Sunday, June 30, 2013


Now that it's the summer, I finally had the time to finish the desk lamp. The combat robot destroyed any amount of free time I had. I had been using the lamp without the base for over a semester, while the half finished base just sat on my dorm room floor.

It took a creative setup to machine the other side. I used a 4 jaw chuck from a lathe and clamped it to the mill table. I also added a bolt in the center to hold the part flat to the chuck. The part seems to be flat within .002" which is pretty good because it doesn't matter at all for a desk lamp.

I put some cutting fluid on the part and I used compressed air to keep the chips from clogging up the end mill.

The final base looks perfect!

I snapped a couple photos of the lamp against a whiteboard. It makes a really good background for taking pictures.

I even set it up on my messy desk in my summer apartment.

It definitely goes well with my guitar. I'll need to work on making a desk and other furniture to go with the rest of the things I've been machining lately.

-The LED is crazy bright. It lights up not just my desk, but also a good fraction of my room.
-MEGA REACH! I can get amazing lighting on any part of my desk.
-Aesthetics. I think this lamp looks amazing.
-Low power consumption. Everyone loves going green now...
-Runs colder. Most desk lamps will give you a nasty burn. This one is pretty warm, but I've held my hand on it without any problems.

-The ball bearings in the base have too little friction. It swings around on its own on a non-level table.
-Not dimmable. Sometimes its too bright. (I don't think my roommate appreciated it when I pulled all-nighters to finish homework.
-It's fragile. Most of my projects are tough to damage... Not this one.

Overall this is a pretty sweet lamp. A number of people have asked if I am going to make more. I'll probably come up with a production version of the lamp, which gets rid of the CONS and reduces the material and machining costs. There are a few LED desk lamps on the market, but they all suck in my opinion. For now I'll keep using this as my main desk lamp and see how long it lasts (forever hopefully).