Introduction: Easy DIY Baseball Lamp
The weather is warming up here in South Louisiana (actually, it barely cooled down at all this winter), Mardi Gras is in full swing, and daylight savings time is around the corner. Most importantly, it’s Baseball season already! My family and I love the game of baseball, so I decided to build my son a DIY Baseball Lamp. This is a super easy project and the DIY Baseball Lamp is perfect for a nursery or boys room.
Step 1: Cut Out Home Plate
Tools I Used:
- Make a Lamp Kit - http://amzn.to/2ufOfN1
- All Thread Lamp Pipe Kit - http://amzn.to/2tkXqYf
- Irwin Combination Square - http://amzn.to/2viYflD
- Band Saw - http://amzn.to/2ufO7Nv
- Jig Saw can be used in lieu of band saw
- 4 new or used baseballs
- Disk Sander - http://amzn.to/2sWwrCR
- Digital Caliper - http://amzn.to/2upkwBS
- Drill Press - http://amzn.to/2upz0l7
- Drill Press Vise - http://amzn.to/2ukMEFo
- Orbital Sander - http://amzn.to/2sWcLin
- Variable Speed Compact Router - http://amzn.to/2tlycc6
- V-Grooving router bit - http://amzn.to/2up3m7r
- Hot Glue Gun - http://amzn.to/2vja5vX
- Lamp Shade
- Any shade will do - I used one from a spare lamp
- 8" (length) x 8" (width) x 1" (thickness) square piece of wood.
- I used a scrap piece of IPE from my shop.
Make sure you have all the materials you need for the diy baseball lamp before you get started. It is quite frustrating to start a project and realize you don’t have the materials you need – trust me, I do it all the time.
Find or cut any piece of wood that is 8″ x 8″ square to be the base of the diy baseball lamp (home plate). I had a piece of IPE laying around my shop from a previous project that was 9″ x 9″. You can change the size of home plate as long as you follow these measurement guidelines: Back of home plate=x. Each side of home plate=x / 2. The 2 remaining sides are set at a 45 degree angle until they intersect. The standard size of home plate is 17″ (Back) x 8.5″ (straight side) x 12″ (angled sides).
Trace home plate on your chosen piece of material with a pencil and a combination square. I chose a scrap piece of IPE. Next, cut out the plate with a jigsaw or bandsaw. Remember to always cut outside the lines and trim the remaining material off with a sander.
Step 2: Sand Excess
Step 3: Mark Baseballs
Make a mark on the baseballs in the same general area. I chose an area on the ball that would minimize the logo/emblem once stacked on each other.
Note: I chose 4 baseballs because they fit on the threaded rod perfectly with about a half inch of thread remaining on each side.
Step 4: Drill Baseball
Use a digital caliper, regular caliper, or any measuring device to measure the width of the threaded rod. As you can see from the picture, the rod one is 3/8″.
Secure the ball with clamps or a vise. Next, drill a hole on the mark with the same size drill bit as the width of the rod. This hole will be a bit too small for the rod, but it is better to have it too narrow rather than too wide.
I secured the baseball with a drill press vise. The holes I drilled were too small for the rod to fit, so I stepped up to a 1/2″ bit. This size worked perfectly.The holes I drilled were too small for the rod, so I stepped up to a 1/2″ bit. This size worked perfectly.
Step 5: Rod and Wire
Place the baseballs on the threaded rod and secure them in place with the lock nuts/washers that came with the lamp kit. Make sure to leave about a half inch of threaded rod on each end so that it will be easy to secure the remaining lamp pieces and it can be attached to the base plate. Detailed instructions on how to assemble the different nuts/washers come with the lamp kit; however, I didn’t use some of them. You should be good to go as long as the balls are secure.
Thread the wire through the rod.
Step 6: Attach Remaining Lamp Kit Pieces
Attach the remaining pieces for the DIY baseball lamp kit to one side.
Step 7: Find Center of Plate
Find the center of the plate using a combination square, speed square, or tape measure and mark the center with a pencil. This is where you will drill the hole for the threaded pipe. Depending on the size of your base, you may want to move the mark 1 or 2 inches back. My homeplate is rather small and having the lamp directly in the center did not look right.
Step 8: Drill Hole in Plate
Drill a hole using a drill or drill press the same size as the threaded rod, which was 3/8″ in my case. This hole can always be widened later if needed. You may want to place a scrap of wood on the underside of the plate to prevent tear out.
Step 9: Roundover Edges
Step 10: Final Sanding
Sand the entire plate using 80 grit, then 120 grit, then 220 grit sandpaper with an orbital sander. This will provide a very smooth surface. Skip the 80 grit and 120 grit and go straight to the 220 grit if you are extremely impatient. I don’t recommend doing this for many reasons, but I realize a very smooth surface is not important to everyone.
Step 11: Wipe Clean and Apply Finish
Use a damp rag or paper towel to remove the dust from the wood and raise the grain.
Optional: While the wood is damp, you can quickly sand with an orbital sander it again with 220 grit paper. This will make a very smooth surface since the dampness in the wood raises the grain.
Now for my favorite part. Apply your favorite finish to the wood for the DIY baseball lamp. This can be stain, varnish, poly, etc.. I chose to use Linseed oil & Beeswax polish made by Darbin Orvar. Darbin is a very talented maker/creator who I follow on youtube. She makes this polish herself and sells it on her website – I included a link to it in the materials section of this post. I try to support people like Darbin whenever possible and I encourage you to do the same. This was the first time I used this product and it is AWESOME!
Step 12: Cut Wire Groove
Use a router with a straight bit or v-groove bit to cut a 1/4″ channel on the underside of the plate to the hole. Don’t cut too deep – just wide and deep enough for the lamp cord. This provides a channel for the baseball lamp cord to rest in order for the lamp to sit flat on the surface & to hide the cord. I used a v-groove bit set at 1/4″ deep. I kept the line as straight as possible, but didn’t concern myself with it too much because this will be on the underside of the plate.
Pull the excess lamp wire through the hole in the base from the baseball lamp.
Step 13: Secure Rod
Next, test the rod to make sure it fits in the hole. There are a few ways to secure the rod to the plate. Since I used IPE (Brazilian Walnut), which is a very hard wood (rating of 3684 on the Janka Wood Hardness Scale), I was able to simply screw the rod into the 3/8″ hole I drilled and it fit perfectly. If you are using a softer wood like Pine, you will need to secure the rod to the plate using the provided nuts/washers in the kit. The lamp kit contains detailed instructions on how to do this.
Step 14: Test Lamp and Glue
Before proceeding to this step, get a light bulb and test the baseball lamp to make sure it works. Once the rod is secured to the plate & you verified the lamp works, use a hot glue gun to secure it inside the channel. I recommend you use hot glue b/c it dries fast and can easily be removed if needed to do repairs to the lamp.
Step 15: Final Thoughts
That’s it – this DIY Baseball Lamp project was cheap and took me exactly 40 minutes to make from start to finish. I encourage you to be creative by adding different things to the lamp like a glove on the bottom or as a shade.
I hope this project provided you with some value because this is, and always will be, my ultimate goal.
Feel free to contact me anytime if you have any questions. I'm happy to help! Until next time – Imagine…Create…Share