Jim Cox
Jim Cox
  • Tutorial Team
  • Springfield, MO

Rustic Wood Wall Lamp

15 Materials
$71
4 Hours
Medium

A lamp idea for my bedroom using reclaimed fence wood and some industrial pipe fittings
Treated pine looks good stained
Treated pine looks good stained
Here are 4 pcs from a 1x4 of treated pine. Use whatever dimensions you like, but I was going for 12"x30". The top and bottom are 10 1/2" and the sides are 30".
I decided to play with the Kreg jig on this one to hide the screws. Totally optional.
Take your time to square it up
Take your time to square it up
Here is the frame of the wall lamp. I've used this technique before in my kitchen.


You can see the holes for the Kreg screws at the top of the frame on the inside.

fits perfectly (I've done this before ; )
fits perfectly (I've done this before ; )
I stained the frame with Minwax Espresso stain. The Espresso and treated pine match the reclaimed fence wood quite well. I use a rag to wipe on and rub in instead of following the Minwax brush/wait/rub instructions. It dries faster and I still have control over the darkness.

Here are 3 pcs of 4" wide reclaimed fence cedar before I've cleaned it. The pieces may have a slight taper so don't be afraid to rotate/flip them around as necessary. One of them had an odd cut so I had to sand the side of one to get them to fit properly.

(4" x 3 pcs - this is why I chose 12" for the frame width)
rustic wood wall lamp
Staple the fence pieces to the frame. I try to use some randomness to the staple pattern so it blends better with the charactear/wear/patina(?) of the fence wood. After the fence boards are secure I clean with a wet scotchbrite pad.
a very stout box/frame
a very stout box/frame
Next I stapled a scrap brace aross the back hidden on the inside. This helps keep the faces of the fence pieces flush with each other. Next I drilled two 1" holes in the bottom, one for a cord and the other for a pull-chain switch. An electrical box will get mounted bottom right.
Use the degree marks for repeatability
Use the degree marks for repeatability
Here's the hard part. I got a 3/8" tubing bender and bent some 3/8" brake line in a near (but not all the way to) 180° bend. You have to bend further than you want to allow for spring back. I recommend you buy an extra line, because the first one will probably end up 'practice'. Once you get it cut and bent the way you want it, SAND AND DEBUR THE ENDS. This will keep you from damaging the wire.

You can TOTALLY SKIP the tubing, and use pipe fittings instead. Go to the local home improvement store and mess with 3/8" nipples, elbows, street elbows, etc, and get yourself familiar with the terminology etc. It's like a plumbing version of tinker toys. For me, I like the tubing look, and it's a bit cheaper for me since I already have the tubing bender. (Got it used on eBay, but I have a ton of experience with it so it makes sense for me) . Pipe fittings will be more difficult to fish the wire thru, but you can also do it partially assembled.


BTW you'll be tempted to use cheap refridgeration tubing, but you don't want to because it's not sturdy enough. This type bender will handle steel and copper, and sometimes stainless, but SS takes a lot of practice, so it's best avoided.
rustic wood wall lamp
I drilled out a plastic lamp socket to 3/8" and test fit onto the tubing. This gave me an idea of where to finish my 'gooseneck' bend for mounting to the wooden face. The socket stays in place with a single set screw
rustic wood wall lamp
Here is the bent tubing, a 3/8" compression-to-NPT adapter fitting (also 3/8" thread, but you could use 1/2" if you wanted) screwed into a 3/8" pipe flange ( again you could use 1/2" here if you wanted.

I spray painted this all flat black, mostly just to hide the word CHINA on the flange
rustic wood wall lamp
Here I placed the assembled/painted flange tubing assy on the wooden face and marked holes for drilling.
Secured to the face thru the pipe flange
Secured to the face thru the pipe flange
After the front holes were drilled, I used the flange to mark holes in a 4x4" electrical box (you have to fit them anywhere you can, so don't be surprised if the box ends up at some odd angle). I removed one knockout and installed a cable clamp. The box is held onto the wooden face with No. 8x1" machine screws. I used button head allen screws mostly for the look.
Fishing wires thru the tubing
Fishing wires thru the tubing
I cut the female end off an old computer power cord and stripped away the black jacket. I threaded the back and white wires thru to the bulb socket and terminated the wires.

Here you can see the button-head allen screw in detail.
ground wire secured
ground wire secured
On the back side I put a ring terminal on the ground wire and attached it to the inside of the box. After this was done I installed a flat cover (not shown)
rustic wood wall lamp
Here's the other electrical box. I drilled a hole in one of the knockouts and installed a pull-chain switch (white, inside the box at the bottom) and removed one knockout (top) for a power cord, and another (on the left here) for the power wire to the gooseneck tubing and bulb up top.



When done attach the cover (shown top left)
rustic wood wall lamp
A more detailed view of wiring, rotated 90° to the left. This is looking DOWN into the rear of the lamp frame/box. I was making this for a local interior decorator so I used a braided extension cord for power (with the female end cut off) but you could use another computer power cord. Buy a 10' or more cord on Amazon and have all the wire you need, plug included.

Incoming black from power to switch
incoming white from power to white for bulb
Switch to outgoing black power for bulb
Both ground wires got a ring terminal and were then attached inside the box for grounding of both boxes and tubing, etc.
rustic wood wall lamp
Here is the finished product on my wall. Now time to repeat it for the other side of the headboard.

Suggested materials:

  • 1x4 treated ($4)  (Home Depot)
  • Staples ($10)  (Amazon)
  • Kreg Screws ($8)  (Home Depot)
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2 of 4 comments
  • Jim Cox
    on Sep 20, 2018

    Here's the kitchen light fixture using basically the same 'enclosure'



  • Jim Cox
    on Sep 20, 2018

    .. and a desktop lamp using the tubing and lamp socket



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