget to subscribe to my channel.
Alright, now let's get into the build! I started with the concrete base.
As a mold I'm going to use a plastic ice cream container with a good size and shape.
Tokeep the concrete from sticking to the mold, I poured cooking oil into the container and spread it all over the surface witha napkin.
I have coarse sand, cement, and a bottleof water.
So, I can mix up some concrete.
Into this old bucketI'm pouring one part cement with one part sand, and slowly adding water.
I'mmixing with a stick until I get nice and thick consistency.
Using coarse sand willresult in a very interesting texture of the base.
Once I'm done mixing, I can pour the concrete into the mold until it reaches about 3 centimeters height.
Then I remove the air bubbles by vibrating the container by hand.
You should see airbubbles rising to the top.
The more bubbles you relieve from the form, thesmoother your form will be.
I let the concrete cure for 2 days beforeremoving the mold.
That should be enough time for 3 centimeters thick concrete form to cure.
Removing the mold was extremely easy, I guess the cooking oil helped a lot.
There are still some air bubbles on thesurface, which I think look awesome.
Sanding the entire surface with a 220grit sandpaper made a huge difference as it reveal the beautiful texture of thebase.
At this point I'm done with the base, so I can move on to the body of thelamp for which I chose hard wood.
This time I wanted to experiment a little and make a curved shape which requires a little more time and effort to achieve.
Now I'm drawing a curve onto this wooden board.
Then I took a ruler, placed it perpendicular to the curve and marked some dots at 3 centimeters distance along the curve.
By connecting all the dots I'mdrawing another curve which is at a constant 3 centimeters distance from thefirst one.
This way I drew an object that I'm going to cut with a jigsaw.
So I clamped down the wooden board and started cutting, making sure I'm as closeto the line as possible.
Anyway, I'll make some adjustments with a rasp at the end.
Once I'm done with the first piece, I placed it onto the boardand traced its outline with a pencil.
Then again, I cut the second piece.
Irepeated this step for 2 more pieces.
In fact, I need to cut 4 identicalpieces that will be glued together.
From the two middle pieces I need to remove 1 centimeter of their width, but still leaving around 3 centimeters on bothends.
This space I'll use for the LEDs and for the acrylic.
I thought I could dothis with a coping saw, but after a few minutes I gave up, since it was too slow.
However, this is a hard wood and I need to figure out a faster way of makingthose cuts.
The only solution I could think of, was to cut it with an invertedjigsaw which I made myself.
You can check my video on how I built my multi-purposeworkbench.
The link is in the video description.
So, I installed the jigsawonto the workbench and started cutting.
Cutting without a guide for the jigsawis not 100% accurate, but I don't mind, because later I'll make some adjustments.
Moving slowly and carefully I made the cuts.
Then I clamped down those 2 pieces and took a rasp to even them out before the assembly.
Now all four pieces areready to be joined together.
To hold everything together, I decided to useonly a wood glue.
I applied a large amount of wood glue to make strongconnection between the pieces.
After that, I secured it with a few clamps, and leftit to completely dry.
Once it has dried, I noticed a lot ofimperfections all over it, so I took a rasp again and evened out the entiresurface.
To flatten the top and the bottom of the body, I clamped it onto thecrosscut sled and made two cuts, removing just a little of the length.
All the cutsare made, so I can move on to sending.
A drum sander would be perfect forsanding curves, but I don't have one, so an orbital sander and a sending bookare good alternatives.
To speed up the sanding process, I used my orbital sanderas much as I could, but for the spots that it couldn't reach, I used a sandingblock.
The body of the lamp is finished, and the next thing I need to do is tomake a light cover out of acrylic.
Its width needs to be 4 centimeters , and in order to determine its length I used an LED strip, because it is flexible and Ican easily measure the space inside the body.
I cut the acrylic on my table saw using the crosscut sled, then I peeled off theprotective film and prepared the acrylic for bending.
Here is how I did it: I tooka portable gas stove, a lighter, protective gloves, the body of the lamp, awooden piece that I previously cut out of the middle and an empty can thatwill help me shape the acrylic.
Then, I turned the gas stove on and reduced theheat as much as I could.
After that, I took the acrylic and placed it above thegas stove.
The distance between the acrylic and the flame should be at least 15centimeters, in order to avoid air bubbles into the acrylic.
By slowlymoving the acrylic back and forth for about 3 minutes, I heated half of itssurface once it reaches the appropriate temperature we can notice that it startsbending without even touching it.
So, I placed it above the body of the lamp andbent it with the help of this can.
Bending acrylic is actually very easyand satisfying process of making different shapes.
I repeated the samewith the other half of the acrylic piece and finally got the desired shapethat fits the body of the lamp perfectly.
Now let's go back to the concrete base.
I'm going to have two bolts going through the concrete base and into thewood.
So, I positioned the body of the lamp onto the base to trace its outline.
Thenmarked the points where I need to drill holes for the bolts.
To drill the holes Iinserted a masonry bit into my regular drill, because I don't have a hammerdrill which is meant to drill into concrete.
Anyway, it wasn't that difficultto make those holes.
Then I inserted screws into the holes, to mark the pointswhere I need to drill into the wood.
After that, I replaced the screws withbolts in order to determine the exact direction of the bolts.
Hence, I drilled the holes, making sure I follow the lines.
On the back side of thelamp, I'll have the power switch and the 12 V DC power connector.
The holes thatI'm drilling should be within the opening for the LEDs and the acrylic.
Nowthat I'm done cutting, drilling and shaping, I can apply finish to each partof the lamp.
To protect and seal the concrete, I spray-painted it with atransparent spray paint for concrete.
It emphasized the texture of the concrete, made it smooth, and most important, dust-free.
I added some frosting to the acrylic to help conceal the LEDs, by applying threecoats of transparent spray paint with satin finish.
Finally, onto the wood Iapplied a transparent finish as well.
The goal here is to protect the wood and to emphasize the natural wood grain as well.
Now let's install the light.
I cut twoLED strips, 42 centimeters long at the predetermined cut points, and sincethey're waterproof, I needed to remove the coating from the copper pads to beable to solder some wires.
I cut a few pieces of red and black, or positive andnegative wire, and stripped off the insulation of their ends.
I soldered thepositive and the negative onto the power connector.
Onto the switch, Isoldered only the positive wire, because later I need to connect the switch tothe power connector.
After inserting them onto the back ofthe lamp, I pulled out the wires and solder the red wire from the connectorto the switch.
Once I peeled off the tape cover of the back of the LEDs, I stuckthem on to the lamp.
Then, I connected the red wire to the positive pad of theLEDs, and the black wire to the negative pad of the LEDs.
Now, I can test if itworks properly.
I inserted the plug into the connector, turned the light on, andplaced the acrylic above the light.
Although I tried to frost the acrylic byapplying 3 coats of spray paint, I can still see the LEDs and the wires.
So, to make them less visible, I covered the LEDs and the wires with white tape.
Tosecure the acrylic into place, I used 5 minutes epoxy.
Just a little epoxyon the top, the bottom and the middle is enough to hold the acrylic in place.
Lastly, Iclamped the body of the lamp onto the table, and attached the concrete base by screwing two bolts.
To protect the surfaces from scratching I attached some silicon pads.
And that's it! simply plug the power cord in, and turn the light on from the powerswitch.
This lamp came out beautiful! I really like the combination betweenconcrete, wood and acrylic, and I can say that I've learned so much through theprocess of creating such lamp.
Thanks for watching! If you enjoyed this build, besure to like share and subscribe to my channel!.