You Won’t Believe What I Did To My Prized Lamp…
Hey guys, when I was updating an earlier post about creating a mason jar lamp from scratch, it got me to taking a good look at mine (mainly because I needed to clarify parts of the anatomy used to assemble it) that is being used for the model itself and as I did I find myself taking a good look at it enough to find myself dissatisfied.
Namely, I was dissatisfied with the metal harp -the piece that supports the lampshade – that thing has been an Achilles’ heel as long as I can remember.
But only last night did it finally dawn on me that I could remove that thing once and for all…yes, it might mean having to start fresh with new wiring and all, but it would be worth the trouble.
As I turned out I realized I didn’t know that much about lampshades. The fact is, lampshades are not just superficially different – they actually have what is called different “fitters” -If you have a lampshade with a metal triad at the top with an opening in the middle, you’ve got a “spider” fitter (that’s just what it’s called)
The “clamp” as I descibed it, is just simply known as a “clip on” fitter…it just rests atop of yoru lightbulb holding on to it snugly.
I decided to give my lamp a well, partial makeover. I got a small clip-on fitter lampshade at Lowes for under $10 (I can’t paint this one since it has that crimped texture) and a new lamp assembly kit.
Yes that meant I had to open that sucker up I made way back when and then empty all those little toys out and start from scratch…well, not exactly total scratch, but what I did was re-wire with a new socket (boy that whole thing got hairy) If you’ve got time for a story, here’s how the whole thing played out.
The kit looks pretty much like the one I bought a decade ago, so I’m like “Here goes” when opening it up and spreading out the objects and the paper insert. All is going well until I come to this one line in the steps: “Remove a fourth of an inch of the casing below the electrical wire ends using a wire stripper” Cue the record scratch noise right about now. What the heck is a wire stripper?
Back to the ol’ toolbox to see if by some miracle I have one of those (after Googl-ing it to see what it actually looked like!) OK, these here are about the best I can do…
As it turns out they were not; neither of them were the thing I needed. Bending that wire around the screws inside the socket cap looked like it was going to be an ordeal unless I figured out something. I have a healthy respect for electricity meaning I want to leave it up to the professionals.
As it turned out the only thing that came close was my manicure scissors and I had to be really really careful trimming that part of the casing off so the wires would wrap around correctly (Darn it, I didn’t run into this with my first kit!)
Maybe I just got lucky, but I was able to finish the job and ta da, the light lit up when I tested it out, then rejoiced and put all those little toys back in there, and proceeded with the lampshade.
If you’re reading this right now, the brand that made the kit is Portfolio, and if you come across it on Amazon, I advise you to remember this story and skip that one, unless, of course, you do own a set of wire strippers.
But labor or snafus aside, let me tell you, without that metal harp in the way it just worked 100% better. It works and it looks great! Sure, it don’t have that flamboyant lampshade and teardrop finial but it is still much more secure.
I realize that sometimes simple can be a good thing. I’ve always felt like if it doesn’t take as long as I thought to do an art project something must be wrong, but I am finding out that’s not always true.
If you have done something already the first time the first attempt is what may be the hardest but the second time around you deserve a pat on the back. So the old adage is if you don’t succeed at first try, try again 🙂
What do you think? Do you think it looks better now without that added bulk of the metal harp?