Sunday, November 20, 2016

Franken-lamp From Broken Arm Lamp And Clamp Lamp

I love the balanced arm style adjustable arm lamps, have them all around my shop and home, often mounted with some simple welded brackets I made up years ago. The one problem with the cheaper of these type of lamps is that the switch fails and is mostly unrepairable. I’ve done it but it rarely lasts especially if you’ve bought the lamp 2nd hand. You can of course get a replacement sockets (Amazon search – try different keywords as there are ceramic ones available that don’t show up with those keywords) but they cost at least $3.00 and the quality ones can cost $10-20 depending.
Back when we used to do the Holiday Market we used some cheap clamp lamps that were perfect for the job of lighting the booth but not much else. So with a tote full of them sitting around wasting space, a box of broken arm lamps and a need for more lamps as well, I knew that I had to try to hack them together. It was trivial.
Three screws…
Drilled out two pop rivets.
Disassembled the swivel.
Unscrewed the socket.
Noted that the white was properly wired to the wider spade of the plug. It never hurts to write yourself notes about these things. Also the strain knot needs to be replicated.IMG_5650
The wire is held by a spring connection, a thin wire or nail or broken dental pick will release it.IMG_5653
Soldered the stripped and cut ends of the arm lamp cord. When I do the next one I’ll use more solder as the gage of the arm lamp wire was thinner than the spring lamp and it required more jiggling that I would like to get the spring contacts to grab. It takes a bit to drag the wire through the arm lamp tubes, you can massage it if you are careful not to stretch the wire…otherwise just disassemble the arms and move the wire easily.
I removed the plastic connector from the aluminum shade and drilled it to suit the arm lamp mount. I had to bend the ears with pliers to match the contour of the shade. IMG_5658
And just like that the lamp is done!
Well sort of. I found the rivets just weren’t solid enough for my liking so I drilled them out and used #6 socket head cap screws with washers on both sides. Feels solid.