brittadotcom (brittadotcom) wrote,

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a bright spot in an otherwise gloomy day

I don't think the constant rain lately is helping any either, but I'm still unable to shake my depressed, unworthy, bitter & jealous mood, and now I'm in an emotional vicious circle because I hate myself for not being able to cheer myself up enough and move past this crap...*sigh*...enough least I'm better than yesterday which was much better than Monday...

Anyway, here is the bright spot - the notorious lamp is now functional! I acquired this lamp out of the dumpster for the Rebuilding Together project my company worked on last April. I figured it would be cool just to house candles if nothing else, since it was brass with nice detail, and a marble or marble-effect base, but at first testing it seemed functional enough to try restoring for actual use...little did I know it would take almost a YEAR to get it working...heh!

April 2004: Out of the garbage in the Rebuilding Together dumpster in San Bruno, into the top-down Briata, and onto my back patio...

Early May 2004: But does it work? Kind of but hard to tell for sure until purchasing some parts. Only two of the side lights seemed to work with my fresh standard bulbs, but a brand-new Mogul bulb seemed to work fine in the top...

Scary wiring! Yes, kids, that is ASBESTOS tape holding the wiring together instead of wire nuts! Jeff helped with this project since I hadn't ever done an electrical project before and I wanted to learn, so he convinced me to rewire the whole thing for safety reasons, even though I was trying to conserve as much of the original antique as possible...

So here's where the story gets long & frustrating. All new wiring except the top Mogul bulb wiring and 3 brand-new chandelier sockets were purchased, since the standard socket wiring didn't seem to fit well through the posts, plus I like the smaller candle-style anyway and I could find the white sleeves for that size but not the larger size. We tried first using the original 3-way switch, but it shorted out with sparks and giving me a big shock during testing - ack! So a new 3-way switch was purchased, with all new wiring fully-tested for continuity even through the new switch, but the darn thing STILL wouldn't work, defying all logic! This is when it was put out in my garage before Halloween, hopefully to continue another day with a real continuity tester or another new switch.

So, now that I'm back into project mode lately to attempt to fill the void, I asked Jeff a couple weeks ago if we could finally continue working on the lamp on one of our catch-up Tivo evenings. He thought we must have gotten a bad switch out of the new package somehow, so we should get another new switch and try that, and eliminate ALL possible variables. He also suggested getting just a plain on/off switch too, just in case there was something weird about the 3-way wiring we had set up, then we could at least have the 3 candles go on & off as a set. I bought both switches at OSH last week, so we worked on this last night. Pulling all the wiring out of the connectors from the other switch, reconnecting them all to the new switch, testing continuity - the sockets worked in sequence properly - hooray! But I put the bulbs back in, and no luck...huh?!? The bulbs felt fully screwed in & everything, and I even got out brand-new bulbs in case the others sitting for 6 months had spontaneously gone bad...then Jeff finally got the idea that maybe the cardboard insulation tubes were just barely too high to let the bulbs contact the sockets...I took off the insulation, put the bulbs back in & voila! Mystery solved...and testing the other switch showed it was FINE THE WHOLE TIME...ah & learn, eh? At least I'll get about $5 back from OSH when I return the still-working extra 3-way switch and the unused on/off switch, which will be used to purchase corn seed and tomato seedlings for my garden... :)

Here is my "new" lamp showing it's full light - quite cool that I have 6 levels of light out of this lamp, since one switch controls 1, 2 or all 3 of the chandelier bulbs, then the top switch is 3-way for the Mogul bulb. This corner of the room has been notorious even since I moved in for its dim more!

Here is the finished lamp unlit so you can see details - new 3-way Mogul bulb in the top behind a $2 Goodwill milk glass shade, plus 3 new chandelier sockets, and all new wiring EXCEPT the original Mogul wiring...hooray!

Hope your days have bright spots today, too...

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