As you may remember, Jeremy built a couple lamps out of these giant thread spools for the Bower Build Off. The spools were an antique shop find and only $4 a piece. The total cost of this project was $4 for the spool, $13 for the light kit, $22 for the shade and we also used a bit of spray paint that we had in our stash so we spent $39 per lamp (which admittedly isn’t the cheapest price ever). I argue though that $80 for two matching lamps, especially really large ones, is reasonably priced. And if you want to save money…buy a cheaper shade 🙂
Alright so the fun part about this project is that it is super speedy. It’s kinda shocking how fast you can do this project. It’s a five minute thing. I actually think the cleaning of the spool is the longest part. Jeremy wiped the whole thing down with a Clorox wipe and it was good to go.
The Make-A-Lamp kit is from Home Depot. They come in gold….not my thang….so that’s why we spraypainted. I had leftover Rustoleum’s oil rubbed bronze. Since this area doesn’t get a whole lot of exposure (like a door handle would), you can do this part two ways….just spray the heck outta the gold bits. Or you can do it the right way and sand the exposed gold parts lightly with a high grit sandpaper, clean it, prime it with a spray metal paint, spray paint with your color (thin multiple coats), and then spray a clear sealer. I’ll let you guess what method we did 🙂
Part of the prep work involved cutting a groove in the bottom of the spool. This was a rubber type material so I have no idea if this is the right way – but it did work. Jeremy used a table saw set to the right depth. If you are fancy you would have a router…we aren’t and we don’t.
Theoretically the wire should always have somewhere to go…so if you are doing this with a glass jar, or a wood scrap – just make sure the wire has a place where it can exit.
Now comes the fun part…the wiring. Watch out, I am about to make a five minute process take about twice that to read.
First push your wire into the hole (that’s what she said.)
Next twist the metal threaded piece into the rubber plug and thread the lock nut (that really tiny circle thing on the bottom). Then you push that into the hole. By some miracle the rubber plug fit perfectly. I need to write the makers of the Make-A-Lamp a thank you note for their thoughtfulness.
Push it till it’s flush. The threaded part should stick out. You’ll need it later.
Also…that threaded part is called a nipple….just savor that one for a moment.
Then slip on this little cap.
See how finished it already looks? You are almost done.
Next thread the wire through the socket cap. You will tie an underwriters knot (who knows what that is! Google it!) and then pull the wire from below the entire spool.
You want to pull it till the socket cap is close to the nipple and then twist that bad boy on.
Here’s what the knot looks like for all you wanna be girl scouts.
Next comes the socket bits. Note how there are two screws….one gold and one silver.
Bend the ends of the wire with needle nose pliers. This was already done on our wires but we staged this photo because we love you.
Next loop your bent wire parts over the appropriate screws. The wire should go clockwise around the screw. Hand twerk them screws.
oh and yes, it is difficult to decipher which wire goes to which screw…the best way is to look at the ridges on the white sheath….multiple ridges goes to the gold, single ridge goes to the silver.
Pop the cap on with the cut-outs lining up with the light switch. CELEBRATE!
You are officially done!
Well…almost. You still have to put your lampshade and light bulb in. We chose a lamp shade that had one of those built in harps…but if you need one, I think every home improvement store sells separate harps.
If you want the legit instructions without all the random thirteen-year-old jokes….you can click here.
And now to see Jeremy in super speed assembly mode….
Now if only we could wire a four dollar find that would keep Weston from destroying the house every hour of every day. One day I am sure that will be available for cheap 🙂 Granted, he will probably be 42 years old by then.