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Spalted Maple Disc Lamps

We LOVE these lamps!! Recently, we have been occupied with creating numerous outdoor sculptures from very large discs of white oak, sliced 2-3” thick from the trunk of a nearby tree. When we finished those, we turned our attention to this pair of much smaller discs from a maple tree. We have long wanted to attempt circular lamps with embedded LED lights, and this was finally our chance. We began by stripping the bark from the perimeter. We then cut the centers out along the outline of the tree rings (not wanting a perfect circle) with the jigsaw. After sanding that surface, we used the plunge router to route a groove in which to recess the LED strip lights and drilled a hole to the outside for the electrical cord.

From our stash of cut-off hunks of wood we rescued a very rough looking 3” thick piece of curly maple which, when planed smooth, revealed some unbelievable grain. We cut that in half, cleaned up the ends, and enhanced the natural rustic areas with further carving and sanding. Wow. We used the table router to route in two grooves underneath to allow the power cord to emerge from any side of the base.

In the bottom of the disc and top of the base we drilled holes to accommodate the 3/4” steel pipes that form the ‘stems’ of the lamps. These we spray painted with “hammered” style paint to give them a subtle visual texture. The paint color matches very well with the spalted grain colors in the discs, which, when we polished them with ultra fine grit sandpaper, actually started to look more like rock than wood! Everything was then finished in multiple coats of hand rubbed oil and urethane in a satin look.

The steel rods are loose in the discs and bases, by design. First, for shipping, it will allow us to pull the rod out of the base and lay the entire thing flat in a box—much safer for shipping. Second, should there ever be a problem with the LED light string, it means an easy fix because the joint between the LED light strip and the cord is easily accessible. Not only that, it means that you can rotate the the discs atop the bases to any desired angle for display.

These lamps measure 25” tall x 11” wide (at the base) x 6 1/2” deep (at the base). The discs measure approximately 10 1/2” in diameter and 2” thick. They look good on end tables at opposite ends of a couch or love seat, and on opposite ends of a long console table. They are “mood lights” and are not intended as work/reading lights.

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