Bob Berner's Lamps

Wall lanterns are a good bathroom alternative.

SHOP OWNER: Bob Berner
LOCATION: Allentown, PA

    Here are some pictures of the long-awaited lamps to complete my bathroom. The idea came from a picture featured in a recent presentation of the webmaster's work at a local guild meeting. I based the design and proportions of these lamps on a Shaker lantern I saw in a book.
Close-up of Lamp

    The lamps are made out of oak, copper, glass and a stainless steel mounting/wall plate. They were assembled with loose tenons and hide glue, and are finished with a few coats of boiled linseed oil. The glass is held in dados and if I ever need to replace the glass I can remove the bottom rail to get the glass out.
    The tops, made from copper roof flashing, are two arcs held in place by gravity and compression. The bottom or inside one is cut into an hourglass shape and the outer or top piece is a simple rectangle. There are gaps between the two pieces of copper to let heat and light escape.
    The entire lamp assembly lifts off the mounting plate leaving the bulb exposed for changing. I tried using 60 watt bulbs in these fixtures but they were too bright and we ended up using 40 watt bulbs instead. The copper tops barely feel warm to touch after about an hour of use. I had intended on using compact fluorescent bulbs but I had trouble getting ones to fit within the assembly, they tend to be longer than regular incandescent bulbs and sort of stuck out of the bottom of the lamp.
     The cabinet between the lamps is pretty simple, just a box mounted between the studs with a mirror for the door. I have to say that while the lamps were a bear to put together--a lot of small parts to cut, fit and assemble, plus tricky glue-ups--they installed like a dream.
    I was very nervous about installing them. I had nightmares about not being able to get the electrical boxes where I needed them to position the lamps. I thought for sure that there would be studs hiding in the wall that would foul me up. But, much to my surprise, there were no hidden obstructions.
    These lights and cabinet went in without a hitch or even a trip to the hardware store. This might be a first after almost five years of being a homeowner.

...Bob Berner




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