Thursday, February 28, 2019

How to Make a Jug Lamp

Making lamps from jugs or bottles is very common. There are kits to help with the process so you don't have to add many things to your parts list. We'll take you through our 5 steps to making a lamp from any jug or bottle.

Jug or Bottle Lamp Adapter Kit with Harp & Finial

One thing you can't pick up from the lamp parts store is the jug or bottle. Good candidates for lamps are heavy weighted bottles with a large diameter base. These are the most stable for table lamps. This jug was brought to our shop the other day and the customer wanted a table lamp.

With the jug or bottle, we are now going to collect the parts needed.

1. Lamp Socket with side outlet in the socket cap
Push-Thru Medium Base Lamp Socket with Antique Brass finish and SIDE CORD OUTLET Cap
2. Lamp Harp with a Harp Saddle
Antiqued Brass Lamp Harps
3. 1 1/2 Inch 1/8 IP Threaded Rod
22364 - 1/8 IP Steel All Thread Nipples
4. 1 Inch Bottle or Candle Stick Rubber Adapter
Rubber Candlestick and Bottle Adapter, 3 Sizes Available, slips 1/8IP (3/8" diameter)
5. Other hardware includes: seating ring, rubber washer, lock washer, and brass nut.
Now we will start the 5 step process to assembling the lamp parts and putting the lamp together. 

Step 1: Assemble the washer, threaded rod, and nut with the rubber adapter. 

The rubber adapter is a crucial part of this lamp. With the harp and lamp shade, there will be a lot of weight supported by this adapter. It should fit really snug in the bottle/jug. For this threaded rod, the parts will make a pattern: nut, lock washer, washer, adapter, washer...

Step 2: Fit the bottle adapter to the bottle top.

Our 1 inch diameter rubber adapter was a bit too snug, so we shaved a little off the sides to make sure we had a good fit. 

Step 3: Attach the seating ring, rubber washer, harp saddle and socket cap.

The seating ring serves 2 purposes: first, to cover the top of the bottle and look good, second, it acts as a top plate to squeeze the rubber adapter for an even tighter fit. The lock washer goes between the seating ring and the harp saddle. 

Note: For this lamp, we orientate the harp saddle from left to right and the side outlet in the socket cap is in the back of the lamp. 

Step 4: Wire the socket. 

Push the ends of the lamp cord through the side outlet on the socket cap. Tie a UL Knot in the lamp cord. Attach the cord to the socket interior. The smooth wire connects to the brass screw and the ribbed wire connects to the nickle screw. Pull any slack out of the lamp cord back out the socket cap and press the socket shell over the socket interior and lock in the tabs on the socket cap. Make sure there is a tight fit between the socket cap and shell. 

Note: The socket turn knob is orientated in the middle of the harp saddle and in the front of the lamp. 

Step 5: Add a bulb, plug in the cord and test the lamp.

Give the whole lamp one last look and make sure the socket is locked from cap and shell. Wiggle the socket and make sure the rubber adapter is setting firm in the bottle/jug. 

Now you are ready for the harp and shade. Total time < 30 minutes. Total Cost < $30.

Friday, February 15, 2019

Aladdin Lamp Chimneys Explained

Aladdin Lamps have been a pinnacle of kerosene lighting for 100+ years. They combined a central draft wick burner with a mantle cap to make an exceptionally bright light. Then they combined the innovative lighting with the design of period inspired colors and styles; calling each lamp a "model". Collectors and enthusiast couldn't get enough.


If you plan to travel down the Rabbit hole of Aladdin parts, tell a friend or relative where you are going so they can help you get back. But with all the complex and ornate details of Aladdin, there is one thing that is simple: the chimney.

Aladdin Heelless Chimney
When it comes to Aladdin chimneys, there are only 2 choices for after 100 years: Heelless or Lox-on. And if that is not simple enough, you don't get to choose the chimney you want. It depends on the lamp's gallery and the chimney it requires. To demonstrate, we have prepared a short video:

Best of luck to all Aladdin users and enthusiast.

Monday, January 21, 2019

Table Lamp Shade Replacement With a Plastic Socket and Ring

A customer brought in a table lamp the other day needing a new lamp shade. The old shade was cracked and faded. This lamp came from a big box store. Specifically, this lamp came from a Swedish furniture store; if you get the IDEA. The shade was worn out and the inside liner was busted. The customer thought the size and shape was still good so they only wanted to replace the shade.

After a quick inspection of the lamp, we determined the socket, cord, switch and other general lamp parts were in good working order. The shade on the lamp had arms from the top of the shade to a ring in the middle. The ring fit over the shell of the socket and was held in place with a retention ring.

Since this lamp maker served the European market, we needed a harp saddle to fit where that shade's ring connected to the socket. Antique Lamp Supply offers a harp saddle designed to fit on Nord and GU24 sockets with retention rings.

Harp Base for GU24 and Nord Sockets
With this harp saddle we were able to add a traditional harp to the lamp and use a typical washer fitter shade with a finial.

Now the lamp avoids the landfill and no one has to be concerned with the busted and worn out lamp shade.

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Don't Get Cross (Bar) With Me

Oh the beloved crossbar. We really take these things for granted though every ceiling fixture needs one. When you purchase a fixture from a store, the cross bar is included. If you grab a fixture from a garage sale, second hand shop, or online where the condition isn't "new", the crossbar is no guarantee.

Luckily, we now have the internet with an endless supply of niche shops offering specialty items to keep those antiques, vintage, and second hand items in top shape. Antique Lamp Supply offers most types of common crossbars on the market. From universal, round, to swivel; we carry them all.

3-7/8" to 5" All Purpose Crossbar

" Steel, Universal Circle Crossbar with 8-32 ground screw

We also carry a selection of kits with crossbars and their hardware.

Black Screw Collar Loop Canopy Hardware Set

A short video.

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Vintage Santa Clause Gets a New Heart

I love Christmas time and especially old Christmas decorations. When a customer brought in this vintage Santa Clause, we were happy to get him back to our workshop.

He was in generally good shape but with all things electrical, age has taken its toll. The cord was thin, short, and frail. The socket was crunchy and rusty.

So with a few lamp parts, Santa will be back in service and ready to spread Christmas cheer. We'll start by making a list, then check it twice. Santa Clause is coming to town!

For the socket, we'll use a medium base with side mounted bracket.

47700 - Med. Base Lamp Socket with side mounted bracket, screw terminals

For the cord, we'll use a 12 foot white cord set.

46721- 12 ft. Length, White 18/2 Plastic Covered Lamp Cord Set, SPT-1
First, simply remove the old socket and cord set from Santa.

Cut the old plug off the old cord and attach the new cord to the old cord with some simple tape. Pull the cord up and out the ho, ho, holes. Now the new cord is hanging out the top and the bottom holes.

Now we need to tie a UL knot in the cord and connect it to the socket. The smooth wire connects to the brass screw and the ribbed wire connects to the nickel screw.

Now connect the new socket bracket to the Santa body.

Plug in the cord and test it out.

That is a jolly good time. Total Cost < $12.00 Total Time < 20 minutes