My good friend just moved into a new house, and she asked if I could come and give some opinions on interior design. After a long day of looking at paint samples and furniture, then testing out the paint on the walls only to be disappointed by not one but all of the colors we chose, I went home completely exhausted. So when I woke up at 3am with tons of ideas in my brain about room design, I spent over an hour sketching just so that my brain could be wiped clean of inspiration and I could go back to sleep.
|I may have finished this sketch closer to 4am….crazy!|
On one of my sketches, I drew a Pottery Barn corner desk my friend’s husband liked the other weekend. The display in the store had a really neat, masculine lamp that looked like an old fashioned wood tripod – it was a surveyor’s tripod model to be exact. Of course, the price tag was not ideal, so the lamp was left unpurchased. But I didn’t abandon the idea of looking for something similar. Then it hit me! He is a huge fan of Legos, and the lamp is nothing more than three legs that pivot out from one central bracket at the top. Why can’t I build this out of Legos?? Once the base is complete, I’m convinced I can find a youtube video somewhere that will teach me how to wire it up for lighting.
So one afternoon, I went over to the Tysons Corner Mall in McLean, VA to look at the real lamp in Pottery Barn then run to the Lego Store and just start building it with all the bulk pieces. Of course doing a project of this magnitude in the store is bound to draw some attention, and the store manager – an experienced Lego architect (yahoo!) – started to help me with the more complicated parts, like the triangular bracket, the stabilizing bracket for the legs when extended, and the turning screw on the legs (for fun, not function). In no time at all, I had the three legs done! I used two different brown colored blocks to suggest wood grain. And I have no idea how he did it, but the store manager made everything else work. Now, just for stability, I did cheat when I got home and reassembled it. I started out using a plastic cement for model airplanes to glue and shore up some of the more fragile components, in order to be assured it would be able to take the weight of the light bulb system and the shade. When I discovered the next morning that the glue failed to do anything at all, I went back to Google to find another solution. A second glue several boards suggested, after many comments about how it’s almost sacrilegious to use glue in the first place, was Oatey PVC pipe glue. Once again, it did nothing but make a mess. Finally, I went back to the proven standard and just slapped on some Krazy Glue. Finally! It stuck together! I also decided to wrap wire around the two 2×4 legos on the tripod pivot point that attached the leg to the top lamp bracket just to add more stability. One additional detail was to add two clear half circle rubber stickers, normally used on the backing of framed items to help position the frame when hung, on the bottom of each leg to prevent slippage.
To make it functional, I decided to go to a local lamp shop, The Lamplighter in Alexandria, to see if I could get their advice on what to do and what parts I would need to make this thing light up. I decided, in the end, not to do it myself — just to make sure it worked and wouldn’t be a fire danger. The owner’s son was amazing and actually helped me wire up the top bracket (I left the legs at home). I walked out of there with a working lamp socket, harp, and neck system attached to my lego lamp design top.
When I got home, I assembled everything, and voila!!! A Pottery Barn inspired Lego lamp!
(Pardon the quality of the photos, I only had my phone with me to take pictures of the lamp in his office)
|Tripod Center Detail|
|One of two fun surprises – Office Nerd Legoman.|