A Little Light Please!

It all started with a broken lamp. It had been going for a while. The switch was tricky. I began to think that maybe it wasn’t safe and that I should put a new switch in. And then I thought that maybe I would like to make a lamp. I wasn’t loving the old one. Once I had that thought, the idea grew. At the back of my mind was a curiosity about what I could make a lamp out of and every garage sale trip had me looking at objects differently.
I know my Littles love to know how things work so this is a very productive activity…a new lamp for me and a learning experience for them.
I saw a metal can at a garage sale and its color and shape appealed to me. I found a wooden lid on a cup and it was perfect for the top of the can. I found a lampshade and some lamp parts, added a baggy of sand and we were ready to start.

Parts: (Most of these parts will be included in a lamp kit at your hardware store)
·       Base Metal Can
·       Stopper to protect the cord from the metal edge (two pieces)
·       Top (round bamboo)
·       Electrical power cord
·       Threaded tube for the cord to pass through on the top
·       Harp holder
·       Socket base
·       Socket
·       Insulation Sleeve
·       Socket Shell
·       Harp
·       Shade
·       Lock

1.       Drill a hole in the lower side of the base to fit the size of the stopper used to protect the power cord. We got our handyman to do this for us.
2.       Drill a hole in the center of the bamboo top to receive the threaded top and power cord.
3.       For this project, we made a notch on each side to surround the handle and sanded the round so it would fit tightly into the opening of the can.
4.        Put the threaded tube through the top of the lamp, through the harp holder, and screw into the socket base, securing the socket base to the threaded tube with the attached screw.
5.       Secure the inside end of the threaded tube to the top with the washer and nut. The top is now ready to attach to the base when it is time to do so.
6.       Run the power cord through the stopper into the base and continue pulling through until enough cord is available for wiring to the socket.
7.       Reach inside the base to take hold of the power cord at the point where it is coming through the stopper. While holding the power cord at this point, continue pulling more cord through the stopper until there is room to mark where your fingers are holding. At the mark, make a single knot that will prevent the cord from being pulled out of the base.
8.       Run the power cord up through the threaded tube assembly until there is enough cord available to wire into the socket body.
9.       Attach the two wires of the power cord to the two screws on opposite sides of the socket.
10.    Place the insulation sleeve over the socket and connect the socket to the base by pressing the socket shell into the base until it snaps in place.
11.   Pull the outside end of the power cord through the stopper at the base until it reaches the knot (we put the bag of sand in at this point to give the base more weight).
12.   Secure the top to the metal base
13.   Snap the harp into the harp holder and attach the shade to the harp with the harp lock.

There is iron in these stones!
The project was a complete success but we also had an added bonus. We have an outdoor program and so we are outside when we are doing these projects. While assembling the lamp we dropped a washer and none of us could find it. So we used a magnet wand to locate it. While doing this, we picked up stones with our wand and realized that some of the stones had iron in them. This started a whole new activity of discovery.
What would you use for your lamp?


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