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Microscope Desk Lamp Teslapunk Fashion

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I made this desk lamp over the weekend from some old parts I had around and the base off of a vintage microscope.

3-cloth lamp

The following is a brief description of how I put the lamp together.

The Starting Components

Microscope Base 1
Microscope base 2

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.

Vintage Hand Light 1

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.

Mount to Base Plan

The idea here was to mount the lamp to the microscope base.

Vintage hand light 3

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.

Rewiring the Lamp

Vintage Hand light disassmbled

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.

Porcelain Lamp base

I replaced the old connector with this porcelain fixture.

Lamp base mounting 1
Lamp base mounting 2

Holes were drilled into the back of the lamp and brass screws with acorn nuts were used to mount it.

Lamp Base wiring 1
Lamp Switch mounted

Wiring was straight forward using the existing holes for the cord and switch.


So the wiring worked and the lamp is on its way.

A New Lamp Support is Made

Handle removed +brass piece

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.

Brass mounted to old handle

After cutting and drilling the brass strip, two pieces were screwed to the arm. One on each side.

Microscope Slide Removed

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.

Drilling micrscope slide and handle+brass

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.

Brass Handle to Slide

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.

It Needed a Shade

Clock bezel mounts in place
Brass strips cut and drilled
Bending Brass Strips

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.

How bezel mounts

This is the bezel and how it will attach to the ring.

Marking Bezel for Drilling

First I had to mark and drill the bezel for mounting at three equidistant locations.

Bezel mounted 1

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.

Plastic for Screen

For this I used this strip of plastic.

Plastic Shade

It was cut, drilled and screwed for mounting.

Lamp Bezel Cleaned

I then removed all the old paint that was flaking off of the bezel.

Felt Pads

I added stick on felt pads to the bottom of the base.

Pictures of the Completed Microscope Lamp

Microscope Lamp 1

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.

Microscope Lamp 4

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.

1- Cloth Wire

I bought some cloth covered reproduction electrical cord from Industrial Rewind an Amazon retailer.

4- cloth close up

I removed the old cord and replaced it with the cloth covered.

3-cloth lamp
2-Cloth Lit

I like the cloth cord look much better.

The Microscope was Repaired as Well

I did wind up getting the correct base to repair the antique microscope. Here are a few pictures of the repair and restoration

Broken Microscope
Broken Base

Microscope with broken base.

Microscope replacement base 2
Microscope replacement base 1

Antique microscope part that I used for the new base.

Machining replacement base

Machining the replacement base to fit the broken microscope.

New base fit to microscope 1
New base fit to microscope 2

Replacement base attached to disassembled microscope.

Completed microscope restoration 2

Completed microscope restoration. Cleaned up the parts and repainted the base.

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