Lamp Base Repair

Lamp base with big broken chunkOur friend Thea has a standing lamp that she is very fond of, but whose base got quite damaged, apparently by her young daughter standing on it (a while ago, since her young daughter now has a daughter of her own).

Actually, she asked if I could 3D-print something to fix it, which, I explained, would be really hard. But it seemed like we could do a mold of the good bit to replace the bad bit. Had we done this before? Nope! But it sounded like a fun thing to try.

Originally we planned on doing a classic mold of the base, but that was looking quite tricky because of the shape (lots of undercuts, we’d need to build a base out of clay to mark out the bits we needed, etc.). But then we heard about a product called Mold Putty (here’s a link to the version we bought).

Because this stuff is a putty, we could just press it onto the bit of the mold we wanted to capture:

…which worked much better than we expected–although if we were doing it again, we would have captured much more of the design–possibly all of it, which would have made the next steps much easier.

Once we had a mold, we just had to fill it in with resin (we first painted in bronze-colored powder to set the main color–you can see some remnants in the mold). Because of the curve, we ended up having to overfill the mold quite a bit:

Which meant that we had some rough areas to deal with, and also a few major spill-overs (not saying the whole thing was temporarily glued to the board, but…). Here you can see some of the extra resin around the design:

But the cool thing was that the new section matched up precisely with the broken bits (and we deliberately let a bunch of the resin pour into the back, since that won’t be seen, and it created a good, solid bond with the existing base). Of course, Anna had to spend some serious time filing (and Dremeling) out the extra bits–I am neither coordinated nor patient enough to do that:

But here’s what it looked like when we were done:

We were pretty chuffed! Thea is now going to have to decide whether she wants to age the new bit or shine-up the old bits…

1 Comment on “Lamp Base Repair

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *