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.


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.


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


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.


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.



Awesome lead crucible


Cool find today!

This is a cricible/mold set up to cast lead or brass hammer heads around an inserted handle.

We bought a machine shop years ago and there were a bunch of lead dead blow mallets.  We also found a box of steel handles, but could never find the mold for casting the heads. I thought maybe they sand cast them.

I was digging through the maintenance trailer at work today looking for potential parts for my coffee roaster and look what I found!  This was not at all what I expected.  Interesting set up.  The mold is attached to the crucible, which then tilts to pour the metal into the mold. The mold clam shells to insert the hammer handle and then for removal once it is cast.

Really cool.  I was just asking someone if we still have the handles and we do.  I may have to try this out one of these days.


Dirty things organized somewhat neatly-

Here are some of the forge and casting tools that have been in storage at work.  They came from an old machine shop that had huge belt drive lathes.  I could kick myself for some of the things I didn’t grab when I had the chance.  Oh well…  at least I have some tongs, hardy tools and fuller heads.  There are a couple casting crucibles and ingot trays.  Those trays are cool!  There are 6 of them and they weigh about 15 pounds each.  

So I have a few things to start on my metalworking adventure one of these days.