Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Adding a Harp Base to a Lamp

Sometimes you find yourself looking at your lamp and thinking "I wish it had this instead of that." Well, you have come to the right blog. We are all about changing this for that or making this work instead of that. In fact our store sells all kinds of this to replace or repair that.

A customer brought in this lamp the other day and said they wanted a harp based added to the lamp. As the lamp was, it could only have a clip style fitter shade. They want to have a harp and washer fitter shade. This allows them more options in the shade world since the large selection of fabric shades have washer fitters.

First thing we want to do is inspect this lamp for any parts or pieces that might be unsafe. This lamp looks safe so the first things we will need to do is remove the socket. The socket shell is carefully pried from the socket cap.

The socket interior is removed from the lamp cord.

The socket cap is removed from the threaded rod.

The only lamp parts we need for this modification are a harp base and a lock washer. The harp base and lock washer a placed on the threaded rod and the socket cap is screwed back in place.

The lamp cord is pushed back through the threaded rod and a UL knot is tied in the cord.

The socket interior is attached to the cord. The smooth cord goes to the brass screw on the socket and the ribbed cord goes on the nickel screw of the socket.

The socket shell is added to the socket interior. The shell is snapped back in the socket cap.

A bulb is added and the lamp is tested.

This lamp is ready for a harp and shade.

Total Cost: <$1.00 Total Time < 10 minutes.

Friday, October 24, 2014

How to Replace a Lamp Cord

As you read this blog, you will find many times we are replacing a lamp cord. Sometimes it requires lead lines, pulling, pushing, sweating, grunting, and some four letter words. Other times it is a walk in the park. We don't want you to get discouraged and understanding the basics can help encourage you to keep trying. The following is a basic lamp cord replacement.

A customer brought this patient in the other day and said it needed a new lamp cord. We agree. The old cord is not polarized.

The only lamp part we need is a polarized molded lamp cord. First, we start by  removing the socket shell from the socket cap. A flat head screw driver carefully pries the shell out at the "Press" mark on the shell.

The socket interior is unscrewed from the old lamp cord and the cord is pulled through the lamp body.

The new cord is fed through the lamp body. A UL Knot is tied in the lamp cord and the socket interior is reattached. The smooth cord goes on the brass screw and the ribbed cord goes on the nickel screw.

The socket interior is slipped back in the socket shell. The socket shell is snapped back in the socket cap.

A bulb is added for testing.

Easy peasy, lemon squeezey. Total Cost <$5.00 Total Time < 5 Minutes

Friday, October 17, 2014

Feeling Creative? Make a Lamp From a Bottle!

Lamps are certainly utilitarian. We need them to see in the dark. But they are also accents in a room’s decor, and should be chosen with that in mind. Unusual lamps, ones that are more personal, can be made easily if you have the right materials.

Bottles that come in a wonderful array of shapes and sizes make lovely lamps, and by choosing a bottle that speaks to your artistic side, you can create something quite special and unique.

1.    Assemble your materials. Find a lampshade that appeals to you and that compliments the shape of your chosen bottle. Most hardware stores sell lamp making kits that come with everything you will need: a rubber stopper with a hole in the center, a light bulb socket and cap, a switch,  a paper-lined shell, some threaded bar to go inside the stopper, electrical wire, and a wall plug. The tools required will be: a utility knife, pliers, and small Phillips head screwdriver.

2.    To get your rubber stopper to fit your bottle, use the utility knife to shave it down until it’s the right size. Putting the threaded rod through the hole in the stopper - and leaving ¼” showing, place the assembly and shave the stopper to make it flush with the bottle.

3.    Putting the harp base and socket cap on the threaded rod, with your screwdriver, tighten the socket cap. Put your electrical wire through the hole in the cap and make an underwriter’s” knot. Wrapping the stripped wire ends of the electrical wire around the terminal screws, tighten them. Now, sliding the shell over the whole thing, clip the socket assembly into the cap.

4.     Add the top of the harp and screw in your light bulb. Put on the lamp shade and plug it in. No sparks? You've done it right!

This is basically an easy project, and a great way to personalize a light source. You can be proud of yourself.

Monday, October 13, 2014

It's OK to Call This Lamp Socket a Fat Boy

The origins of this name are bit shady, but one thing is for sure. It's a proud name. Like most industries we have a jargon that gets lost outside of the industry. There is one name that can be used: Fat Boy. Leviton makes the Fat Boy socket and we can only imagine the name is in reference to its large stature.

A customer brought in this antique looking brass lamp the other day with a, you guessed it, Fat Boy socket. They wanted it to be rewired and inspected. The obvious  thing was the old plug on the cord. The lamp parts needed to fix this lamp include a lamp cord, fat bot insulator, set screw, and socket key.

First thing we do is remove the felt bottom. We want to get access to the cord so we can easily rewire it. This lamp was full of something. It was hard and crusty. This process was not going to be easy.

It was time to regroup the strategy and not carve out the mess in this lamp body. Looking at the tube the cord went through, it looked like it had space and we could use the old cord as a leader line to pull the new cord through the lamp. The bulb was removed and the socket was opened. The socket shell pried open from the socket cap.

The cord was un-wired from the socket interior.

There were only two things wrong with this socket: the key was rough and chipped, and the insulator looked like it was 200 year old.

To pull the new cord up this lamp the old cord needed to be cut and stripped. Using the small clamps to hold the cords together, the cords are soldered to each other.

The solder cools for about 3 minutes. From the top of the lamp, at the socket cap, the old cord it pulled out of the lamp and the new cord is still attached.

The new cord is clipped, stripped and a UL knot is tied. It is attached to the socket interior. The smooth cord connects to the brass screw and the ribbed cord attaches to the nickel screw.

The socket cap seems a bit loose and the shade holder is spinning, so the cap is tightened and a missing set screw is replaced.

The cord slack is pulled from the base of the lamp so the socket interior sits on the socket cap. The socket insulator is replaced in the shell and the shell is snapped into the socket cap.

The new key is screwed on the socket. A bulb is added and the lamp is tested.

Nice! Total Cost <$7.00 Total Time < 30 minutes.

Here is the lamp with a Opal Glass Student Shade:

**No feelings were hurt in the making of this post.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Brass Floor Lamp with Ship Rewired Socket

A customer brought in this lamp the other day and wanted it to be rewired. The old cord was stiff and the plug was not polarized. They also wanted an antique brass pull chain socket on the lamp. The only lamp parts needed for the rewire are a 12 foot clear gold lamp cord and new pull chain socket.

The trick with rewiring floor lamps is threading the wire through all the columns and swivels. This lamp had a partially exposed wire at the bridge, but the angle at the arm and the swivel might cause some delay.

First we remove some parts so they will not get damaged (UNO Shade holder) and gives us access to the lamp cord (brass cap).

Next the socket shell is pried from the socket cap.

Next the socket cap is removed from the lamp by releasing the set screw.

The swivel is removed from the bridge arm.

The wire is removed from the end of the bridge arm.

Laying the lamp on a table helps gain access to the base of the lamp and the bridge arm.

The old lamp cord is pulled out of the lamp base. The new wire is inserted. A trick to threading a new lamp cord is to twist the stripped wires together. Using our small clamps, the new wire is pulled from the lamp body.

The new lamp cord is threaded through the bridge arm and up to where the swivel attaches.

The small clamps help pull the cord down. The swivel is reattached and the socket cap is placed on the swivel.

Tighten the set screw on the socket cap. Wire the socket interior to the lamp cord: the smooth wire goes on the brass terminal and the ribbed wire goes on the silver terminal.

Snap the socket shell into the socket cap. Replace the brass button on the bridge arm.

Replace the UNO shade holder and add a bulb for testing.

Ahoy ye LIGHTlubbers. Perfect. For fun we added one of our Art Glass Fixture shades.

Total Cost < $12 Total Time < 30 minutes