Modern Picture Frame Desk Lamp

If you can make a picture frame, you can make this!

Mitered maple frame accented with walnut keys and LED strip lighting with remote control. Sure it’s a little modern, but you can change it easily to suit your needs.

 The material I started with was a 4/4 piece of maple. I was about 3 1/2 ” wide and 52 inches long. Owing to the length I figured I would make a 12″ frame. I think after all the miters were cut I was a bit shy of 12″ but it isn’t terribly important for a lamp.

After ripping the board to width, you simply need to cut the 45* angles. There are may tools in the workshop to accomplish this but I’m comfortable making these cuts on the table saw, with my 45* sled.

Besides the angle of the miter, the only other crucial part of this joint is the length of the stock. Obviously a square requires 4 equal sides, but honestly as long as the 2 opposite sides are equal the eye will not be able to tell the difference. That is to say, if you cut one short, no need to fix all three. Just adjust one and go from there.

Before glue it up, add a shallow 1/2″  groove on the top and one side of the inside of your frame. I forgot this step and had to improvise. It would have been a lot easier before my glue up.

Once you’ve got it glued up, you can treat it in any way you prefer. Paint the inside or keep it natural. Add splines, contrasting dowels or leave it as its. Add your strip light and drill a hole for your connector.

For a finish I prefer a wipe on poly for this, but oil, lacquer or shellac would also work.

Author: Peter Brown

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