Thursday, May 31, 2018

How to Make a Lamp

Constructing a lamp is easier than you might consider. Specialty lamp parts stores like Antique Lamp Supply offer a variety of lamp making kits. Not only do these kits come in different finishes like brass, antique brass, and nickel, but there are different types of kits depending on the application you need. If you need a dimmer, 3-way, push thru or swag kit, they are all available.

To create a lamp you only need a few items: lamp base, lamp shade, and a Make-a-Lamp kit. The kit contains the socket, harp, harp saddle, threaded rods, finial, washers and nut. A few required hand tools include: flat head screwdriver and pliers.

As the included instructions show, the lamp cord is pushed up the lamp body and attached to the socket interior with a UL Knot.

In just a few minutes, the lamp is complete and ready to enjoy.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

How to Convert an Oil or Kerosene Lamp to Electric

If you like the looks of an Oil or Kerosene lamp, but not the mess with a burner and fuel, electrifying the lamp is easier that you might think. With specialty lamp adapters, a lamp can be changed over to an electric burner in minutes. In 5 simple steps the lamp can be converted.

Step 1: Identify the type of lamp you have.

There are many types of oil lamps out there: #2 burners, duplex, Aladdin, Central Draft. After you have identified your oil lamp burner, you are able to pick an adapter to fit.

Step 2: Decide on type of shade or no shade.

These electric adapters can be simple and hold a chimney, or they have other options with shade rings and harps for fabric shade. Before you convert to electric, you need to decide what the final product will look like and get the right adapter for that style.

Step 3: Unscrew and clean the oil lamp

An antique kerosene lamp might have months, years, or decades of kerosene on the lamp. This is a good time to clean the lamp. Wash it out with some clean water and let it completely dry.

Step 4: Install the new adapter

Installing the new adapter is as easy as replacing a light bulb. It literally screws in the lamp collar. If you followed step 1, this step is a breeze.

Step 5: Complete the look

Add the shade or chimney to the lamp. Screw in a bulb and enjoy the 21st century.

Looking for a more visual approach? Try this video.

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Porcelain Table Lamp Repair - New Socket and Cord

A customer brought in this table lamp the other day and said it needed a new socket and cord set. This is a common repair for any lamp. If you found a lamp at a yard sale, flea market, or online and it needed some basic repair, these are the steps to take.

First, always give the lamp a general inspection. This will help you prepare a list of needed parts. We like to only replace bad, worn out parts. Safety is also an issue. Loose hardware and non-polarized plugs should be addressed as part of any repair.

This lamp seems to be in decent shape so the only lamp parts needed for this repair are:

1) Brass lamp socket

40250 - On-Off Leviton Light Socket, Brass, Polished & Lacquered

2) Lamp cord set 

Antique Brass Color, 18/2 Plastic Covered Lamp Cord

The repair starts by unplugging the lamp and removing the light bulb.

Next, remove the harp from the lamp. Lift the locking couplings and squeeze the harp toward the socket.

Remove the socket shell from the socket cap. Using a flat head screw driver, apply pressure on the socket shell and lift it from the socket cap.

Unscrew the old lamp cord from the old socket interior and remove the socket interior.

Untie the old UL Knot and pull the old cord down to the lamp base.

Now you want to remove the old socket cap. Loosen any set screw and unscrew the socket cap from the lamp body. Screw the new socket cap on the threaded rod and tighten any set screw. If your lamp has a front and back, make sure your harp saddle is oriented side to side.

With the socket and cord removed, now is the best time to tighten the lamp body. The lamp will go back together the same way it came apart. First, push the new lamp cord up the lamp body to the socket cap.

Next, tie a UL Knot in the lamp cord.

Screw the wires onto the new socket interior. The smooth wire connects to the brass screw and the ribbed wire connects to the nickel screw.

Slip the socket shell over the interior. Pull any cord slack back down the bottom of the lamp body. Snap the socket shell into the socket cap making sure both sides are securely snapped into the cap.

Add a bulb and test the lamp.

This lamp is back in service for another 40 years. Total cost: < $25.00 total time < 45 minutes