Dragonfly Sconces – Body Construction Done

After I hung the cabinet I made for the guest room I was eager to get on to building a pair of the Dragonfly sconces I designed (plans are available for downloading here).  As a quick recap, this is inspired by a Dard Hunter stylized dragonfly design that was used in a tile and other items.  I came across this and thought it might make a cool stained glass design — I was “shopping” for ideas for the glass panel for the Byrdcliffe-ish cabinet.

Anyway, this is the design I came up with.  It’s relatively simple, although given how slow I seem to be at completing projects I wasn’t sure how long it would take.  I deeded to keep track of my hours to get a better feel for this.  When I used to build chopper parts and had to do the same thing over and over I kept track of how long everything took me so I could plan my time.  It got to be something of a race and I eventually got really fast at each operation.

CAD rendering for the Dragonfly sconce

CAD rendering for the Dragonfly sconce

To get started on building the sconce I printed out the plans I made, full size on 11×17 paper at Kinkos.  (Hint: if you do this Adobe Acrobat will try to “scale to fit” the plans, make sure you print them at 100%).  I cut out the full scale layout for the shade, wall mount and corbel so I could make some patterns.

Full scale layout for the main parts

Full scale layout for the main parts

I used some spray adhesive to glue the patterns to some .060″ thick aluminum sheet.  I guess thin MDF or even thick poster board would work too.  I trimmed the aluminum to the layout lines and I had my templates.  I used the pattern for the shade to set up the pattern board for the stained glass shades.  I made sure it was exactly symmetrical.  As long as each assembled panel fits into the pattern board they should end up even when I solder four of the together.  I set this aside for now, hopefully I’ll be able to get to the glasswork next weekend.

Pattern board for the glass shades

Pattern board for the glass shades

I machined all of my stock (more Quartersawn White Oak) to thickness and rough dimensions.  Then I used the patterns for the wall plate and corbel to lay out the details.

Outline lay out for the wall plate

Outline lay out for the wall plate

Corbels laid out

Corbels laid out

Patterns

Patterns

It took me perhaps 30 minutes to make the patterns, and another 30 minutes to dimension the oak and to the layout.  Then I lost track of time and got completely caught up in building…

I wanted to get everything done to the wall bracket I possibly could before I cut the profile shape on the ends.  I did the through mortises for the support arm and the square holes for the 5/16 ebony plugs first.

Mortises done

Mortises done

Then I routed recesses in the back for the keyhole hangers, drilled the wire hole and routed a clearance slot in the back for wires.

Fitting the keyhole hangers

Fitting the keyhole hangers

I made the tenons on the horizontal brackets next.  I used my tablesaw with a dado blade to cut the outside shoulders – leaving me with one wide tenon the correct height and as wide as the outer edges of the mortises.  Then I knifed in the inside walls of the tenons, transferring them from the mortises and used my tenon say to cut the inside fact and chopped out the waste.  I got a decent fit after some fine tuning with a chisel.

Mortises fit

Mortises fit

Test fitting the brackets

Test fitting the brackets

Once I was satisfied with the mortise and tenon joint I routed a wire groove in the support arm, transferred the location to the wall bracket and drilled a through hole and was finally ready to cut out the profile on the wall plates.  I sawed as close to the line as I could, then cleaned up the shape with rasps and sandpaper.  Before I knew it I was gluing up the brackets and it was only 2:30 in the afternoon.

Gluing up

Gluing up

I took a break, ate lunch, fixed a clogged drain and went back out to the shop.  Making the corbels and the cover plate for the wire groove was simple stuff.  I drilled and tapped the hole in the cover plate to 3/8-27 to match the size of the 1/8 IPS threaded tube used in lamp parts.  I glued and pin nailed these parts in place and suddenly I was done with both sconce bodies.  Wow, that went pretty quick. I have to make the ebony plugs and put some finish on these, but it’s mostly making the shades now.

Completed sconce brackets

Completed sconce bodies

Back of the sconce body - the tenon ends need to be flushed up after the glue is fully dry

Back of the sconce body – the tenon ends need to be flushed up after the glue is fully dry

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: | 4 Comments

Post navigation

4 thoughts on “Dragonfly Sconces – Body Construction Done

  1. This is a beautiful design! I love the dragonfly motif and it’s arrangement.

    • Thanks! I’m eager to see it all come together and lit up. I’m sort of stunned that I got the pair of them made in less than a day, it usually takes me ages to get anything done with wood.

  2. Hi Joe,
    sconces look good. What is the big long slot in the back for? And are you going to wedge the through tenons?

  3. Thanks Ralph.

    The long slot is for the wires — this way I have some latitude where I put the sconces vertically on the wall relative to the outlet box they will be wired in to.

    I’m not going to wedge the tenons, they were fairly snug fitting already, and with corbel I have no qualms about them being able to support the weight of the lamp shade and assembly. I did the “Blacker House” sconces the same way – just two tenons – and they are just fine.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: