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6th January – Paul Nesbitt

8 January, 2014

Paul, from Surrey Woodturners, is a regular demonstrator at Hampshire. Tonight his topic was a table lamp made without the need of a long hole borer. This he achieved by making the stem in two pieces which plugged together.

First he warned that legislation now requires the power cable to be fitted with a moulded-on plug and to be attached to the bulb socket by an electrician. I haven’t checked up on this but I suggest that if you are planning to make lamps for sale you ought to be careful. Maybe some qualified member could advise us about this?

Pauls Table Lamp

Each piece of the stem was made from square section and the first was gripped in a chuck and drilled with an 8 mm hole on the lathe as far as the drill length allowed. A spigot was turned on the end and the piece reversed and drilled again from the other end. If you are lucky the holes will meet in the middle. As long as the alignment allows the power cable to pass, that’s OK. Whilst in the chuck a rebate was turned at the end to take the spigot of the other section. Each piece was then turned and shaped. The top end of the upper section was faced off for the bulb holder and the top of the lower one finished with a bead using an Ashley Isles bead forming tool.

The base was made from a blank pre-cut into a rough octagon and drilled with a central hole. Normally this is used to mount on the lathe via a screw chuck but Paul had forgotten to bring one so had to improvise by holding between centres and cutting a chucking recess, tooling over the tailstock. Before turning the base, Paul drilled a radial hole for the cable exit using a battery hand drill with a guide mounted in the tool rest banjo. This could have been done after turning the base but there is a good chance that the drill will cause the grain to break out at the start of the hole. This is removed by the turning if the hole is drilled first.

Paul with finished lamp 2

So there you are. If you want a taller lamp you can add another section to the stem. I remember a standard lamp made by the late George Gale which was made this way from about 6 sections.


Paul finished up by giving a critique of the gallery. There were some interesting items which can be seen on the website but only 7 of them. I suppose you were all far too busy enjoying the seasonal festivities to venture into the workshop or maybe it was awash with all this awful rain? Let’s hope for a few more items next time.

Dave Gibbard

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