We really needed some more light in our living room so I started shopping for a floor lamp. In addition to the normal places to shop (Target, Amazon, etc.), I shop online auctions, which is where I found this gem. Guess what I paid for it??? Twenty-five bucks, folks. Sign the check and run!
This lamp is solid, old (probably circa 1970’s) and heavy. Look at that wood grain!
The drawback with auctions is that you can only read a short description of the item and view a few pics before taking the plunge and bidding. When I went to pick up the lamp, I realized that the shade had seen better days. No biggie…I’d just get a new one. I also noticed that the plug and wiring looked pretty old. I tested the lamp and it worked, but not for long. Lights out! That WAS a biggie. I figured I would have to get rid of the lamp and start fresh. <insert crying face> My sister, Emily, was the one who suggested I rewire the lamp, and insisted that it was pretty easy.
I’m up for anything as long as there’s a YouTube tutorial. YouTube has taught me how to change headlights, brake lights and tile a shower! I found this great tutorial on YouTube by See Jane Drill and this tutorial, and got ready to see if this really was as easy as Emily said it was. According to the videos, all I needed was a simple kit from the hardware store, so I decided to give it a try. This is the kit I found at Ace Hardware.
Let the rewiring begin! Here’s my step by step process.
Remove the old harp.
Remove the top part of the socket. You can pull and squeeze the sides and usually it will come right off. Now, lift the socket to expose the wiring.
There are two screws on either side of the socket. Go ahead and unscrew to release the wiring from the socket and pull the wiring out of the lamp.
Run your new wiring up through the bottom of the lamp.
My new cord kept getting stuck halfway up the shaft, so I took the old cord and fed it down through the top and taped it to the new cord and pulled both up through the lamp.
Once your wiring is through the top of the lamp, go ahead and make an underwriters knot. This ensures that the wire doesn’t pull or come off of the screws, which can create a shock hazard.
The wiring has two ends. One is the hot wire, which has a smooth sheath, and the other is the neutral wire, which has a ribbed sheath. Make a small “hook” in the end of the hot wire and attach it to the back of the brass screw and then screw tightly so wire is secure. Do the same with the neutral wire on the silver screw.
Place your protective cap (with the cardboard insert) over the socket. It should slide on easily.
Pull the cord at the bottom of the lamp so that the socket moves down and snugly fits into the base.
I screwed in the light bulb and….
Now we have light in that dark corner and you can actually sit there at night and read!
I would say that I definitely took a risk and it paid off. YouTube for the win! Have any of you had success with DIY projects and YouTube tutorials? Let me know in the comments!