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Easy-to-assemble pipes and fittings let you customize this lamp as a decorative accent piece or reading light. Pipes are easy to saw to length, and the fittings go together quickly using screws instead of adhesive.
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To vary the height of the lamp from the one shown, replace the 36-inch pipe with one that’s shorter or longer. Check the suggested wiring method against your local code before plugging in the lamp.
From 3/4-inch pipe, cut one piece 5-1/2 inches long, two pieces 5 inches long and one piece 3-1/2 inches long. The 36-inch pipe can be used as is. Wipe the pipes clean with mineral spirits and dry thoroughly.
After cutting the pipes to length, check for sharp edges along the inside edges. Smooth them with a metal file as needed.
Cut three 6-foot lengths of lamp cord and pass them through the 36-inch pipe. Attach the crossover fitting to the top of the pipe (Pipe Lamp Parts Layout Guide), with the wires coming out of different side or top openings.
Feeding the wires through the pipes as you go, attach 5-inch pipes to one side and to the top of the crossover. Attach a 5-1/2-inch pipe to the second side opening. Attach 90-degree elbows to the two horizontal pipes and a straight coupling to the vertical 5-inch pipe. Add a cap to the center opening.
On the 90-degree elbow attached to the 5-1/2-inch pipe, add a 3-1/2-inch pipe followed by a second 90-degree elbow to complete the lamp body (Pipe Lamp Parts Layout Guide). Check that at least 6 inches of each lamp cord extends beyond the ends of the pipes.
At the openings in the elbows and coupling, add the lamp socket and hardware of your choice. One method for doing this is to drill a hole through the length of a 1-1/16-inch rubber plug to accept a threaded lamp pipe. Fasten the socket to one end of the pipe, push the pipe through a washer and hold it in place with a washer and nut to the other end. Insert the wires and attach them to the socket following the manufacturer’s instructions. Wedge the plug into the opening in the elbow or coupling. (Wrap the narrow end of the plug as needed for a snug fit.)
If you choose to paint the metal portion of your lamp, tape off the openings in the sockets and around the exposed wires. Spray two coats of universal bonding primer on the galvanized surfaces. Let dry and then add the spray finish of your choice, such as Antique Brass.
Failing to prime galvanized metal will eventually cause a painted finish to flake off as it reacts with the galvanized coating.
From two 4 x 4 cedar posts, cut six pieces 23 inches long. Glue and clamp the pieces to form a base that’s 2 posts wide by 3 posts deep. Sand the top and bottom smooth to form a flat surface.
To cut the 3-1/2-inch thickness of the posts, you can start the cut with a miter saw or circular saw and finish with a handsaw.
Decide where you wish to drill through the base for the electrical wiring. Then clamp a scrap board to the base to avoid tearing the wood surface as the bit exits along the edge. Measure about 2-1/2 inches from one edge at the seam between two posts. Holding a bit at about a 10-degree angle, drill through the top and out the side midway down the base. Sand the opening smooth to eliminate any rough edges.
For a hole this deep, you’ll need a special bit with a 16-inch shaft. To help the bit work efficiently, stop frequently as you drill and remove debris from the hole.
Directly over the hole in the top of the base, attach the mounting flange with four screws. Make sure the screws don’t break into the hole you drilled.
Thread the wires from the metal lamp section down through the flange and hole until they come out of the side of the base. Fasten the lamp to the flange.
Thread the wires into the back of a metal electrical box and screw the box to the wooden base so that the opening in the wood and wiring are concealed. Then connect the socket wires to a lamp cord and cover the electrical box. If you prefer, add a switch to control the lights from the back.
Decorative lightbulbs add drama to the simple lines of this lamp.