Upcycling Brass Instrument Lamp

In the past week I had a new idea for my upcycle project that I like better than my original idea. Instead of trying to make a coat rack from a cello neck, I have decided to make a lamp with a base that is either a trombone or a trumpet. I will probably end up making two lamps but am not sure both will be completed in time.

Trumpet lamp by Forge Foundry https://forge-foundry.com/product/trumpet-lamp-with-black-shade/

Since I have chosen a new project idea, I have been considering if the original aesthetic will still work. So far I haven’t made a decision because the trumpet or trombone part of the lamp is unlikely to change, what will really set the aesthetic is the lamp shade and how the instrument stand is decorated. I will probably let searching for lamp shades determine the aesthetic because I think shopping for one could be fun, but will probably be more enjoyable if it is an exploration to find what calls to me and not a hunt for something overly specific.

Since the base of both lamps needs to be have enough to stabilize the lamp I am planning to make the instrument stand out of Delrin. Delrin is an easily machinable plastic that is also dense so I expect it will be heavy enough to keep my lamps from tipping over. Before I thought of using Delrin I met with Josh Colyer from the Makerspace area of the Idea Forge to discuss designing a wood base. Making a wood base that would securely hold my lamp upright without simply epoxying the instruments in place turned out to be more complicated than I expected. The reason for not epoxying things is that it is messy and generally seen as a shortcut and poor craftsmanship among woodworkers. Even with the design Josh suggested concerns were the wood splitting and the wood not being heavy enough. To avoid having a really bulky wood bottom Josh thought I might need to make a compartment for sand or weight. However he suggested going home and trying to figure out how much weight was need to prop up the trombone. When I tried propping up the trombone at home I ended up wedging the trombone between a wooden board I took from Josh and a Delrin block I had sitting on my desk. The Delrin block was much heavier than wood and upon remembering it existed I changed plans. Another perk of using the Delrin is that it is white and I didn’t like how the wood looked with the brass.

I accidentally got ahead of myself in this project because I was excited to start but didn’t feel like stopping to make a good plan. As a result I have a trombone that is wire with a lightbulb and switch, but is not mounted to anything. I am glad wiring the trombone was straightforward though and sitting down to start the project was a decent start even though I will probably have to undo some of the progress I made.


Current state of trombone lamp! Needs a lamp shade and a base.

Rough balance trumpet lamp idea.

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3 Comments. Leave new

  • Hey Abigail,

    Your shift to creating lamps from trumpet or trombone bases is such a cool idea! I love how you’re considering the aesthetics and the practicality of the lamp stands. Exploring Delrin as a material for stability is a smart move, and it’s great to see how you’re adapting your plans based on practical considerations. It sounds like you’re making progress, even if it’s a bit ahead of your initial planning. Keep up the momentum, and I’m excited to see how your lamp project unfolds! 🎺💡

  • Alexander Fitzgerald
    February 11, 2024 12:20 pm

    Your project idea is super cool! How do you plan to secure the instrument to the base since you are not using epoxy?

    • For the trumpet I plan to make a stand like trumpet players use on stage which is essentially a cone with a wide base. For the trombone the stand will have to provide more stability but I am planning to have a rod going up the tube that doesn’t have the lamp wire.


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