For Christmas last year my wife asked me for a chandelier that she had seen in a "Hardware" store. It was a pretty cool looking light, but the $1,800 price tag was a little more than I was willing to shell out. I said that I would make it:-)
I had never seen it so I found a good picture of the light on line and downloaded a picture of it. I also looked on the website to see if I could get any dimensions. I was able to find the overall size, so I loaded the photo into Fusion 360 as a "canvas" and created a sketch over the top of it to get the shape. I have included the Fusion 360 file so you can see what it looks like and tweak it if you want to. Inside Fusion, you can create a manufacturing drawing that provides all the measurements.
From there it was off to Posner's (a local metal supplier) for 3/4" 14 gauge steel square tubing (4 pieces X 20 feet). I didn't really think through how much I would need, but it was cheap. I would have liked to have gone a little bit smaller, but I knew that I was going to be challenged stringing electrical wire through the whole thing. I was also nervous that it would be incredibly heavy. I also got a piece of 1 1/2 inch channel with 1/2 inch flare (6 feet) and a piece of 1 1/2 inch bar stock (6 feet).
From there I was back to the shop to start laying things out to start cutting and welding.
MIG Welder - Angle Grinder - Drill Press - Welding Magnets - Router
3/4" 14 gauge steel square tubing (4 pieces X 20 feet)
1 1/2 inch channel with 1/2 inch flare (6 feet)
1 1/2 inch bar stock (6 feet)
1/2 inch square tubing (36 inches)
1 1/2 inch steel washers (6)
12 feet of "lamp wire" 16 gauge
8 feet of "lamp chain"
1" x 6" x 36" pine
(4) 1/4x20 nuts
(4) 1/4 x 20 x3/8" screws
2 J hooks
Lighting fixture socket https://www.amazon.com/dp/B000MVDDE2/ref=cm_sw_em...
Creative Hobbies 1751 - Set of 12, 4 Inch Tall White Plastic Candle Covers Sleeves Chandelier Socket Covers https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01D1OFRQI/ref=cm_sw_em...
LED Candelabra Bulb, Dimmable LED Chandelier Light Bulbs 6W 3000K Soft White Filament LED Candle Bulbs 60W Incandescent Equivalent B11 530 Lumen E12 Base Clear Glass Decorative Filament Bulb 6 Packs https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07PVMTNYV/ref=cm_sw_em...
Threaded nipples for lighting fixture (6)
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Step 1: Cutting and Welding
I started by cutting all the parts out in to match the drawing.
I started with the end pieces (trapezoids). On one side, I needed to figure out how to get the electrical connections from the ceiling, all the way down to the light bar and into the lights.
To do this I drilled a 1/2 inch hole in the center of the bottom tube (inboard side), a hole in the top of the bottom tube, and two holes in the top tube. You can see in the photograph 1 (callouts) where I drilled the holes. Prior to welding, I fished a piece of stainless steel wire through the tube and out the holes. Then I was able to tack the corners so that the wire was captured inside the tube.
Once I had the two end pieces together, I welded the long pieces on each of the four corners of the trapezoids. At that point, I basically had a metal box.
The next phase was to figure out the top. I started by clamping up the triangles to get the base width (and tacking the top. This was done on both sides, I just set the vertical angles of both triangles until the middle section fit in between them. This basically completed the top of the lamp. I had a little more fish tape to pull through and finished welding.
Step 2: Light Bar and Final Welds
In order to keep the wiring hidden, I welded a 1/2 inch square tube to the center of the lower ends (Picture 1 callout).
The lights are mounted on the 1 1/2 inch channel. I ground out sections of the flange and welded 1/2 inch square tubing on over the holes that I had cut out. In the top of the 1/2 inch square tubing, I welded threaded nipples that fit into the bottom of the light sockets. I also welded 4 1/4x20 nuts inside the channel. (picture 2) These will be used to "close" the channel and enclose the electrical connections.
In order to create a "wax guard" to fit with the candela light bulbs, I domed out the washers and set them over the nipples, and welded them to the 1/2 inch square tubing.
With the light bar complete, I welded it into the frame. (picture 3)
The final welding detail was the hanging brackets that were welded on the top (picture 4)
Step 3: The SCARY Part
Again, back to the wiring and how to get it through the interior of the light. The stainless steel fish tape stayed inside the tubes during the whole weld up, now the moment of truth: WILL THE FISH TAPE BE ABLE TO GET THE ELECTRICAL WIRE THROUGH THE HOLES AND CORNERS WITHOUT COMING APART???
I actually had nightmares prior to completing this step. IF the wire disconnected, I would have to cut the lamp apart to restring the wire. If the edges were too sharp on the drilled holes, it would cut the insulation on the wire...also bad. UGH.
Well, I worked up the courage and slowly started the process. What the heck, it had only been a couple weeks work for my son and I to weld, grind, weld, grind...
IT WORKED. It slid through the whole thing without a single issue. All that worry for nothing.
Step 4: WIRING
Each of the light fixtures had two wires attached. I fed the wires through the center and screwed them on to the nipples. Then it was just a matter of wiring all of the sockets together in parallel. This was a little bit tight, there was a lot of wire and a lot of wire nuts that I had to fit inside the center of the channel. Tedious, but manageable.
When everything was connected and fit inside the channel, I put the 1 1/2 inch bar stock across it and closed it with (4) 1/4x20 by 3/8" screws. Nearly done...so I figure i should give it a check, so I screwed the bulbs in and wired it to a socket. MAGIC! I hadn't screwed up the wiring and all the lights came on.
With all that done, some final grinding and a coat of matte black spray paint.
Step 5: Installation
I removed the light that was installed.
In order to hang a light that had two attachment points, I cut a piece of pine that was wide enough to cover the wiring box, was long enough to catch two floor joists in the ceiling and carry the chains (which i attached to the top brackets). I cut the wood, rounded the ends routed a channel on the bottom side so that i could run the wires between it and the ceiling.
After a little acrobatics, I got the whole thing attached and hung up. I wired it to a dimmer switch so it wasn't always on bright...ambiance and all.
After all was said and done, we call it a victory. She was happy with her new light and I had a little $$$ left in my wallet.
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