Cholla and Epoxy Bedside Lamp
After the first bedside lamp with its wooden base, I wanted to try making one with a cholla and epoxy base. I started by pouring tinted epoxy into a 16 ounce cup from the dollar store, with some cholla pieces jammed into it. For smaller molds like this, I may need to start using partial pieces of cholla, as there ends up being a lot of empty space that needs to be filled with the epoxy. And pouring large amounts of epoxy can lead to a runaway exothermic reaction which causes the epoxy to foam and bubble and set very quickly, which generally isn’t usable.
With a successful pour, I pulled the blank from the mold and rough-turned it to a shape I thought would work. The only dimension I was really worried about was the top, which would have the top of the lamp meeting it.
Looking at the rough blank, there wasn’t enough room for a battery, so I glued on a round piece of cherry, which I thought would look good, then I poured a small pour of epoxy to make sure the base and the lamp body were stuck together real good.
Next I turned the base, aiming to leave it as wide as possible, giving me the most flexibility with the battery.
With the base turned, I bored a hole into the base of the lamp body. The largest diameter at the bottom was 2½ inches, but I stepped that down to an inch to make sure I didn’t make the inside of the lamp bigger than the outside.
With the hole bored and the top of the lamp assembled, I carved out an opening for the battery and glued on some feet to give a little clearance for the battery, so the lamp wouldn’t rest on the battery.
After signing the lamp, I finished it. The epoxy portion is polished with a plastic polish. The wooden base was finished with multiple coats of Tried and True Danish Oil. After the finishes have had a chance to cure, I’ll probably add a coat of furniture wax to make it easier to dust.