I had collected what I was hoping would eventually be an awesome bonsai many moons from now. It was a beautiful Bald Cypress taken during my Swampathon 2014 post.
Long story short, it kicked the bucket. I had hopes it would pull through but I never saw any buds when the rest of the collected trees were firing on all cylinders. I wasn’t sure why it happened and assumed it was just overstressed from collection. I felt really bad about losing it because it had a killer base with great potential. On top of that I went in and removed it from the swamp causing its demise. It may sound corny, but I felt bad about it. I wanted to do something cool with it and not just throw it on the burn pile. That would just be rude. Then a light bulb went off!
A lamp. I could make a lamp…I think.
I went and pulled it from the container and looked it over.
I wanted to use as much of the width as possible. I had envisioned sawing it off right above the root flare but it was just too damn wide. It would have been too difficult to make a completely flat cut with a handsaw.
I decided to use my table saw like any self respecting Tim Taylor fan would…more power!! The blade height game me limitations on just how low I could cut it. It wasn’t ideal since I was losing a lot of the width, but it was the easiest way to do it. To be honest, a lot of planning didn’t go into this. I just rolled with the punches.
Once I cut it, I could see it had a large interior wound most likely from some type of boring insect. It went about 2-3 feet through the tree. I’m not 100% sure if that was the cause of death but it sure made me feel a lot better about losing it.
Now I just need to drill out a channel through the whole trunk section to allow me to run wire through it. The size of my bit (which I borrowed…Thanks Rick!) also limited the height of my finished lamp. This was no problem as I wanted a small desktop size lamp anyway.
The next few pictures are pretty self explanatory. I screwed some adjustable feet on the bottom, taped the wiring to a piece of wire, and shoved it through.
Once I had the wiring through, I connected it to a lamp kit and used gorilla glue to secure the bulb socket to the top. I would do this a bit differently next time as it foams up and looks messy. Since this was just a prototype I didn’t worry about it very much. Since it would be covered by the shade I just scraped off the excess and carried on.
We’re pretty much done at this point. Now to just get a shade and a bulb.
Ah, there we go! I was glad I was able to save a piece of this tree as a memory of the awesome trip.