Friday, March 29, 2019

Antique Panlight Chandelier Needs New Wires and Sockets

A customer brought in this fixture the other day and asked for it to be rewired. Panlight fixtures are on my long list of favorites. The way these fixtures are decorative and simple at the same time is really why I like them. They are specific to the early to mid 20th century and are perfect for restoration.

Antique Panlight Fixture - Ready for restoration

First, we need to inspect the lamp and make a list of parts needed for the repair.

Some obvious things include:

5 - Medium Base Adjustable Fixture Sockets

48208i - Medium Base, Adjustable Keyless Candle Socket, adjusts from 4" to 5-3/4" tall
5 - 4 Inch White Paper Candle Covers
19814T - 3 inch Smooth Flat White Color Paper Standard Candle Covers
Wire - Antique Brass Colored SPT-1 Spooled Wire
46608 - Antique Brass, 250 Ft. Spool, Plastic 18/2 Lamp Cord - Wire, SPT-1 size
48509 - Large Wire Connector with spiral threaded metal insert
5 - Clear Plastic Cord Bushings
26918 - Clear Plastic Pipe Bushing and Lamp Cord Protector for 1/8 IPS Pipe

Note - For smaller projects, you can use cord sets and cut off the plug. You want to make sure not to have any "extra" connections or spliced wire when it's not needed. 

With all the parts located, we are ready to disassemble the fixture. We start by removing the old candle covers. Then we unscrew the wires from the old socket screw terminals. The old sockets have a threaded base that unscrew from the fixture arm. 

Next, we open the Panlight body by unscrewing the bottom finial. The body has two parts: a top and a bottom pan.

These cloth covered wires seem to be original. They were made of good copper, but the plastic insulation breaks down over time and becomes brittle. The crack can expose the copper wire to the lamp body creating an electrical short and a dangerous fixture.

Last, we will remove the decorative cups on each of the arms and remove the old wire. Now the fixture is completely disassembled and ready to be rewired.

Each arm will have a socket, bushing, and wire routed to the middle of the pan. Connecting the wire to the socket terminals needs to be consistent. The smooth wire should connect to the brass screw terminal and the ribbed wire should connect to the nickel screw terminal.

With all the sockets wired and the wires in the pan, we will add a 6th wire. This wire will connect to the canopy and the house wires. Each wire should be stripped about 1/2 inch and connected with a wire nut. The smooth wires in one connection and the ribbed wires in another connection.

With all the connections complete, the wires are tucked inside the bottom pan. Join the top and bottom pans together and insert the rod on the bottom finial to hold the pans in place. The sixth wire is threaded up the top pan and through the chain and finally into the canopy.

At this point you can test the lamp. Add bulbs to the sockets. Keep your distance from the sockets while you power the 6th line. Remember, the smooth wire represents the hot/black/small side of the plug on the home wires and the ribbed wire is the neutral/white/wide side of the plug. Keeping theses wires in order keeps the lamp polarized.

Looking good and almost complete. Finally we add the candle covers for the complete look.

Another Panlight Fixture ready for the next 100 years of service. Total Cost < $30 Total time ~ 1 hour

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.