Tuesday, July 21, 2015

diy bedside pendant lamps ... part 1

This one is a goodie.  You may remember that Mr B made these very gorgeous pendant lamps for our bedroom at the cottage.  Well I wanted to have a go too, but clearly my woodwork skills are a little less accomplished so it would have to be a bit more simple.  I came up with the design below, two pieces of wood with the pendant threaded through it.  A good project for testing my new Worx Tools brushless motor drill.  Below you can see my very simple design, two pieces of wood joined at right angles with some long screws & the cord (in yellow) threaded through, finished with a pendant shade.  

Two things I have learned from wood work lessons with Mr B.
Lesson 1 - the finish is much neater if the edges you are joining are perfectly straight and square.
Lesson 2 - Clamps are your friend, clamp your pieces together before you join them, clamp them to the work bench, and clamp in stabilisers.  You can never have to many clamps.  All this effort is going to keep the wood still while you are drilling & glueing and will give you a much better finish.

So no surprises that clamping everything together is where this project begins.

Step 1 - clamp everything together securely.
You can see below I started by clamping the long piece of wood to the edge of the table.
Then I positioned the second piece of wood at right angles and used a spare piece as a stabiliser and to make sure the join is exactly at right angles.  I clamped the stabiliser to the first piece and then clamped the second piece across the stabiliser.  This may sound confusing, just find your own way and make sure everything is held down tight.

Just a quick look at how the finished piece is going to look when it is put together.  Tutorial continues below.

So Step 1 was to clamp everything down (below left)

Step 2 - Predrill the holes in the piece that will go against the wall
This means you don't have to push so hard when you drill in the screw & in my experience this means I can drill straighter. I also used the Kreg bit to create a countersink hole which means the screw head will sit flush with the wood.  When you come to hanging the light this means the wooded upright will be able to lie flush against the wall.  You are going to thank me for suggesting this now.

Step 3 - Glue and Screw
Put a little wood glue on the surfaces you are going to join and screw together.

Step 4 - Clamp and let it dry
Leave it all securely clamped until the glue is dry and you are done.

Step 5 - Drill the holes in the cross piece for the cord
I forgot to photograph this step.  Just make sure your bit is a little bigger than the cord.  Pretty straight forward.

I am going to show you the finished product and discuss the cord in another post, once it is installed in the cottage bedroom.  

I am going to end with some comments on the Worx Brushless Drill that I used for this project.
We have another drill, a standard good product used by most trades, and I was given this one by Worx to road test.  I love it, and I am not just saying this because it was a gift, my opinions are always my own.  But I really love love love this drill.  

  • Firstly the brushless motor means that it is a little lighter than the normal drill which makes it feel better to use, especially if you don't have super muscular arms like me.  
  • Secondly the trigger has a really good action, it seems to be smoother than my other drill and definately allowed me to apply pressure more steadily which meant I had more control.  
  • Thirdly, the light is on the base of the handle and shines up at the drill bit, sounds minor but it's just a better position and makes where you are drilling easier to see.
  • Fourth, it has a really good driver bit that slots into a space on the handle for quick storage.  If you have spent hours hunting for drill bits like I have you will understand why this is a good feature.
  • Finally, the set came with two batteries.  This means you are never out of power in the middle of your project.  Batteries are expensive so a set that comes with two is a bonus.
It is going to look fab so looking forward to sharing the finished piece with you soon.
See part 2 of the finished piece here.

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