DiResta: Wooden Lamp (Bonus Video)

Furniture & Lighting Woodworking Workshop
DiResta: Wooden Lamp (Bonus Video)

In each bi-monthly episode of DiResta (every other Wednesday at 2pm PT), artist and master builder Jimmy DiResta (Dirty Money, Hammered, Against the Grain, Trash for Cash) lets us into his workshop, to look over his shoulder while he builds whatever strikes his fancy. On this episode of DiResta, which Jimmy shared with MAKE as a holiday bonus video, he remembers a wood bending technique he experimented with as a teen and creates this wonderful modern lamp as a result. – Gareth Branwyn

YouTube player



  • Apron 4′ of 1/4″ steel rod
  • 14″ x 24″ x 3/4″ plywood
  • Lamp electrics kit from Home Depot


  • A homemade ring bending jig
  • Table saw
  • Miller 150 Maxstar Tig welder
  • Bolt cutters
  • Hammer
  • Anvil

Jimmy’s Notes:

When I was about 16, I was experimenting with the radial arm saw. I wanted to bend wood using relief cuts. At one point, I made relief cuts on either side of a piece of wood, but I crossed the cuts on opposites sides to keep the wood together. As a result, the wood becomes a spring! Fast forward 30 years and I was looking for a project to use my new TIG welder on. A steel lamp frame came to mind. For the shade, the idea of this wood bending technique came back to me!

17 thoughts on “DiResta: Wooden Lamp (Bonus Video)

  1. asciimation says:

    That’s very cool. Also I really like the style of these DiResta videos. Direct, nicely shot (camera on the saw guide – nice!), to the point and no horribly distracting music. I know some people probably prefer step by step guides but I really like these quick looks into a craftsman at work. I am lucky I have had the chance to make enough stuff and play with enough tools in my time I can follow what’s happening. I must look up the television programmes DiResta has done. Please keep doing these little videos!


    1. jimmydiresta says:

      Thank you very much for the kind words ! ill keep making them !!

  2. DiResta: Wooden Lamp | So8ra6 says:

    […] For lists of materials, tool, and supplies, notebook sketches, and Jimmy’s notes, see the post on MAKE: http://blog.makezine.com/2012/12/19/diresta-wooden-lamp-bonus-video […]

  3. fnirt says:

    I agree about the directness of the videos. I have to say when you got done slicing up that hunk of plywood it was so crisp, so clean, I kinda wanted to lick it. There’s just something so cool, so intimate, so right about working wood in such a confident and proficient manner. I look forward to all of your videos!

    1. jimmydiresta says:

      “i want to lick it ” my fav compliment !! thank you !

  4. deanS says:

    Fun to watch even if you don’t try to make your own. Very much like a video version of the Wordless Workshop by Roy Doty. Always enjoy watching Jimmy DiResta’s work, but maybe I’m just easily amused as I find John somewhat enjoyable to watch also.

    1. jimmydiresta says:

      thank you so much !!

  5. Jeff Del Papa says:

    Very nice design. I have been staring at it for a while, and still don’t quite know what is holding the strips together. I could see how cutting 90% thru and staggering would get you very bendable wood, but it looks like there are actual gaps between the strips. I can’t figure out how you didn’t wind up with a bunch of separate strips…. (count that as a well done, guess I will have to do my own experiments to figure it out, when I get back from family travels…)

    Only one other comment on technique – there are two things that will sent a blacksmith to hell – bending cold metal, and not charging enough. I suppose as a woodworker the first rule doesn’t apply.

    1. jimmydiresta says:

      Thank you jeff! yes i was being lazy: the torch was way over there & it was thin enough …

  6. David Popdan says:

    I really enjoy your videos. Can’t quite wrap my head around how that wood is staying together. Gotta watch it a few more times. And I wasn’t sure if I should say anything at first but I saw “new” TIG welder, so here goes, it looks like you’re pulling your torch away too quickly after you finish welding. it should sit in the same spot until your gas post-flow is done. usually a few seconds. not quite as bad as seeing Paul Jr. of OCC cooling a TIG weld by blowing on it, but an “opportunity for improvement” nonetheless. thanks for the videos, looking forward to what you think of next!

    1. jimmydiresta says:

      thank you david ! I am still developing my TIG tech.. i am a TIG newbee thank you for the tip … on the wood: to you and Jeff , the front and back cut are slightly diagonal so where they cross there is wood attaching front to back , you can see when the light shines through. thank you !

  7. Harold Cunningham says:

    a. What angle did you choose for the second cut?
    b. Consider using an Underwriter’s Knot for the socket wiring.

  8. DiResta: Wooden Lamp | How to Videos, Articles & More |How To - Tips for your phone, tablet, computer, home theater says:

    […] For lists of materials, tool, and supplies, notebook sketches, and Jimmy’s notes, see the post on MAKE: http://blog.makezine.com/2012/12/19/diresta-wooden-lamp-bonus-video […]

  9. StevenBailey says:

    how did you make the metal bender?

  10. Construye una lámpara de madera – says:

    […] Vía: Make […]

  11. Jimmy DiResta: Wooden Lamp | [Ki•net•ic] // Design + Build says:

    […] Jimmy DiResta: Wooden Lamp […]

  12. Jimmy DiResta: Wooden Lamp | [Ki•net•ic] // Design + Build says:

    […] Jimmy DiResta: Wooden Lamp via YouTube […]

Comments are closed.

Discuss this article with the rest of the community on our Discord server!


Maker Faire Bay Area 2023 - Mare Island, CA

Escape to an island of imagination + innovation as Maker Faire Bay Area returns for its 15th iteration!

Buy Tickets today! SAVE 15% and lock-in your preferred date(s).