Captain Picard's Ready Room Alcove Lamps

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knaving

New Member
I wish to make a set of Picard's lamps in his ready room.
Ready_room_replicator.jpg
I've looked all around for a source or even a conversation about these lamps but I cannot find any information about them. They are a simple enough design but what's giving me pause are the diffuser covers. They appear to be what is referred to as a wrap-around diffuser used for covering fluorescent lights. That itself is easy enough to find, but that particular style of cover with the horizontal lines I cannot find (at least at the big box hardware store). There are suppliers of such covers, but the ones at the top of a google search have no way to search for styles.
My current plan for the build is to source the plastic covers from a local plastics store who can cut and bend a sheet. The closest they have to that style is a much narrower band of lines than what is seen on the set. It isn't ideal but it would work. I would be using LED fluorescent style lights, 2' and 3' long and the body would be bent sheet metal. Possibly aluminum, maybe stainless. I can't progress with the build until I figure out the light covers; if I source a legit diffuser, the build dimensions will be based on what I can find. Otherwise, I eyeball the sizes and have things custom cut for it.
Does anyone have any suggestions on how I could find something closer to what they used on set?
Also, as this build doesn't appear to be documented on the internet, I hope to be able to make a proper post with the completed build to help others make this pretty radical lamp.
This is my first post here, please direct me to a different forum location if I'm in the wrong place.
 
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Lt Washburn

Well-Known Member
The lamps started out as a decorative floor lamp, that you can see in Kirk's San Francisco apartment in ST 2 and 3. They are probably C. Jere decorative pieces, sometimes called "Skyscraper" lamps. They are not common, but will very occasionally be sold by furniture and decorative arts dealers, usually for hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars. They are made of bent sheet metal; there is no commercial diffuser in them. I would love to see someone make a replica of them, but I suggest you start with a CAD model to get the shapes/proportions correct and to use the CAD program to map out the sheet metal bends. If you don't have that skillset personally, perhaps someone who does might collaborate with you. Good luck!
 

knaving

New Member
That is some wonderful trivia for this project. As my research continued, I have cemented my plans. I've had to build my own sheet metal brake big enough to fit the work, and now I just need to purchase the mild steel I'll be using and the sheet of acrylic that my local store will bend for me.
I spent a long time trying to find a diffuser that matches that one, but at least I know for certain I couldn't find it for a good reason. I'll see what I can do about a proper CAD model, it's a good idea to try to make one.
New problems include how to paint/finish the steel and dealing with the electrics. I assume they ran power from behind the set wall, but that won't be an option. Since there's two, I think I will connect both with a steel tube or two between them to run wires from one to the other, then to a single plug. I have less experience with painting, so any recommendations on how to approach that would be helpful too.
 

knaving

New Member
With the help of Lt Washburn, I have made an analysis on the dimensions of the lamps. Using references from the original lamp design by Curtis Jere and the modified version of it used on TNG, I have put together a 2D model of the front face of the lamp. It should be noted that this isn't a reproduction of the original as I designed it to fit the scope of my means. The back and the electronics of the lamp are still being figured out, and will be more situational to the build.

However, as far as what one would see hanging on a wall, this design should be nearly identical to the original. The most difficult part was figuring out the scale of the slots. The grainy jpegs I found on the lamp lead me to infer in the beginning that the front face of the lamp had a plastic shroud over it. It is, instead, a series of slots cut into the metal. I was not able to get a reliable measurement of the original slot sizes and after I redesigned the model in metric (as it appears the original was made in), the 4.5mm slot to 5.5mm spacer ratio just kind of felt "right". It looks pretty busy in the drawing, but adjusting the space difference by more than .5mm caused the last slot to land too far down the lamp. To fit all the slots properly, the total space needs to land around 10mm, with the spacer size being bigger than the slot (as confirmed from references).

As far as how this will be fabricated, I am still figuring that out. It seems the easiest and cleanest way to cut the slots would be by CNC laser or waterjet. I have been acquiring quotes from businesses. So far, my cheapest quote for both pieces has been $371 in aluminum or $345 in mild steel (.040" and .030" thick, respectively). This does not include cuts for the angled cut at the top (Something I can do myself to save on shop time) nor the backing pieces and the electronics. It's much more than I wanted to pay for this project, but attempting to cut all 192 slots myself is not appealing. Aluminum could be cut on a table saw, but hatchi matchi it'll take a long time and would still need filing clean up.

So I'm weighing my options.

Regardless, I plan on finishing and releasing a model and plans for the build, if only just for posterity. Attached is my assessment of the dimensions on the front face of the lamps.
 

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nick daring

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Can't wait to see this this thing finally get made. It's been on my list for years.
 

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Lt Washburn

Well-Known Member
Very nice diagram. I would point out that I kept counting 79 slots on the screen-used piece, rather than the 80 seen on some other examples. You can double-check my count from the images I shared with you. It certainly makes more sense that it would be consistent across all examples, but it's what I see...

Also, is it possible to treat brass to make it look like polished aluminum or chrome? I only suggest this because so much of Jere's stuff is brass, that maybe that's what these were actually made out of. And though I have no idea about this, maybe brass sheet is cheaper?

Also, these were made in the US as much as 50-60 years ago, so though it's possible they were designed and manufactured in metric, it seems somewhat unlikely.
 
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