Inglenook Sconce Finished

So, I’ve proven that if you you work on a project 10 minutes a week you will eventually get it finished.  The past month or so at work has had a number of challenges, which has seriously cut into my already small slice of shop time.  I’m working on a plan to try to carve out more shop time, and I’m eager to start the gate project, which will actually be a number of smaller projects all combined.

But, on the the point of this post.  I finished the sconce I’ve been working on.  It’s a close copy of the sconces in the Inglenook in the Gamble house.    I scaled it according to photos and my memory of the originals that I saw when I toured the Gamble House last spring.  I think it’s pretty close, but I want to go back and look at the originals again.  Do you think they would mind if I measured the original?

Since I’d completed the stained glass panels already, I was pretty close to being finished.  I had to install the metal bracket I made to hold the lamp socket, which also screws into the bottom of the “roof”, into the cloud lift hanger brackets.  Then I glued the glass panels in.  It was a little too tight and I had to make some minor adjustments — the glass I used was about 1/16″ thicker than what I’d used previously.  Whoops.

Installing the metal bracket

Installing the metal bracket

I drew up some brackets to mount to the bottom of the beam in the entry hall, these will be used to hang the sconce from some leather straps.

Hanger Brackets

Hanger Brackets

And I screwed the brackets to the beam, I’m ready to install the sconce!

Reach for the sconce...

Reach for the sconce…

Finished sconce, ready to install

Finished sconce, ready to install

Sconce On, 40 watt "edison filament" lamp

Sconce On, 40 watt “edison filament” lamp

I made a small, dished Walnut cover plate for the junction box




Overall, I’m happy with the result.  If I make another there are a few small tweaks to the design I’d like to see.  The lower rails on the sides should have the “cloud lift” too, and the Ebony bars on the roof should be a tad longer and thinner.  And the front stained glass panel is a little off, I need to work on keeping the “vine” part of the design more fluid.  The side panels came out better.


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12 thoughts on “Inglenook Sconce Finished

  1. Hi Joe,
    that is a sweet looking lamp. I like the 1920’s twisted cord look you used.
    What is the program you used to make the strap holders?

  2. Thanks Ralph!

    I used Solidworks to layout all of the dimensions/parts for this. It’s my tool of choice for 3D design. It’s pretty spendy to use for hobby stuff, but it’s light years ahead of Sketchup.

    • Jeff Levine

      Hello Joe – Thanks much for posting your progress on this and on the Blacker House sconce too. Based on your helpful chronicle, I’m going to try a hybrid of the two, and see that you posted scaled drawings of the Blacker sconce, but not of the Gamble. Do you have any available of the Gamble sconce?
      Congrats on your inspiring work!

      • Hi Jeff,

        I didn’t formalize a set of plans for that, just modeled it in CAD and figured out the dimensions. Drawing up plans is on my to-do list.

  3. Jose Santiago

    That’s a fine sconce and piece of art work. Stop being your worse critic. I have to thank you for your comments regarding your approach to shop time. I’ll just have to get in there in short increments to get things done. Beautiful work Joe I look forward to more.

    • Thanks Jose!

      I need to figure out a better plan for my shop time, it’s not realistic to be able to take on anything more than a simple project if it’s always going to stretch into a six week affair. At least, for me, it’s really tough to keep up the motivation and focus.

  4. Very nice looking lamp!

  5. Hi Joe,
    congrats on making the top 3 over on Lumber Jocks.

  6. Hei Joe (argh, that sounds so bad),

    What glass did you use for the Black House sconce? I presume that it is a Wissmach product same as the gate lanterns?

    I’m making a modified pair myself using spalted Masur Birch and am thinking something similar to Spectrum “317-02S Iridised” ( might work nicely.

    Ystävällisin terveisin Suomesta/friendly greetings from Finland,
    – Carl

    • Hi Carl,

      I used Spectrum Medium Amber Rough Rolled in the Blacker Sconces, with the matching texture in Medium Green, Ruby Red and Grape. It’s a transparent glass, and an iridized non-transparent glass would be more original I think. The glass I used in the Gamble Inglenook Sconce is really beautiful for example, but probably needs a 60 watt bulb behind it to take best advantage of the color.

      With the transparent glass in the Blacker Sconces I tried a bright white compact florescent lamp first, it looked AWEFUL. I changed to a 40 watt “refrigerator bulb” which worked well. Recently I changed to 40 watt antique style lamps. They have clear glass and multiple filaments running up and down the length of the lamp. They look really nice. With translucent glass it’s important to have an attractive bulb I think.

  7. Thanks for the reply Joe,

    We’d rather avoid Incandescent filament bulbs like the plague; wasting 98% of energy used as heat is a significant concern given the size of the sconce’s enclosures and sense in general! They are however inherently warmer in terms of spectral output. It goes without saying how truly awful CFLs are on many levels, yes. We are planning on using LED bulbs as they are cool-running, efficient, far less blue-dominant, “instant-on” and can be dimmed. Breaking with tradition? Great! Progress doesn’t make itself.

    As far as that affect the choice of glass, yes; and combination of translucency and the iridised coating is better than the transparents or partials. Our personal tick points are a warmer and softer quality of transmitted light when in use and a pleasant appearance when not. Unfortunately, both CFLs and LED bulbs have those awful bright white plastic collars which are easily visible through many of the more transparent glasses. Time for some black duct tape to prove its 21st century worth….?

    We’re off to view the range of glass samples next week so getting a frame of reference in advance is excellent, thanks. I actually found an eBay seller who doesn’t merely recycle images from the supplier’s site. The sample photos of their Spectrum 317-02 varies signficantly from the same product on Delphi Glass’ site:

    ….the Spectrum Glass site also states that this is available iridised also. I imagine that this would be an excellent combination with a bit of decorative leading.

    I look forward to your hanging lightbox projects….I’m also constructing one at the moment and the weight scares me….

    Apologies for the wall of text.

    – Carl

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