Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Tin Type Table Lamp with Shade Ring and Gallery Rewired

As we've seen over the years and even mentioned in this blog, lamps are made from everything. Some things are turned into lamps and other lamps are made to look like things. A customer brought in this patient the other day and it fits the later criteria. It appears to be a tin can but was probably always a lamp. The customer wanted this lamp rewired so it would be safe to use again.

Inspecting the lamp we notice the cord does not have polarized plug and the socket looks worn. The only lamp parts we will need to repair this lamp are the cord and socket. We start by blowing the dust off this lamp with a simple can of air.

We remove the socket key from the socket (it will be reused) and the felt from the bottom (also will be reused).

We push a little cord into the base of the lamp and remove the socket. Most of the sockets we encounter are the cap and shell type sockets. The socket is a little different. It connected to the lamp with a small metal hickey on the bottom and has a paper insulator on the top. The customer wanted the same style so we are going to replace the socket with another keyed phenolic style lamp socket with bottom hickey.

Using a pair of piers, the old hickey is removed from the lamp shaft. 

With the socket and wires removed it is a good time to tighten the lamp body.

This lamp has a gallery around the socket so the socket key has to line up directly in the key hole. Our replacement socket came with a hickey, but it is too tall so we are using the old hickey on the new socket. We test to make sure it will work and then put the lamp back together the same way it came apart. The hickey goes on by itself first.

With the new lamp cord, we tie a knot in the cord in the base of the lamp and add a plastic bushing to the threaded rod. The new lamp wire is pushed through the lamp. The socket is added and wired to the lamp cord. The smooth wire connects to the brass screw and the ribbed sire connects to the nickel screw. The socket is attached to the hickey. The socket key is attached and the paper insulator is replaced. 

The the cord slack is pulled back through the lamp and the knot in the base is adjusted. We add a bulb for testing. 

Great! The lamp is perfect. Total cost: < $15 Total Time: <30 minutes

For fun here is the lamp with a student glass shade.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Broken Antique Brass Reflector Type Floor Lamp with Cluster and Mogul Socket Repaired

The mogul cluster floor lamp is kind of complicated, but highly versatile. The 3 way mogul socket is capable of  burning a 3 way mogul bulb with 100, 200, or 300 watts. The cluster with a two circuit switch can burn 3 - 60 watt bulbs (together or as a single, double). The single bulb might be nice for relaxing, double bulbs for tying shoes, triple bulbs for reading. Add the mogul socket and you can land personal aircraft or signal a vessel lost at sea. You have a lot of options.

A customer brought this patient in the other day and complained it wasn't working. Most lamps have a simple cord, switch, and socket. This reflector type floor lamp was much more complicated with a cluster, three keyless sockets, a two circuit rotary switch and mogul socket. With so many different bulbs and switches, we add some bulbs to see what is and what is not working. At this point we are not sure what lamp parts are needed for this repair.

There is no power to any of the bulbs. We need to inspect the wire and trace down where the power is failing to connect. We start by removing the bulbs and the candle covers from the keyless sockets.

Next we open the cluster of the lamp and look at the wiring in the cluster.

With the mogul socket removed we test it using a spare cord and some alligator clamps.

So we now know that with power the mogul socket works properly. We turn our attention to the two circuit switch. Using an OHM meter we test the switch.

This switch has two circuits: four possible options
1) Off
2) Circuit A (keyless sockets 1 + 2)
3) Circuit B (keyless socket 3)
4) Circuit A+B (keyless sockets 1, 2, and 3)

With the OHM meter touching the wires we rotate the switch and make sure all 4 options are working as they should. In this case they are working. We feel like there might have been a bad connection in the wire nut to the rotary switch. We will start putting the lamp back together using the same parts. Since we feel like the two circuit switch was a potential problem, we write the date we tested the switch for reference.

We group the wires from the keyless sockets together and mark them with a pen. The two circuit switch is connected to the keyless socket wires. Two sockets to the blue line and one socket to the red line. The black line on the switch connects to the lamp cord with the plug.

Next the mogul socket is wired back to the lamp. It connects directly to the lamp cord with the plug. Note: The mogul socket has a switch so we do not want it on the two circuit switch. It is never a good idea to have two single pole switches on a single circuit.

Before closing the cluster and after the wire nuts are safely in place, bulbs are added and the lamp is plugged in for testing.

Knowing all the wiring is correct and working, the cluster is closed.

This lamp is ready. Total cost $0.00 Total Time: 30 minutes.