When I started making this wood LED lamp I was not sure what to do with the base. Putting the lamshade shaped like a tree in the center of the base of the lamp didn’t seem like the best option. I knew it would go on one side of the base leaving a free surface in front of it. The problem was what to do on that surface. I thought about milling a kind of bowl to put candy in, but I couldn’t figure out what shape I should give it to make it look good. And then I had one of those last minute ideas and I started looking around the house for shot glasses. Some sort of wooden tray with holes for those little shot glasses would look perfect. So I’m going to make this base also a shots tray.
Don’t miss the video summary in English on “How to make a led lamp in the shape of a tree“. With links to all articles on this making.
Making a simple shot glasses tray would be easy enough, and maybe it will be left for another project, but here I have to make a mix or composition between the shot glasses tray and the wooden base of the led lamp.
To make the wooden tray that serves as the base for this led lamp (<- You can see there how to make this wooden lamp step by step) I used the two wooden circles that I had already cut with the circle cutting jig. I placed the tree in the desired position, keeping in mind that I had to leave some distance with the edge to route a decorative molding in the wooden circles. And I drew the perimeter of the trunk with a pencil. I also put the Forstner bit, with which I drilled the hole in the tree trunk, inside the tree trunk to mark the center of the hole in the base circle.
After drilling an 8mm hole in the upper wood circle (right in the mark left by the Forstner bit), I marked the lower circle to drill there a 30mm in diameter hole side to side.
And with a cutter I make a cut on the line that marks the perimeter of the Christmas tree trunk. So now, with the plunge router and a straight router bit I can route to lower that area to fit the log into the base. Routing this way, by hand, with precision is not easy. The woodworking trick is that after cutting the line with the cutter, when the straight router bit reaches the line, we see how the wood jumps just as it reaches the line. Thanks to this trick we avoid routing beyond the line.
As I said, in the lower wood circle I drilled a 30mm hole side to side. It is wide enough to fit one of the nuts that will lock the hollow threaded rod to witch I have to screw the lampholder. And it is also wide enough to be able to maneuver with the electrical cable during the lamp assembly. And is that the electrical cable reaches that hole from the side of the base through the inside of an 8mm hole that I make up to there from the edge.
To make that hole I clamp the wooden circle in the workbench vise of my worktable, and very slowly I drill it being careful to keep the drill bit aligned with the edge of the circle and parallel to both faces. I must make sure that the drill bit won’t drill at an angle and doesn’t go out one face of the wood circle. Making a hole like this in my small drill press is not possible, and I was worried about drilling this hole by hand, but finally it came out perfect and uncomplicated.
Before gluing the two wood circles together, I routed them a molding on the edge with my home-made router table. Something very simple if done carefully.
When routing on the router table without any support for the workpiece, be careful to separate the workpiece from the router bit before changing the position of your hands. Otherwise you run the risk of the router bit grabbing the wood and throwing it off the router table, as you can watch in the video that happened to me a couple of times. Luckily it always throws the piece in the opposite direction to where I am and the only problem was having to fill a couple of notches with carpenter’s wood paste. Although a defect in the edges of a wooden tray will always be very noticeable if it is not carefully repaired.
With both wooden circles glued on top of each other, I arranged the shot glasses into an arrangement that I liked for this wooden tray.
I more or less took measurements and drew the center position of all the holes I had to drill. I drilled these holes with a Forstner bit that is slightly larger than the diameter of my shot glasses. I managed to order 10 shot glasses that go, as shown in the photo, on lines at 0º, 15º, 30º, 60º, 90º, 120º, 150º, 165º and 180º.
Using a Forstner bit it is very easy to drill all the holes for the shot glasses on the drill press,
And to give them a better look I decided to route a simple chamfer to the opening of the holes using a 45 degree chamfer router bit with bearing. The routing depth is adjusted and the chamfer is made by rolling the bearing against the inside of the hole.
The Forstner bits leave a small hole in the bottom because of the bit tip, so I had to fill 10 of these holes with wood paste. It is not easy to sand this paste, but using a chisel as a scraper I left the bottom pretty decent. A little sanding work and this shots tray made of wood, which serves as the base of the LED lamp, is ready to apply the varnish stain.
Then, in addition to making a base for the led lamp, you can see that it is also a good way to make a tray for shot glasses :D.