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Thread: Mission Lamp Wood Choice

  1. #1

    Mission Lamp Wood Choice

    Building a pair of bedside Mission-style lamps and I'd like a little help choosing what wood to use for the base.



    First, let me state, ZERO fancy finishing.... I want to knock this project out quick and hate finishing. So I am simply going to sand to 400 or 600 grit, then buff 2-3 coats of paste wax on. That's it. No stains or dyes. No tinted lacquer, shellac, different types of poly, sanding sealers, etc etc etc. KISS method.

    The upper portion will be flat sawn white oak which I already have in stock. So what for the base? My initial thought is walnut, but doesn't walnut lighten with age/UV? The base doesn't necessarily have to be DARKER than the body, I'd just like a contrast. Maybe mahogany? It's got a bit of an orange tint, right?

    Exotics could be an option, but I'm not really looking to spend more than about $10-15bdft. Estimating generously, I'll need 3bdft to make two bases. I don't want to spend $60+ on the bases.

    Thanks.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails LampFull.jpg   LampBase.jpg  

  2. #2
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    One option would be to use your white oak to make the base with a dark stain on it. That way, you'd have the same grain as the upper portion but it would have the darker contrast you want.
    Bill Arnold
    Citizen of Texas residing in Georgia.
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  3. #3
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    +1 oak. I wouldn't even go very dark with it myself, but that's just my tastes.

    OTOH I have done a little bit of oak+walnut from being inspired by some of Chas Jones turnings (check them out in the turners forum if you haven't yet!) and was surprised at how much I like the look. The older walnut will amber up some, don't know how well I would/would not like it then - Some I've seen looks more like fresh cherry if that provides a reasonable basis for comparison.

  4. #4
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    wasnt most of the mission furniture made out of cherry? or was that shaker style?
    If in Doubt, Build it Stout!
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  5. #5
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    Shaker Larry most Mission used Quarter sawn White Oak
    A Turn N Time
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    Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way, when you criticize them, you're a mile away and you have their shoes.

  6. #6
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    I would use the same wood throughout. Will the piece on top of the column with the bevels be a single piece of wood?

    For base I'd like to see some variety in the height of the verticals.
    Irony: The opposite of Wrinkly

  7. #7
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    thanks jay,, so QTR sawn oak no question
    If in Doubt, Build it Stout!
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    Don't put off today till tomorrow!

  8. #8
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    I think walnut would look great. But like Dave said a difference in the height of the verticals would really be eye pleasing.

    I hate finishing as well. Think about danish oil. It's simple to apply and looks great.
    Faith, Hope & Charity

  9. #9
    Thanks everyone. No stains, no dyes. Sandpaper and WAX.

    Ryan, Larry - You guys have got me on a tangent. I wonder if CHERRY, suitably UV exposed could be dark enough...

    David - There's not a lot of room for variations here... I don't want the lamp to be 4" of base. I'm kind of stuck w/ around 12" for the main shaft's height due to my stock. 4" base w/ 12" shaft would look weird.

    Anyway. Added 15* bevel to the bottom piece and simply bumped the center piece from 1/2" vertical to 1/4" vertical. 100% of this project will be done with a table saw, so I can't get much fiddlier than 1/4". I don't have a thickness planer either so my #5 will be getting a workout.



    Oh, and the top will be a single piece beveled on the TS, drilled through for wiring, topped w/ that block, and glued to the main shaft.


    Thoughts? Other suggestions?
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails LampBase.2.jpg   LampBase.3.jpg  

  10. #10
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    I like the walnut. It really won't lighten a whole lot, and will remain a nice contrast to the oak. Cherry would work, too, and it'll actually darken over time. The wax finish will be nice, but it'll have to be redone pretty frequently.

    Somebody mentioned Danish Oil (Watco). I like it on just about every wood, EXCEPT OAK. I gets in the pores of the oak, and will weep out for weeks, so I wouldn't use it there. Personally, I'd spray it with some waterborne lacquer, but since you've said that's not an option, go with the wax.
    Jim D.
    Adapt, Improvise, Overcome!

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