Monday, October 31, 2016

Repaired Antique Wall Sconces Get a New Chance on the Wall

A customer brought in these old and slightly rusted sconces the other day and said they belonged in an old house she was restoring. The previous owner had placed them in the basement and she wanted to bring them back to life.

Challenge accepted.

These sconces have a unique antique style pull chain fixture socket. No one makes these anymore and the ones on these sconces are in poor shape.

We are going to replace these pull chain fixture sockets with an on/off turn knob fixture socket.

Other lamp parts needed for this repair include: candle cover, lamp cord, and screws. For the finish, we are going to freshen up the paint a bit and leave some brass accents. First, we will need to disassemble the lamp. Two screws from the wall plate remove the arm. The bobeshe or dish is attached to the arm with a coupling. Once we have the wires removed from the socket we can start unscrewing the socket from the arm.

With the lamp apart, we can touch up the color and polish the brass. The screws connecting the arm to the wall plate are rusted and need replacing. Using the gauge on our crimping tool we can identify the size and thread pattern for the old screws.

Next, we work on the socket. We will need to measure the candle cover and cut a hole where the turn knob comes through the candle cover.

The sconce is reassembled.

We attach power to the cord and test with a bulb.

Once again to make the set.

These sconces are ready for display once again.

Total cost <$20.00 Total time < 3 hours

Monday, October 17, 2016

Antique Table Lamp with Glass Shade Socket Replacement

A customer brought in this lamp the other day and said the socket would not stay on. It would flash on and go off again. While testing the socket we noted the socket issue. Keyed sockets have a faceted plate on the shaft of the key. That plate has a geometric shape to close the circuit in one position for on and open the circuit in another position for off. The interior of this socket had a worn plate and it would not keep the circuit closed.

This is an easy fix; we will need to replace the lamp socket interior. First make sure the lamp is unplugged. Then remove the chimney, shade and anything else from the lamp that could be damaged. Using some needle nose pliers or our favorite tool, hemostat clamps, hold the socket mandrel and unscrew the socket key from the key shaft. 

Move to the bottom of the lamp. Push some cord slack from the lamp cord through the base and out the bottom.

The with a slim flat head screw driver, pry the socket shell from the socket cap. With the slack in the bottom of the lamp you can pull the socket up and unscrew the lamp wire from the socket terminals.

Remember to keep the UL Knot intact. If the lamp does not have a UL knot, this is the time to do it. Also if the lamp is loose, this is the time to tighten the bottom nut of the base to the socket without twisting the wire in the lamp.

Using the steps in reverse you can attach the new socket interior to the lamp cord, pull out the slack, attach the key, and snap in the socket shell to the socket cap. The results are a renewed lamp to enjoy and an upcycled project complete.

Total cost <$2.00 Total time: < 20 minutes