Tuesday, March 7, 2017

How to Cut or Trim a Candle Cover

Often we are asked about trimming down or cutting candle covers. Perhaps, you found a fixture at a yard sale and have some longer candle covers? Or maybe you ordered some online and they turn out to be too long for what you need. Cutting or trimming a candle cover is really easy to do.

Even though there are different materials of candle covers (plastic, paper, resin, etc) the process to trim them is really the same. I recommend using a hacksaw. The tiny teeth and firm grip give you the right balance for a smooth and even cut.

Hacksaw
First, make sure your candle cover is not too brittle. Older candle covers can be really brittle from being baked next to a bulb for decades. Brittle candle covers will crack and not cut well.




Next, find an object to place in the candle cover to support the shape while you cut. We sometimes use a nut driver. Do not use your finger.






With support in place, you can start to hack. Remember to push and pull the saw and let the teeth do the cutting. Too much downward pressure will warp or smash the candle cover.





Now the candle cover is the right size, you will want to clean it up. Here you can use a knife, rag, bench grinder... whatever you prefer.






That is easy! You can use the same process for paper candle covers:











And resin candle covers:









It is just that easy.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Vintage Touch Control Lamp Repair

A customer brought in this lamp the other day and it had stopped working. This small lamp had a touch control module on the bottom no longer functioning. For this lamp repair we will replace the touch control lamp switch.




As with any repair, the first step is to unplug and inspect the lamp. We are looking for cracks, bends, snags in the cord, polarized lamp plug. This lamp checks out so the touch control switch should be the only lamp part we need.

First, we need to remove the shade. This shade comes off after removing the top finial. The shade is put in a safe spot.





Now we turn the lamp over and locate the touch control.



This touch control has the low, medium, high, and off controls. You can tell this by the White, Red, and Black wires. We need to make sure the new control attaches to the same wires so we are going to replace one at a time. Starting with the white wire from the control switch, we remove the old clamped wire nut and rewire our new white cord to our new touch control switch.






Next we wire the red wire from the control switch. Same method is used: remove old wire nut, tighten the stranded wires and replace the wire nut.








Next the black wire is attached using the same technique.





The final wire is the yellow wire. This attaches to the lamp body and senses the touch. To save some time, we are only going to connect the new yellow wire to the old yellow wire. We simply cut the old yellow wire, strip it, and connect it to the yellow wire on our new control switch using a wire nut.













The new control switch is wired to the lamp. We can mount the control box with the peal and stick tape on the back of the switch.






The old touch switch can be discarded.



We are ready to test the lamp. We plug it in and start to touch or tap the lamp body.





Great! Now we replace the shade the same way it was removed.





Another lamp repaired and saved from a landfill.


Total Time < 20 minutes Total Cost < $15