Saturday, April 5, 2014

REHABILITATING AN OLD LAMP



I've been going through all my miniatures and tossing some, giving away some, selling, and categorizing others into boxes and drawers.

The thing I've liked best about this process is finding things I long ago acquired that are either broken or no longer work.

One category is old lamps. I haven't taken any photos because I'm never sure whether I'll successfully rehab an old lighting fixture into a new LED fixture.

I found a lamp in an envelope that was broken apart but still had all its pieces including a 12v bulb. It was hand painted with tiny flowers all over the two largest parts. The trouble was that the only good parts to the lamp were those two hand-painted parts.

The base was broken so the lamp would not stand up. The plastic part that held the glass chimney and the top part of the lamp was cracked and discolored.

I began by using a blow dryer to work all the glue off of these beads and take the broken plastic parts off of the painted beads. When I had the two hand-painted parts separated, I saw that the hole through the base part (large bead) was too small to either get the old wire out or get an LED wire through it.

<sigh> Not knowing for sure that this was a plastic bead but suspecting it was, I got my small drill out and carefully drilled out one end. (Yes guys, I wore eye protection and gloves) When it did not shatter, I knew it was plastic, so I enlarged the holes at both ends. I got the old wire out of that bead. I continued to enlarge the holes little by little until I could fit a small hollow brass rod through.

Next I needed jewelry findings which would mimic the broken and discolored plastic parts. I tried Judith (JAR-JAF) but what I really needed was her whole selection, so I could sit down and try one piece after another until I found the pieces I needed. Since she lives all the way across the US from me, this was not practical.

Then, fortuitously, I got sent to a town with a large hospital to have a little proceedure done. Having to stay close to the hospital for 3 days but not being in the hospital, I had time to roam the city. I found a lovely bead store.

I had taken all the parts of the lamp with me plus a chip LED and a coin battery. I spent an entire afternoon plowing through the things the store had that could complete the lamp, found what might work and came home with several choices, plus (and who woulda guessed?) more beads. (I am sooo not in control of myself, LOL.)

Anyway, this morning I got going and put the lamp together, and it is wonderful. I've slipped the chip LED into the setup and attached it to a coin battery. As you can see, a chip LED gives off loads of lumins. Too bad I did not take pics from the beginning. 

However, now that I have all the parts stacked and ready to glue, I've taken these two photos.


I know. It looks a bit wonky, but hopefully I'll get it verticle when it's glued.

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