Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Bulb Base Stuck in the Lamp Socket

This patient came in the other day needing some minor work. The bulb was flickering and when it was being removed the bulb base came off and was left in the lamp.

This lamp doesn't need any lamp parts, but we use a specialty lamp tool to remove this bulb base: chain pliers. You could also use needle nose pliers or wire pliers. Two important things to remember: one, unplug the lamp; two, do not damage the socket interior.

Since this lamp was already in the shop we took a moment to tighten it with a pare of pliers. The bottom nut is tightened and the neck below the socket gallery is tightened.

This lamp is perfect again.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Floor Lamp Cluster Rewired With Fat Boy Sockets

This patient came in the other day and needed some work. It has a cluster with two pull chain sockets. The sockets were not working at all. One can come loose from the socket cap. Upon further inspection, we notice the lamps plug is not polarized and the socket insulators are brittle. So the lamp parts we needed are two pull chain Fat Boy socket interiors, two Fat Boy socket insulators, some lead wire, wire nuts, and a snap on polarized plug.

First the cluster cap is removed and the wires are pulled out. These wires are old and really stiff. A pair of pliers is needed to pull the wires out of place.

The socket interiors can now be removed from from the cluster body.

The new sockets are wired with white and black leads. The new socket interiors have bright shiny pull chains and do not match anything else on this lamp. For a finished look, the old pull chains are removed from the old socket interiors and attached to the new socket interiors. The old socket was enclosed so a single screw removed and the socket opens up.

These sockets are Fat Boy sockets: they have a larger flared base near the socket cap. The insulators are a little tricky so the best thing is to push them in with the help of a table top of table edge.

Since the terminals on these interiors are on the bottom, it is important to inspect the insulators in the socket cap. These sockets are ready to be placed in the lamp.

With the lead wires in the cluster, the wires are clipped even. Wire nuts are used to connect the lead wires to the lamp cord. The black wires connect to the smooth wire and the white wires connect to the ribbed wires. The lead wires in the cluster are trimmed and the lamp wire is stripped. A UL knot is tied in the cord. The wires are stuffed into the cluster and the slack is pulled through the lamp body.

The cluster cap is placed back on the cluster.

The old lamp cord was not polarized so it is getting replaced with a polarized snap on plug. This cord was extra thick so we used a plug for an SPT-2 cord. The important thing is to line the cord up right in the plug: the smooth cord goes on the small prong and the ribbed cord goes on the wide prong.

This lamp is ready to be lit. Bulbs are added and the plug is plugged in.

Prefect. Total Cost <$ 25 Total Time < 40 minutes

Friday, July 25, 2014

DIY Gold Leaf Lampshade

DIY Gold Leaf Lampshade

Turn this lamp into a work of art!

If you are interested in DIY projects and you have a lamp or two in your home that are just underwhelming this is the perfect project for you.  Creating a gold leaf lampshade is a simple project with 5 easy to follow steps. We will walk you through it ensure that your lamp will turn out amazing in the end and you will be the envy of all of your friends at your next get together. 

We recommend doing this project in an area where the wind will not be able to blow around the gold sheaths.

Step 1: Apply the First Coat of Paint – If you have a metal lampshade it often comes pre painted.  If your shade is unpainted, apply a coat of cream colored latex spray paint and let it dry before moving onto the next step.

Step 2: Wrap the Lampshade in Painters Tape – We recommend using ½ inch painters tape around the lampshade in a horizontal striped pattern.  Be sure to press the edges of the tape firmly to the shade.

Step 3: Apply Adhesive and Gold Leaf – Using a 1 inch brush apply a layer of the gold leaf adhesive to the non-taped portions of the shade.  Let the adhesive dry for at least 5 minutes, or until the paint is tacky when you touch it.  Then begin to position the gold leafs onto the sticky areas of the shade.  Tap the leaves into place with a soft bristled brush and allow to dry for roughly 10 minutes.

Step 4: Removing the Tape – Begin to peel the tape from around the shade in strips.  If there is any adhesive remaining on the shade remove it with a cotton swab dipped in mineral spirits and wipe clean with a cloth.

Step 5: Apply the Stain – Using a 2 inch brush to apply fruit wood stain to the entire shade.  We suggest Benjamin Moore stain to achieve the proper look and feel.  Before the stain dries, you should crumple a few paper towels and dab the lampshade.  This process is called ragging off and will add the rich look to the surface that you are trying to achieve.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Small White Table Lamp with Plastic 3-Way Socket

This patient came in the other day complaining the socket wasn't working any more. It was a turn knob and the key would turn without making any contact inside the socket. Inspecting the lamp revealed it had some burns inside the socket. Might be from heat, over use, or too high wattage bulb. The socket interior needed to be replaced.

Notes: This is a 3-way socket: it can use a standard bulb or a 3-way bulb (high, medium, low). You can tell by looking at the inside of the socket and seeing the extra tongue. Single pole sockets only have one tongue making contact with the bulb.

This socket is called a bake-lite or phenolic socket (also called a plastic socket). They are easy to work on since the socket shell unscrews from the socket cap. After removing the shell from the cap we can see this socket interior is a quick connect type. We prefer the screw terminal type, so that is what we will replace it with.

We cut the wires from the bottom of the socket interior. The lamp cord is stripped about 3/8 inch on each cord, a UL knot is tied in the cord, and it is attached to the new socket interior. The ribbed wire connects to the silver screw and the smooth wire connects to the brass screw for polarity.

Pull the slack of the wire back through the lamp body so the socket interior sits firmly on the socket cap. Screw the socket shell back on the socket cap. This lamp is ready for a bulb and to be tested.

Easy peasy. Total Cost <$3.00 Total Time < 10 minutes

Single Bulb Floor Lamp Replace Socket and Cord

A customer brought this patient in the other day and complained about the bulb "popping" and was worried about the safety of the lamp.

After inspecting the lamp we notice the socket has some burn marks on the interior and the plug is not polarized.

The lamp parts needed to repair this lamp are a new lamp socket interior and a new polarized lamp cord. First we start by removing the socket cap from the socket shell. Since the cord is going to be replaced, we clip the old cord from below the socket interior.

We remove the socket cap and lay the lamp on its side to push the wire new through the lamp body. Tip: Removing the socket cap from the lamp body will you get access to the wire and a small pair of clamps helps grab the wire when it has reached the top.

We put the lamp parts back on the lamp: harp base, lock washer, socket cap.

This socket cap had a knurled base so we take a pair of pliers and tighten it down. Now we are ready to wire the socket interior. The smooth wire connects to the brass screw and ribbed wire connects to the nickel screw.  The socket shell clicks back into the socket cap.

We add a bulb and plug in the lamp to test it.

Perfect. Total Cost: <$15 Total Time: <30 minutes