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Steampunk Desk Lamp

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93 Steampunk Lamp 1
Completed microscope restoration 2

Earlier this month I restored this antique microscope.

1 Broken Microscpoe base

One of the parts I replaced was the base as the old one had a broken mounting bracket.

Microscope Lamp 4

The Broken Microscope Base

I had made this lamp from a base that I had purchased as a replacement but was the wrong size for the microscope.  The weight of the base worked really well as a counter balance so I decided to use the broken base to make another lamp.

2 Paint Stripped and rough cut
3 milling flat

First I cut of the other tab and milled down the surface that remained.

4 milled flat
5 milled drilled

Once flat I drilled the base to accept a rod that will form a swivel for the new lamp.

This Cool Old Light

This base is lighter than the one I used for the first lamp, so I am going to use this antique/vintage lamp head off of an old sewing machine. It has a really good look and I think I can Steampunk up the swivel and arm between the base and the lamp.

12 rewire

I used reproduction cloth covered cord to rewire the lamp.

13 wired

Put it back together.

14 Light alight

And tested it out. Looks like it should be plenty bright.

15 Brass rod

I’ll use this piece of brass rod to create the swivel that fits into the base.

Fabricating a Brass Swivel


16 Cutting swivel
17 Swivel inserted

The brass rod was cut and turned on the lathe to fit into the mounting hole of the base.

19 Swivel + Brass Stop
18 Brass stop

A brass washer was added to act as a stop/support for the swivel piece. This will be soldered into place when complete.

21 cutting slot
22 Swivel slot

A slot was machined into the top of the swivel piece. This will accept a mounting gear.

23 Slotted swivel mounted

The base and swivel.

24 Eye for cord

The swivel was tapped and drilled so a metal eye could be threaded into the swivel. The cord will run through this eye.

25 Ready to solder

This is the mounting gear for the arm that will support the lamp. The slotted section was drilled through and tapped  to accept a 6-32 brass screw. The gear was drilled so it could be mounted into the slot. Then the screw was put in to hold the gear in place while soldering.

26 soldered gear in place

All of the brass pieces were soldered into place. The metal eye was then threaded into its final location. The next step will be to fabricate the arm and gear mechanism that supports the lamp.

A Clamp for the Lamp


After completing the base I decided to finish the lamp end. The lamp shade and bulb holder did not have a clamp to mount them together.

9 Vintage socket 1

I decided I would make a stainless steel ring that would serve both as the clamp to hold the shade to the bulb holder and as a mount to the rest of the lamp.

The ring was machined from a piece o 303 stainless stock I had in my bin.

The inside of the ring was bored out until the shade could be slid into the hole.

36 Ring 9

The ring was then cut off and machined to the correct thickness.

37 Lamp + Ring

The ring ready for final machining.

The ring was notched on both sides, then drilled in the notch for inserting screws.

The ring was then split in half.

The bottom holes were tapped so screws could be threaded in.

46 Lamp Assembled

More Parts are Made

The ring mounting clamp in place.

The ring was drilled and tapped on the bottom so it could be screwed to a brass mounting rod.

A piece of aluminum was used to make a mounting bracket.

53 Lamp mount

The completed mounting bracket.

54 Lamp+Mount+Rod

The assembled top end of the lamp. The lamp head can be slid back and forth on the brass rod as well as twisted around the rod.

One quarter inch brass rod was used to create the arm that will connect the base to the top end.

Here it Starts to Look Like it Should

57 Lamp+arm+ base

This is the lamp so far. A second gear was added half way up the arm that meshes with the lower gear. By holding this second gear in place the lamp can be adjusted up and down.


I added this screw brake to the top gear. I had hoped that tightening the axle/screw shaft that passes through the gear would be enough friction to hold the angle of the lamp in place. This was not the case so a drilled and tapped a hole on one side and soldered a brass washer on the other. The washer acts as a brake pad on the one side. Tightening the break screw holds the lamp very well at what ever angle is desired.

62 Lamp so far

A side view with everything so far.

Decorative Elements

These brass washers were drilled and marked for soldering to each arm shaft. These will serve as brackets for holding some oak strips in place on each brass rod.

On the left are the washers laid in place and on the right the washers are clamped temporarily for soldering.

67 Soldered 1

First one soldered.

68 Soldered 2

This is both rods after soldering.

A close up and full view of the lamps with the washer brackets in place.

I cut some oak into 1/4 x 3/4 inch strips. They were then milled at an angle to create four oak strips that will be applied to the brass rods.

75 Oak Strips shaped

The completed strips.

76 Oak strip location

This is where they will be mounted when complete.

These are two views of the oak strips after sanding and fitting.

79 Oak strips mounted 1

Each oak strip is held in place by three #0 1/4 in brass would screws.

81 Oak strips mounted 2

Both lamp arms with oak strips screwed into place. Now I just need to take them off and stain and varnish each strip.

While waiting for the stain to dry I added this washer to the Knurled nut that holds the top mount in place. This matches what I did for the head of the brake screw.

I also added a washer to the top mount for holding the cord in place. This is the mount that the knurled nut and screw go through.

86 Top mount painted black

The top mount was painted black. This will probably need a second coat. When this and the oak strips are all dry the lamp can be re-assembled.


87 Stained and Varnished

The oak strips after staining and applying varnish.

88 Oak Strips mounted

The completed arm halves with oak strips attached.

This is a couple of views of the arm assembly being put back together.

92 Base + Pads

I added some felt pads to the base.

Pictures of the Completed Lamp

93 Steampunk Lamp 1

The completed lamp.

94 Steanpunk lamp 2

Swung to the side.

95 Steampunk lamp 3

Adjusted to an extended position.

96 Steampunk Lamp 4

Another view in the extended position. The lamp rotates around the base and the arm can be moved up and down. In addition the head can be set at different angles and the lamp rotated around its mounting shaft. This gives the lamp multiple degrees of positioning.

97 Steampunk lamp 5

One last view with the lamp turned on.

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