And before I get started, I want to make a DISCLAIMER: I am not an electrician and will not assume responsibility for any damage that occurs as a result of you attempting this project. If at any point you feel uncomfortable, hire an electrician! We have had this chandler installed in our house for about two years without any problems.
There are a lot a steps involved but I will do my best to explain things in terms anyone can understand. So, here goes. . .
- Canning Jars with lids (6 large, 9 widemouth, 6 small)
-Wire (18-2 Lamp Cord)
- Hex Nuts (that will fit your nipple (which is the threaded metal rod))
- Steel Nipples
- Small Hose Clamp
- 4 Keyless Sockets
- 4" offset crossbar
- 4" PVC cap (found in plumbing section. We used this as the ceiling plate because it provides a lot of room to accommodate all the wires that are coming from the fixture.
-3" machine screws (to attach the ceiling plate to the crossbar)
-2 Acorn nuts
-2 wire nuts
Select the four jars you want to hold lights (make sure the socket and bulbs will fit.) and then drill a hole large enough to accommodate the diameter of your steel nipple.
Next, drill four ventilation holes around the periphery of the lid. This will allow the heat created by the bulb to escape.
For the remaining 17 jars, you will need to drill a hole that is large enough to fit your wire.
Cut 21 lengths of wire at 2 feet each.
Then, use wire strippers and/or a razor blade to split the plastic coating on one end and reveal the metal wire underneath. You will want to about 3/4 of exposed wire.
For the 17 jars that will remain unlit, push the wire through the hole in your lid and string a washer onto one wire and then twist the two together to secure it.
I documented the steps I took to create our first chandelier, since then I have refined the process a bit and will include tips I have learned from successive productions.
For this first fixture I purchased 6" lengths of steel nipples and cut the 1" sections I needed with a circular saw/ grinder with a fiber wheel. I recommend threading a nut on your nipple before you begin cutting so that when you are done you will be able to "rethread" your cut section by removing the nut. I purchased these materials from Home Depot.
Since then I have found a local hardware that specializes in repairing chandeliers and lamps that carries individual nipples in 1/4" increments. Now I buy as many as I need in whatever length I desire and don't have to worry about fouling threads or sparks.
When you open your keyless socket, it will have a cardboard sleeve around it. Do not throw this away thinking it is packing material. For now you can remove it, but you will need to reinstall it later.
One the stripped end of your wire pull the wires apart about a 1/2" down. (Reference the picture above)
Insert this end of the wire into the steel nipple. Paying attention which wire will go to which screw separate the wires as the exit the nipple.
Loosen the screws and wrap the wire clock wise underneath them. Then tighten them back down. Replace cardboard wrap.
Our cap had raised writing on the center of the cap. You can sand this off with sand paper. It isn't a bad idea to give the entire cap a light sanding with a fine grit sandpaper. It will help you paint stick. Paint whatever color you desire.
If the cap is too deep for your liking, you can cut it down. We took off about an inch. I recommend carefully using a handsaw or coping saw. If you want to do it quickly with a miter saw create a jig to hold it securely in place.
Next you will need to drill two smaller holes to connect your PVC housing to the mounting plate. Be sure figure out which holes you will use to connect your plate to the junction box and then decide which two holes you will use to connect the PVC housing. Make your holes large enough to accommodate 3" machine screws that fit your mounting plate.
Once you have the shape you want and the distance it will hang, push all the wires through the PVC cap/ceiling plate and then through your hose clamp. TIGHTEN YOUR HOSE CLAMP AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE! It will be holding all the weight of the jars.
Although I didn't do it for the one hanging in our living room, I have decided it would be a great idea to wrap your wire bundle with a few layers of electrical tape before installing your hose clamp.
Strip the insulation of the "lit" wires, exposing about 3/4" of wire. Group your four neutral wires and then separately group your four hot wires. HOT WIRES=Smooth plastic coating NEUTRAL WIRES= ridged plastic coating
Create a "pig tail" from a small piece of wire. Using a 4"-6" scarp of wire strip the insulation from both ends. You can leave the two wires together in the center or you can pull them completely apart and have separate neutral and hot pigtails.
Attach the neutral pigtail to the group of neutral wires using a appropriately sized wire nut. Do the same for your hot wires.
Connect your "hot" pigtail to the black wire in the ceiling and the neutral pigtail to the white wire from the ceiling.
I recommend installing the 3" screws (or whatever size you need based on your housing) to your mounting plate and fitting the housing over these. You will need to install the acorn nuts and then keep turning them until they hold PVC housing tight against the ceiling. If you do it this way you need to make sure you insert the machine screws into the threaded holes in the mountain plate.
That's it. I love this unique light fixtures and gotten lots of positive feedback. Hope you enjoy it as much as we do.