Introduction: Black Pipe Vanity Light Mounted on Wood Board
(1) 2” x 8” x 3’ (5cm x 20 cm x 91cm) board
(10 ft.) 14-2 wire
(4) Stainless steel lag bolts (long enough to go through the board, drywall and into the stud)
(4) Stainless steel washers
(8) Stainless steel counter-sunk sheet metal screws
(2) ¾” (2cm) black pipe floor flange
(5) ¾” (2cm) black pipe 3” (8cm) nipple
(2) ¾” (2cm) black pipe 8” (20cm) nipple
(3) ¾” (2cm) black pipe tee
(3) ¾” (2cm) black pipe 90 degree street elbow
(3) ¾” (2cm) to 1 ¼” (3cm) black pipe reducing coupler
(3) Threaded light socket with nut
(3) Glass light shades
(1) Rustoleum clear spray paint
(1) American Products Gel Stain, Java
(1) American Products Gel Stain, Clear Coat
Step 1: Checking and Cleaning
After purchasing all of the pipe pieces you will need to clean them thoroughly. I began with degreaser based on some online suggestions, but found that simple dish soap seemed to work better. Some of the stickers may be difficult to remove. Lemon oil works wonders. Be sure to attempt to gently assemble the metal as some pieces may have been cross threaded or the threads may be damaged. Figure this out early and you will save frustration.
Step 2: The Backboard
I measured my space and decided to make the back board about three feet (one meter) long. I had some scrap 2” x 8” (5cm x 20cm) wood that was the proper length. After ensuring the board had straight and square ends, I used a router to create squared inset edges on both the front and back of the board.
Step 3: On the Back
I also created a cavity on the back of the board for running wires from the sides to the electrical box in the center.
Step 4: Lining Up and Drilling Holes
At this point, what I should have done is to assemble the mounting portion of the black pipe (the floor flange, 3 inch [8cm] nipples, tees, and 8 inch [20cm] nipples) in order to center it on the board and mark my drill holes. After doing this I drilled two ¾ inch (2cm) holes behind the floor flanges and 8 screw holes for mounting the floor flanges. I also drilled four bolt holes, selecting their position by determining where the board would mount to a stud.
Step 5: Prepping the Board
I then sanded the board and the grooves I had made, wiped it clean, and stained it with American Products Gel Stain in Java color. Three coats of that and three of clear coat.
Step 6: Wiring
While applying the six coats to the board, which will probably take a few days, use the time to wire the threaded light sockets. Test them! [If you don't already know how to wire them, get some professional help] Beginning at one of the sides, run the wire through each piece of black pipe, beginning with the piece closest to the light socket, assembling the metal as you go. The middle will be the most difficult due to the length of wire that must be run and the number of turns that must be made. Attempt to keep the wire from twisting as much as possible, but if it does, don’t worry about it. The most important thing is not to pinch or cut the wire in any of your black pipe pieces as you assemble. This will cause the fixture to short out and could be dangerous.
Step 7: Protecting the Metal
Once all of the metal has been assembled with light sockets, and the wires are running out through the floor flanges, use a caulk or adhesive to fix the light sockets into the reducing couplers. Once this has set and after covering the light sockets with painters tape, use clear spray paint to seal the metal and keep it from rusting. Black pipe will easily rust so be sure you get all of the cracks and crevices.
Step 8: Mounting the Light
Once all of the paint and stain is finished, mount the light to the board, running the wires through the pre-drilled holes. Staple the wires to the back of the board in the cavity discussed previously. Wire the light and push excess wires into the wall box. Mount the entire light fixture on the wall. Test each socket again.
There were two studs that ran behind this light in my bathroom. One ran directly behind the left floor flange and the other was able to be hit with the right two bolts. To make up for the left, I drilled holes all the way through the board and into the wall and ran two three inch screws through the left floor flange. Once it was all said and done I was able to yank on it without it moving. As for the left two bolts, I looked for drywall anchors but found none that large. I ended up using short lag bolts that did not go all the way through the board but provided uniformity to the look of the fixture.