Nov
25

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Table Lamp from Auto Spring – An Easy Welding project

Table lamp made from a coil spring and a disk brake

Table lamp made from a coil spring and a disk brake

When you start to develop skills you’ll increasingly see new opportunities opened up to employ them – often in ways that you may not have even guessed at when you first set off down that path.  That’s true of gaining metal working skills – originally I wanted to be able to build and repair machinery and tools… but with time I’ve ended up producing quite a few pieces of furniture.  Now some of those have been ones I could have purchased if I’d wanted to run up my credit card bill, others aren’t particularly special in terms of design but rather of fit – in terms of dimensions, sometimes the right size is just not available in store.

But others, well those are a bit more unique – flights of creative fancy, and I think this table lamp made from an auto coil spring and a disk brake is a good example of that.  Total cost – about $2 for some 1/4″ threaded gas pipe from HomeDepot.  If you needed to buy it the bulb base, lampshade hoop and cord would have been about $10 more – but in this case I just walked the pup a bit further on the night before garbage day and snagged an ugly light from a neighbours trash that provided the right elements for free.

Lower portion of the lamp - showing the welds between the disk and the spring

Lower portion of the lamp – showing the welds between the disk and the spring

The lamp itself is simple enough.  The body is the front coil spring from a ford windstar – one failed on my old van and this was the one that was still intact when I replaced the two of them.  To give a broader but low profile base I took a disk brake and used the angle grinder to cut the hub projection from the braking surface.  Since the spring didn’t quite meet up with the disk I slipped some scrap steel in between to bridge the gap then welded the three (spring, filler material, disk) together at a few points.

At the top of the coil I welded a piece of 1″ by 1/4″ thick steel (just a scrap piece I had on hand) across the coil, drilled and tapped it for the 1/4″ NPT pipe segment which the lamp base screwed into on the other end a coat of black spraypaint and the lamp was done.

Upper segment of the lamp - showing how the light base is mounted

Upper segment of the lamp – showing how the light base is mounted

Now if you don’t have the tools – primarily the angle grinder and a welder don’t be scared off.  They are both low cost and wire feed welders make OK welding incredibly easy to do.

Now even if you’d have to head out to the scrap yard for inspiration it wouldn’t have cost you more than about $30, but what would one of these sell for in some artistic store? But more importantly, how much satisfaction are you going to gain from exercising your intrinsic creativity – and equally once that door opens how many more opportunities are you going to see to grow and exercise an expanding skill set.

So when you look at metal working skills consider what tickles your fancy – for me I entered because I wanted to build and repair machinery but ended up also doing a lot of creative work.  For you it may well be reverse – either way you’ll end up seeing possibilities grow as you gain capability.

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