The Dale Maley Family Web Site

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Judy's 2 lamps

My sister-in-law Judy, saw my 1st stained glass lamp shade. This triggered the idea of me rescuing 2 old family heirloom lamps. The bases were turned by an ancestor in wood, but both shades have been long lost. She wanted me to repair the lamps, and make 2 new stained glass lamp shades.

Here is the as-received condition of the 2 old lamps........

New Parts

On a previous project, my 1905 lamp reproduction, I used GrandBrass.com to get lamp parts.  I went back to their web site, and ordered the parts I needed to restore the lamps to good operating condition.  I bought new cords as well, because I don't know how old the current cords are.

GrandBrass Shipment arrives

I was all excited when this box showed up............but I also learned from my 1905 lamp reproduction project.........it is extremely difficult to figure out the right lamp parts to order.  This industry has its own lingo, and it is hard to order the right parts the 1st time.


Sure enough, I ordered the wrong parts.  The harps were ok, and the cords were ok.  On the finials, I ordered the wrong thread size. I ordered 1/4" IPS, and I should have ordered 1/4-27 threads.

On the simple light sockets, I blew that one also.  I got these 2 little dinky sockets, not the big regular light bulb style.  Turns out I ordered and E-17 small socket size, when I should have ordered the E-26 regular socket size.  So, I placed a 2nd order to see if I get it right this time??


Here is a photo comparison of the 2 different lamp socket sizes.........


Now I wait for the 2nd shipment of lamp parts to show up..............


Stained Glass Lamp Shade

The pattern and detailed instructions on how to build this lamp shade came from this book...............


Vase Cap

You need a 3 inch brass vase cap, to solder to the lamp. There is a center hole that goes on the harp.  I went online and bought the vase cap from.....http://www.glasscrafters.biz/

You also need some 20 gauge wire to reinforce the top and the bottom of the lamp. I bought a roll from the same company I got the vase cap from........


Glass Selection

I chose to use the same blue and aquamarine colors as the book pattern.  I substituted a yellow-white color for the clear glass they used for the small bottom accent pieces.  I got the glass from Hobby Lobby and my stained glass teacher's shop, Touch of Glass, in Normal, Illinois.............

6 Panels

You must build all 6 panels using the same guides, so they are exactly the same size and they butte together well into the cone shape.


Once you get the 6 panels built, you lay them down against each other, with about an 1/8" gap between them. Then you put black electrician's tape on them, in 2 rows.........and leave some extra tape at one end.......

And now for the Magic

Now you grab all 6 panels at the center hole, and slowly pull them up into a tepee shape, forming the shade cone. Once you get them pulled up, you attach the last  joint using the extra black  tape you left for that purpose...........

Use the 3" vase cap to make sure the 6 sides are all aligned ok, plus you are making sure the cap will fit after you solder up the shade.


Now you can tack all 6 pieces at the top and bottom. You apply flux with a brush.  You bend your solder up and over from the roll, about 6 inches in the air, so you can touch your soldering iron and get a small dab of solder to stay on the iron, until you tack it.


Next is reinforcing with the 20 gage wire on both top and bottom......

soldering seams

The long seams have to be horizontal when you solder them.  For the inside seams, just use a couple of items to hold the shade horizontal, like the handles of pliers.


For the outside seams, I made a temporary fixture, to hold the seams horizontal during soldering.......


Vase Cap

Flux and tin the top of the cap. No reason to do the inside, since it doesn't show after it is installed. Solder the cap in place on the outside and inside.

At this point, I check for any errors in soldering. I run my hand over all the edges, and find sharp spots.  I either use the soldering iron to fix, or a file to remove a sharp edge. The last step is to apply the patina, which turns the silvery color of the solder to a grey-black color.........Apply patina to the vase cap so it matches the color of the rest of the joints........


Electrical Work

The 2nd shipment from  GrandBrass.com did have all the right size parts for the 2 lamps.  I replaced all the electrical components, including the cords. Here is the completed 1st lamp with my stained glass shade:


and here is the same lamp with the bulb lit in my workshop..........the regular flourescent bulbs are still on..........


This 1st lamp came out really nice.  All I need to finish up is the 2nd vase cap for my 2nd lamp shade........should be here any day.

The last vase cap arrived Dec 23, 2016. I tinned it with solder, then soldered it to the shade, then applied patina to all the solder joints.

Finished 2 Lamps:




Closing Thoughts on This Project:

The 2 lamps really turned out nice........and should make a great Christmas gift to my sister-in-law in just 2 days!

Since I had made 1 stained glass lamp shade before this project, making 2 more was not really a big challenge.  The hardest part was ordering the right electrical parts......in particular.....figuring out the right industry nomenclature for the socket size........and getting the top harp nuts with the right thread.
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