Friday, December 11, 2015

Vintage 20's-30's Art Deco Style 2 Light Chandelier Ceiling Fixture Repair

Most often the repairs we do in our shop are minor: sockets, cords, switches. This blog has covered a lot of the basics. We want you to know there is more to lamp repair than the little stuff. Sometimes you can take a fixture from the trash bin and make it work again. Older lamps are especially worth the time to repair. When they are made with solid brass components they can be hammered, polished, buffed, soldered and worked back to working order (in most cases). 
We picked up this lamp and thought it would be a good candidate for restoration. Most of the core pieces were intact and the few missing pieces (canopy, loop, finial, socket shell) can be replaced and match pretty close. The body is made from solid brass so if there are bent pieces, we can hammer them back into shape.

The first thing we do is make sure we have all the lamp parts needed to make this restoration a success. As mentioned a few parts are missing or will need to be replaced: brass sockets, lamp chain, brass canopy, blind pendant stem with loop,  tassel finial, and loop.

First step is to take the old lamp apart. Everything comes off for now.

Next we strip the paint off the lamp. It is chipped and could be painted back if we discover there is extensive discoloration.

Now it is time to work on the body. This lamp is bent in many places. The main body has a top and bottom that will not fit together because of the bent edges. With a rubber hammer we slowly work around the edges to straighten them out.

Next we work on the shade holders. These too are bent out of shape and are missing some eyelets. First we hammer the shade holders back in place and replace the eyelets.

With all the pieces stripped, hammered, and refurbished the lamp is ready to be put back together. First the shade holders are attached to the arms on the lamp body. Then the socket cap is attached in the shade holder. The socket interior is wired with a 12 inch piece of lamp cord. The lamp cord is threaded through the shade holder.

The key is attached to the socket interior and the socket shell is snapped into the socket cap.

The lamp cord from both shade holders are wired together in the lamp body.

The fixture body is closed. The finial on the bottom and the loop on the top of the body keep the fixture closed.

Now we are ready for some bulbs and shades to test the lamp.

Back to life! Total time: < 2 hours Total cost: <$100.00

For the final picture we chose 2 Early Style Embossed Wreath fixture shades.

Early Style Embossed Wreath Fixture Shade, Brown Tint

Bent Harp Base and Socket Base Lamp Repair

Lamps are constantly getting knocked off table tops for one reason or another. Some times the damage is minimal and the lamp needs a few tweaks to get back on the table. Other times the lamp might be in need of minor repair to reclaim its spot on the table.

This lamp came in the shop the other day and had taken a tumble. The harp base and the socket cap were both bent. Here is how to repair and replace these parts.

Brass Lamp Harp Bases 1/8IP
Harp Base

Leviton Brand Socket Caps with Thread and Set Screw
Socket cap

First thing to do is unplug the lamp. Then you want to pry the socket shell from the socket cap with a flat head screw driver.

Slide off the socket shell. Unscrew the lamp cord from the socket interior.Untie the UL knot and remove the nut on top of the lamp.

Replace the bent harp base with the new harp base. Screw the socket cap on the threaded rod of the lamp. (Note: Our socket cap has a set screw so we are not replacing the nut on the lamp.) 

Pull some cord slack up through the lamp body and tie a UL knot. Attach the socket interior to the lamp cord. The smooth wire connects to the brass screw terminal and the ribbed cord connects to the nickel screw terminal. 

Snap the socket shell into the socket cap.

Plug the lamp in, add a bulb, and test the lamp. 

This lamp is ready to set back on its perch. Total time < 20 minutes, Total Cost < $5