I see industrial lamps all the time that look very nice they are usually made from "black iron" pipe or copper plumbing pipe. Plumbing fittings usually go together quickly and usually look pretty cool. The one thing that usually gets missed in these creations is the inclusion of electrical parts. Electrical parts share one important characteristic with plumbing parts, they are easy to assembly and they share the same thread size. Including electrical parts in your industrial lamp designs opens up a whole new world of possibilities, I want to encourage more people to use both plumbing and electrical parts in their designs. This 'ible will show you how to take a few electrical parts and a few plumbing parts and assemble them to easily make a nice, simple, lamp with no cutting bending or threading of pipe. Time to build this project should be less than one hour for anyone that has wired a lamp before and a little longer for everyone else.
Step 1: Gather Your Materials
The cost to build this light fixture was a little less than $25.00 including the optional rotary switch. Parts should be available at most hardware stores and big box stores like Lowes or Home Depot.
• (1) "handy box" (I used a Steel City 58361 1/2 but any similar box will work)
• (1) handy box blank cover
• (1) 1/2" offset nipple
• (1) 1/2" locknut
• (1) 1/2" galvanized floor flange
• (2) washers (3/8" x 1 1/4")
• (1) 2" long 1/8" IPS nipple
• (2) nuts for 1/8" IPS nipple
• (4) 1/4" x 20 carrage bolts 1" long
• (8) 1/4" x 20 nuts
• cord and socket set (I elected to use a cheap lamp I had sitting around but something like this is a good option)
• lamp shade
• (optional) rotary switch
• screwdrivers (flat head and phillips)
• adjustable wrench
• (optional) drill with 1/8" and 3/8" drill bits
Step 2: Base Assembly
The assembly is pretty fast a straight forward. Start by installing the offset nipple into the floor flange. Next remove the knock-out from the handy box bottom and install the lock-nut on the inside of the box to secure it to the offset nipple. Then install the carriage bolts from the topside of the floor flange and attach the nuts on the bottom of bolts.
Step 3: Top Assembly
Remove the top knock-out from the handy box. Install the threaded rod into the bottom of the lamp shell. Using two washers (3/8" X 1 /4") place one washer on the outside of the box and one on the inside slide the nipple and bottom of the socket shell onto the handy box. Use two nuts to secure the threaded rod to the box ensuring that the lamp shell will not rotate when you turn the lamp on or off.
Step 4: Electrical
Now that we have the lamp put together it is a simple matter to install the electrical. Feed your wiring through the lamp body leaving a loop of wire in the box section. Follow the directions that came with your lamp kit to attach the wiring to your socket. Once you have the wiring in place you can put the blank cover on the handy box and enjoy your new lamp.
Step 5: (Optional) Rotary Switch Installation
If you want something a little more unique you can install a rotary switch in your lamp. Start by drilling a 1/8" pilot hole in the box cover then enlarge the hole to 3/8". To install the switch we will cut the smooth side of the lamp cord (one side is smooth and the other is ribbed). The ribbed side of the cord is the neutral you should never switch the neutral without also switching the hot. We will split the cord and install attach the rotary switch to this split cord. I elected to use wire nut connectors but you could also use insulated splice caps to make the connection to the switch