Monday, September 29, 2014

How to Make Your Own Drum Lamp Shade

Creating your own drum lamp shade is not difficult. If you follow a few simple instructions; you will be able to create or recreate any lamp you purchase. As a matter of fact; you will be inspired to do more shopping for vintage and antique lamps for your living space.

These instructions are specifically for a drum shade, most commonly known as a circular shade, which consists of two wire rings.
What You Will Need:

To create your own drum shade you will need:

·         Fabric of your choice
·         Wire rings
·         Styrene
·         Fabric glue
·         Bulldog clips
·         Scissors
·         Bias tape
·         Paint brushes

Step 1 Take Proper Measurements

Measure your lamp rings first, because they will be the most difficult to replace. Your chosen fabric should be at least one inch wider and longer than your shade. Measure the circumference of the shade with a basic tape measure. Decide how far apart you would like your wire rings to be placed; this will determine the width of your shade. The standard shade width is normally a little over a foot.

Step 2 Now It’s Time to Cut Your Styrene and Fabric

After your fabric is measured in Step 1 it’s time to cut out your fabric. Then, cut your styrene 1 inch narrower, and a ½ inch shorter than your fabric.

Step 3 Wrap the Lamp Wire and Spokes with Bias Tape

Bias tape comes in many colors, so that you can use the tape to match your decor. Wrap your rings and their spokes with the bias tape of your choice.

Step 4 Remove the Protective Layer from Your Styrene

Carefully peel back the protective layer of your styrene. Slowly place the styrene onto your fabric as you go along, ensuring that there are no bubbles or buckles.

Step 5 Use Bulldog Clips and Fabric Glue to Secure the Shade

Bulldog clips are the black clips normally used to clip stacks of papers together. Use these clips to secure the lamp shade and help it hold its shape. Use fabric glue around the excess fabric at the top of the shade. Here is where your paint brush comes in handy. Use the paintbrush to apply the fabric glue onto the material; then fold over neatly. This is the top of your lamp shade.

Step 6 Tuck Fabric Around Wire Ring, and Repeat Process

You don’t need to be concerned with perfection; you can always straighten your fabric out at the end of your project. Begin tucking the fabric around the wire ring. Repeat these last two steps for the bottom half of your drum shade.

There are many methods for making drum shades, but you must try them out to see which one is easier for you. Depending on the style of shade you desire; you will probably go back and forth from one method to another, or even combine methods, as you become more experienced. 

Monday, September 22, 2014

Brass Table Lamp with Burnt Socket Interior

According to the National Fire Protection Association, an estimated 47,700 home fires were reported in 2011 and nearly half (48%) were related to lighting equipment. Yikes! Our next patient was on track to add to that statistic, but fortunately the owner realized there was a problem and decided to do something about it.

This patient was brought in and the owner complained that it smoked and smelled "like chemicals." Looking in the socket it is obvious there was some major heat in this socket.

This lamp has a 3 way socket and the bulbs should not exceed 150 watt max. That is not to say that a higher wattage bulb was used, it could be a surge, dust, or other foreign object to burn in this socket, either way it was dangerous and stinky. The lamp parts needed to fix this lamp include a new 3 way socket interior and socket insulator.

First thing is to inspect this lamp. Make sure there are no other signs of stress like a damaged lamp cord or a loose socket cap and shell. The socket cap spins a little bit and twisting it could put a strain on the cord in the socket, but there are no visual signs of problems.  The socket shell is removed from the socket cap.

This socket interior is a quick connect type. It does not require any stripping of the wires, but when we removed the socket shell the interior socket was broken. Since the wires are not stripped, they are placed in a channel that locks the lamp cord in place. This channel has a plastic clasp and on this interior the clasp was broken. There might have been a short inside this socket. The most important thing is the problem is being addressed.

As the photos show, the socket insulator was also slightly charged. It was the source of the smell and replacing it will eliminate the odor. The brass key from the old interior is placed on the new socket interior and the new insulator is placed in the socket shell. The lamp cord is stripped and a UL knot is tied in the cord.

Since the socket cap was loose, the cap is tightened on the threaded rod and lamp body. Since there is no socket on the lamp the cord does not get twisted or bound. The new socket interior is attached to the lamp cord. The smooth wire attaches to the  brass screw and the ribbed wire connects to the nickel screw.

The cord slack is pulled from the base of the lamp so the interior sits on the socket cap. The socket shell in snapped into the socket cap. A bulb is added and this lamp is tested.

Great! This lamp is back and ready. Total cost <$3.00  Total Time < 15 minutes

Painted White Floor Lamp with Swivel Arm and UNO Shade Holder - New Lamp Cord

We are all about repair, reduce, reuse, recycle, retain, repurpose, rebeautify and maybe a few more re- words that don't come to mind at this time. Our customers feel the same. Often we get a lamp in the shop that needs a little touch up. Sometimes the owner has already touched it up and now wants it to work again.

This white floor lamp was brought in the other day and the customer said it needed a new lamp cord. This lamp was probably brass at one point, but brass and gold are not popular colors or maybe.... Back on topic: new lamp cord. One thing we want to do is visually inspect the lamp and test the other lamp parts (socket) for working order.

This lamp looks nice. The socket interior is not painted and turning the key makes a firm and smooth click for opening and closing the circuit.

First the lamp arm has an adjustment screw so it is taken off. Another term would be a die cast swivel with ratchet grip. Either way the center screw holds the pieces together and removing the screw will give us access to the lamp cord at the top of the column.

Laying a lamp like this on a work bench or table allows you to see the base and top at the same time. The old lamp cord was in the body of the lamp, but was cut at the base. Since this cord is cut and needs to be discarded anyway, we are going to use it as out leader line to pull the new cord into the lamp. First we trim the cord and strip the wires on the new cord. Next we solder the new cord to the old cord so when we pull the old cord up the lamp the new cord will come with it.

Remove the old lamp cord from the bridge arm. Unscrew the socket key. Open the socket by prying the socket shell from the socket cap. This lamp has another swivel with ratchet grip above the socket, it also needs to be disassembled to gain access to the lamp cord channel.

The new lamp cord is threaded through the arm of the lamp and attached to the socket interior. The smooth wire connects to the brass screw and the ribbed wire connects to the nickel screw. The swivels are put back together and the socket shell is attached to the socket cap.

The cord slack is pulled back through the base of the lamp and the swivel screws are tightened. The lamp is placed back on the ground and the swivels are adjusted for a natural angle.

A bulb is added and the lamp is tested for operation.

Perfect. Total Cost < $5.00 Total Time < 30 minutes.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Tennessee Vols Lamp

Lamps should be fun. Often the lamps that come in the shop are just as odd and unique as the people who bring them. It is fun to have a lamp that sets off an emotion and sometimes sports can be very emotional. This University of Tennessee lamp came in the other day (we are in Big Orange Country) and the owner wanted the lamp to have a glass ball shade. I can already hear "Rocky Top."

The lamp parts needed for this conversion include: brass gallery, turn knob socket, extended socket key, iron weight, brass shade holder and threaded lamp rod.

First the lamp will need to be unwired and the old parts removed. The felt is taken off the bottom.

The socket shell is pried from the socket cap and the socket interior is clipped from the lamp cord.

The cord is pulled through the lamp body.

The socket cap is removed and the parts of the lamp are removed as well. Since this lamp is going to have a gallery and we are removing a neck, the threaded rod will need to be replaced. The height of the lamp has changed so the new threaded rod will need to be the right length.

With the new rod, the parts are placed in order on the lamp. The new rod is marked for cutting.

Using a saw, the rod is cut to the desired length.

With the new rod cut, the lamp is ready for assembly. The new cast iron loader weight goes first, then the brass base, the lamp body, vase cap, neck, gallery, and socket cap. TIP: Lamps can tip over. Since we are adding a heavy glass shade to the top of the lamp a loader in the base will help reduce the tipping problem.

With the main parts together, the lamp is leveled and tightened. Now is the time to make sure the turn knob, body, and base are in the correct orientation with each other (cord in back, decoration in front, turn knob on side).

The lamp cord is threaded through the rod and up through the socket cap. A loose knot is tied in the cord at the base. A UL knot is tied in the cord at the socket cap. The socket interior is attached to the lamp cord. For polarity, the smooth cord is attached to the brass screw and the ribbed cord is attached to the silver screw.

The turn knob is attached and the cord slack is pulled through the lamp.

Some glue is mixed to reattach the felt bottom.

The lamp is complete with an Opal Glass Ball Shade.

"Wish that I was on ole rocky top, Down in the tennessee hills. Ain't no smoggy smoke on rocky top, Ain't no telephone bills." 

Total cost <$45.00  Total time < 45 minutes