How To Make A Glass Block Lamp

Any crafty person with a few hand tools can make a pair of lamps similar to the one shown in the photograph for a minimal cost. Try to select seasoned, clear-grained wood. There should be no knots unless you want to use the lamps in a knotty pine amusement room or den. Birch, maple or oak is excellent if you have the proper tools for working it. You will need eight feet of stock dressed to 1 1/2″ x 3 5/8″.

Care should be exercised in choosing the glass blocks, since they do not always run true. A block which can be rocked a little when placed on a level surface should not be used. You’ll need two of the 8″ size for the pair of lamps. It might be a good idea to purchase your electrical fittings and wire before starting to work on the project. Plan to use about nine feet of wire for each lamp.

When mitering the corners, use a miter box if one is available. A handmade wooden miter box is better than none at all, since free hand sawing is not likely to produce a tight corner. The projecting square length of wood between the socket and top surface of the lamp serves a dual purposeā€”to cover the threaded pipe and to add balance to the lamp design.

Bore the hole in the top part of the frame to take the pipe. Counter bore this hole on the inside to take the washer and nut. Cut or rout the wire channel on the top and one side of the frame as indicated in the drawing. Bore the outlet for the wire through the side member. Bore the screw holes in the top and bottom parts of the frame, counterboring to sufficient depth to allow for insertion of wooden plugs later.

Assemble the two sides and top of the frame, drawing in the sides until they are flush with the top. Attach the post and wire the lamp. Set the wire into the channel. Now slide the glass block carefully into the partially assembled frame and screw on the bottom part of the frame. Leave the screw holes in the bottom unplugged in case you will ever need to rewire the lamp or replace a broken glass block. Cut plugs for the top of the frame and glue them in the counter bored holes to cover the screw heads.

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