Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Heading Towards the Light.

I picked up our lights from the soon to be demolished building on Sunday. I was wrong about when the place was built. It is on the 1897 Sanborn Fire Insurance maps. The owner said that they found 1895 newspapers when they put in insulation and that it was converted into the family business in the 1920s and has remained much the same way since then. So I expect that the front door is original though it must have been moved and the bay window installed. I expect that the staircase is an original one and the bathroom has remained fairly untouched. Which brings me back to the topic of the wall lights. These were in the bathroom and are original gas and electric combination fixtures.

They were a real bugger to rewire. There is a fine tube soldered inside the looped brass tube that you see. This feeds gas to the tap at the top. Most of the joints are soldered so there is no way to dismantle these fixtures. Getting the old wires out was the hardest part, followed by figuring a way to get new wires installed after my string broke (that I pulled through as I removed the old wires). Everything wants to get trapped at that gas valve where the U-bend is. Anyway, after an hour of phiddle phucking around I figured a way to get new wire installed along with new chain-pull sockets and the actual time taken to rewire each lamp was about ten minutes. Of course it took another hour to get the old wire out of the second lamp and I even had to leave one of the wires in place because it kept breaking as I pulled it with the needle nose pliers! The secret was to use a piece of very thin piano wire as a feed to pull the new wire through.

Remember when I said "All reasonable offers considered?" The offer on these was $75.00 for the pair. Which was fair in my opinion. The material cost to rewire and replace the sockets was under $9.00. Making them $42.00 a piece. Replacement shades like the ones attached to the fixtures would cost about $32.00 plus shipping so I'm happy.

Now I just have to rewire the entire bathroom once again just to accomodate the light fixtures!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Beautiful shades! Learning to rewire lights is on my to-do list. ;)