Pulling Switching Chains on a High Ceiling Fan

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About: I miss the days when magazines like Popular Mechanics had all sorts of DIY projects for making and repairing just about everything. I am enjoying posting things I have learned and done since I got my first ...

The bottom of this combination lighting fixture and ceiling fan is a full ten feet above the floor. A wall switch turns the unit "on" and "off," but it would be nice to be able to adjust the fan speed or turn either the fan or the light "off" while using the other. My wife does not want longer chains hanging down into the center of the room. Although there are after-market remotes to control the fan, they do not always fit inside the existing fan housing and do not always present a pleasant appearance.

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Step 1: Corner Brackets

I went to the local hardware store and bought a package of 2.5 inch corner brackets.

Step 2: Limited Tools Available

I had limited tools available, just a small pipe wrench, a plier, and a hammer. I began to bend a corner bracket with the pipe wrench. I bent a little. Then I pulled the corner bracket out of the jaws a little and bent more. The object was to bend the end of the bracket to the shape of a "U" rather than a "V."

Step 3: Finishing the Gap

I used two of the extra corner brackets to keep the gap from closing too much. I used a hammer to close the gap after I had bent it as much as possible with the pipe wrench.

Step 4: Attach to a Bamboo Pole

The previous owners of the house left a six foot long bamboo pole in the garage. I attached the bent corner bracket to the bamboo with screws. Bamboo cracks and splits very easily. To keep the bamboo intact, I wrapped it and the corner bracket tightly with two layers of plastic electrical tape. This photo also shows the proper "U" bend in the corner bracket.

A piece of pine 3/4 x 3/4 inch would have worked, too. I just happened to have this piece of bamboo for which I had not other use. Some pine could have been sliced off of the edge of a board.

Step 5: To Use

Catch the chain and slide the chain into the "U"-shaped bend at the end of the corner bracket.

Step 6: Pull Gently

Once the chain has been caught in the bent end of the corner bracket, pull gently on the bamboo pole until the switch on the light or the fan is in the position desired. When finished, ease the tension on the chain and allow it to slide out of the bent end of the corner bracket. Store the device in a nearby closet until needed again. We were surprised how much we used this device in the first couple of days after I fabricated it.

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    7 Discussions

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    rimar2000

    10 years ago on Introduction

    Very clever, but, what if you buy a yard or two additional chain? It is cheap and easy to add. I think it will not bother or unsightly.

    3 replies
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    Phil Brimar2000

    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    There are certain things my wife will consider and other things that may not even be discussed once she decides she does not want it. She decided she did not want extra chain, but she did want to adjust the fan speed and to use the fan without using the light. If you are married, you understand. Thanks.

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    rimar2000Phil B

    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!!!! Yes, I understand perfectly, Phil. I have always "the last word": "sí, querida" (yes, darling")

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    Phil Brimar2000

    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    We say, "The more things change, the more they are the same." We may live half of a world apart, but we have the same experiences.

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    mrmath

    10 years ago on Introduction

    The Senseis at my dojo use something like this. It's a little piece of L shaped plastic with a V notch in the end screwed to the end of a long stick. Obviously, you don't want extra chain hanging down all over your dojo.

    2 replies
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    Phil Bmrmath

    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    I thought about making a notch in the end of something, but I did not have my usual basic tools and I opted for something I could bend easily.

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    mrmathPhil B

    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    Six of one, half a dozen of another. If it works, it's good. :)