I made this desk lamp over the weekend from some old parts I had around and the base off of a vintage microscope.
The following is a brief description of how I put the lamp together.
This project started as a mistake. I bought this microscope base on eBay in order to repair an antique microscope I had purchased. The microscope I wanted to repair had a broken base. When I saw the base on eBay I bought it as it looked exactly the same as the one I needed. Unfortunately it was about 30% larger.
I decided the weight of the base would make a great stand for a desk lamp. I had this vintage hand lamp I had purchased several years ago and it had this cool look to it.
The idea here was to mount the lamp to the microscope base.
The lamp has this weird connector for some type of two way bulb, so that needed to be replaced with a standard receptacle. I also didn’t need the plastic handle. I do like the tilt adjustment attached to the handle so I wanted to use that.
The first thing I did was remove the rivets that held the handle to the lamp. The ring is designed to be take on and off which will come in handy later.
I replaced the old connector with this porcelain fixture.
Holes were drilled into the back of the lamp and brass screws with acorn nuts were used to mount it.
Wiring was straight forward using the existing holes for the cord and switch.
So the wiring worked and the lamp is on its way.
The next step was to remove the plastic handles from the tilt arm of the old lamp. I used the 1/16 x 1 inch brass strip to make covers for the arm. With the existing width of the arm and a brass strip on each side the brass covered arm was 1/4 inch wide. This works out well as the microscope has a 1/4 slot where I want to mount this piece.
After cutting and drilling the brass strip, two pieces were screwed to the arm. One on each side.
This is the slide piece from the microscope. It has a 1/4 slot on the other side. Sorry I failed to take a picture of that.
The brass covered arm piece was wedged into the 1/4 inch slot and three mounting holes were drilled. These went through the slide and the brass arm piece.
The arm was attached to the slide piece with brass screws.
Here the slide was inserted back into the microscope base and the lamp piece reattached to the arm. I also used a brass washer and some brass wire to create stays for the cord.
Next brass strips were cut, drilled and bent to act as mounting brackets for a clock bezel I used to extend the lamp shade. These attached to the removable ring piece from the old lamp.
This is the bezel and how it will attach to the ring.
First I had to mark and drill the bezel for mounting at three equidistant locations.
So this is the bezel mounted to the ring. I still needed to provide a shade piece for the gap between the ring and the bezel.
For this I used this strip of plastic.
It was cut, drilled and screwed for mounting.
I then removed all the old paint that was flaking off of the bezel.
I added stick on felt pads to the bottom of the base.
After attaching the plastic shade to the bezel with screws, the bezel was reattached to the ring. The ring piece can be twisted on and off the lamp head for easy access to the bulb.
The reason I liked the lamp arm is that it has three click in positions for adjusting the lamp angle. The microscope bends back and forth as well making for lots of adjust ability.
With the light on.
So that was my weekend project. The lamp works really well and the solid heavy microscope base makes it very stable.
I didn’t like the vinyl coated lamp cord I used for this piece. It was too short and didn’t fit the vintage look of the lamp.
I bought some cloth covered reproduction electrical cord from Industrial Rewind an Amazon retailer.
I removed the old cord and replaced it with the cloth covered.
I like the cloth cord look much better.
I did wind up getting the correct base to repair the antique microscope. Here are a few pictures of the repair and restoration
Microscope with broken base.
Antique microscope part that I used for the new base.
Machining the replacement base to fit the broken microscope.
Replacement base attached to disassembled microscope.
Completed microscope restoration. Cleaned up the parts and repainted the base.