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Paul McCartney once said that he always walked around with his antenna up.  Random sounds and images were stored in his cerebral temp folder only to reappear years later in unexpected combinations.

My Radial Wave Lamp was born in the same way. It’s an amalgam of an unusual router bit that I purchased before I knew what I would do with it, a router jig that needed a purpose, a reproduction barn light (top)—originally patented in 1924—and a mid-century modern reflector lamp (bottom) designed by George Nelson in 1950.

Two commercially-made lamps inspired my design. The corrugated pattern of the red “barn light” was patented in 1924; the black table lamp was created by George Nelson around 1950.

The last thing that I needed was another lamp, but sometimes doing something “just because I can” is enough justification for building a project.  Besides, Radial Wave makes me smile.

You can build the lamp from a single piece of 20″ x 30″ Baltic birch plywood. See “Radial Router Jig,” for details on making the reflector. The lamp’s base is glued up from two pieces. The balls and rods are painted with a spray-on enamel.

A local lamp store supplied the white canister and other electrical components; their electrician wired it for me, too. I used an 11 watt LED light that generates very little heat while providing a surprising amount of light. Like the whole idea!



 1   Reflector……….1/2″ x 14″ Dia.

 3   Dowel Rods….3/8″ Dia. x 24″

12  Balls……………..1-1/4″ Dia.

 1   Base……………..1″ x 7-1/2″ Dia.

 1   Canister………..3-1/2″ Dia. x 6-1/2″

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