Thursday, January 22, 2015

Metal Desk Lamp with Broken Socket

Often newer lamps come in for repair. This metal desk lamp was brought in the other day with a broken socket. The socket on this lamp is made of plastic. We often refer to it as a phenolic or bakelite socket.

These types of sockets have a cap, shell, and screw collar. This old socket was broken where the shell and cap screw together. The only lamp part we will need for this repair is a replacement bakelite socket with screw collar.

This repair is fairly simple: we will feed extra cord up the lamp body, remove the old socket, and rewire the new one. Sometime things are easier said than done. Special note: We have found on these newer lamps, there is glue locking some of the threads.

To push more cord up the lamp we cut a small hole in the bottom felt and push the cord up the lamp.

Next the swivel is taken apart so the cord can be pulled up and pushed toward the socket.

Remove the key from the socket. Being cautious not to pull the socket from the cord, pull the interior of the socket away from the lamp body.

Once the socket interior is out, clip the lamp cord just below the socket. Note: This socket has quick connect style terminals for the lamp cord. We are going to replace it with a screw terminal style socket. The cord is going to be stripped so cutting it here gives it a nice edge to start with.

With the old socket interior removed, continue pulling more cord slack up to the top. Using a pair of pliers, the old socket cap is removed  from the lamp.

The old socket was cap was glued in the lamp. Some firm force was needed to get this interior out of the lamp.

We are replacing this socket cap with a bakelite socket that has a set screw. The set screw and a locking washer will be better than gluing the parts together.

The new socket cap is screwed into the lamp. Important Note: This lamp has a metal socket holder with a key hole. It is most important to line up the key holes on the metal holder and the socket cap and twist them together on the lamp.

The new socket interior is wired to the lamp. The lamp cord is stripped about 3/8 inch. The ribbed wire connects to the silver screw and the smooth wire connects to the gold screw. As mentioned earlier, the old socket interior had a quick type connection. We are not reusing the old socket interior.

With the new socket interior attached, it gets pulled into the socket cap by pulling the cord slack back down the lamp. Make sure to line up the key for the socket.

The cord slack is pulled through the swivel. Then the cord is pulled through the lamp base. The swivel is reattached and the socket shell is added to the socket.

The lamp shade is reattached and held into place with the socket ring. A bulb is added and the lamp is tested.

Better than new! Total Cost < $8.00 Total Time < 20 minutes

Monday, January 19, 2015

1950's Mallard TV Lamp Repair

In the 1950's television lamps were common and an expression of your personality. The reason for the lamps was to reduce the harsh light coming from the television. You can read more about the TV Lamps in this interesting article: TV Lamps of the 1950's.

A customer brought in this lamp the other day and asked for it to be repaired. The socket was exposed and the lamp cord was not polarized.

The socket is a Leviton 2 Piece bottom turn knob husk socket. It has a bakelite (phenolic) insulator that has broken over time and left the socket exposed. The first thing we do is remove the old socket with a pair of pliers.

We have a Leviton brand Leviton 2 Piece bottom turn knob husk socket but it is not exactly the same socket. The bottom threaded rod is shorter than the original and is not long enough to attach a nut.

We find that using the insulator from the new socket will fit the old socket interior. We will need to remove the old lamp cord (it gets replaced anyway) and solder on the new lamp cord. Remember to thread the phenolic insulator on the lamp cord first.

With the new solder on the socket interior, the socket is put back together.

The socket is reattached to the lamp. Using a pair of pliers the nut is tightened slowly. Over tightening this nut can cause the ceramic lamp to crack.

A bulb is added and the lamp is tested.

Harmony restored. Total Cost <$10 Total Time < 25 minutes

A fun note: while repairing this lamp we found a penny. This lamp has a trough in front (light a lot of TV lamps) and it was probably used as a spot for change. Wedged between the trough and the duck was a 1945 wheat penny. We placed the penny back in its holding spot for the next time it needs repair; 50 more years.