Intermission for non guitar stuff

While my lacquer was curing for two weeks I took the opportunity to do a couple things around the house.

I installed an automatic gate opener for my drive way.  Of course I picked a particularly cold week to run 125′ of partially buried power cable and bug together a bunch of electrical connections.  Oh well… its done.  No pics.  Not that exciting, except to me, not having to get in and out of the car a few times every time I want to leave the house is a pleasure.

Another project on the back burner for about 2 years was restoring an old copper fixture that was original to my house.

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I guess when having electric lighting was a status symbol, this was probably extravagant with 16 bulbs in it. Originally in the dining room, the bulbs were facing down and exposed, and it hung about 8” off the ceiling. I ended up moving some fixtures around and replacing this with a much nicer chandelier from another room.  I decided to restore, then install the fixture upside down, so the leaves would show and drop it about 2′ off the ceiling.

About 2 years ago I pulled this out of the basement and took it apart. Most of the copper leaves needed to be resoldered where they met the center hub. I guess the weight over the years took its toll. That was about as far as I got.

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Yes, I use my buffing wheels in the paint booth.  Keeps the dust down.  I still wear a respirator though.

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The brass sockets are my favorite part.  No one will see them with its hung upside down, but they just don’t make parts like this anymore.  The Edison and other text makes it even better, besides how well made and solid they are.  Only rewiring some of the bulbs, there are an additional 8 short sockets that I didn’t polish up.  They are in a box with the remaining sockets if I need spare parts.

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The copper leaves came out well. They are definitely hand hammered.  Each one is a bit different.  Those creases are hard to get into, and they like to hold excess buffing compound.

Came out pretty well.  I only wired 4 sockets and it was still a pain in the butt and a tight fit.  Maybe I was a bit overzealous using 14 gauge to each bulb and a 12 gauge feed? Only used 40 watt bulbs and its almost too bright for me.  Guess I need a dimmer.

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Knives, skews and awls…oh my.

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Results of my quick tool making project.

Those two handle carving knives look odd, like the blade should be bigger, or the handles should be for one hand.  I used 1/2” x 1/8” W1, which was all I had.  Guess I’ll try them out.  I can always cut the bottoms off to make a couple flamed maple file handles.

The awl and marking knife are for my Dad for Father’s Day.  Does he need them?  No.  Will he use them? Maybe.  Will they look nice in one of his tool drawers? Probably.  Does it beat a crappy card? Yes.

Oh and I really labored making those ferrules from solid copper bar stock on the lathe…cough, plumbing department, cough…

Calibrator lamp

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Just finished this lamp.  Started with a calibrator for plastic tube extrusion (stacked rings).  Added a knob and tube switch from my basement.  Walnut base from a tree that grew on my parents property.  Great socket from another fixture at my house.  … Continue reading