Thursday, April 9, 2015

Let There Be Reading Light

Now that we have an electrical outlet on this wall, we can have a light by the comfy reading chair. WOO!  This is what FINALLY inspired me to re-purpose* an old wooden telescope tripod that I have had for at least 15 years and had intended to re-purpose this way for at least 12 year. If I have a photo of it before I started this project, it's buried in an old hard drive or possibly a paper photo album somewhere. D'oh!

I disassembled ithe legs the hardware that holds them at the top and masked over the other hardware.  Then I sanded and finished the wood with Stain & Seal in American Walnut, two coats, which I already had on hand.

Then I pre-drilled holes in the legs for screw eyes that I had spray painted black. These attach the black chain I purchased which keeps the legs from spreading further than a certain distance. This makes the whole thing more stable.

I tried to find a lamp kit at all the local hardware stores and home centers to no avail. They had them and they also had many component parts of the kit, but what they didn't have was a kit with an 8" harp (the kits all had 10") or non-kit 8" harps in either black or some silver-colored metal. Those are the colors of the existing hardware on the tripod and I thought it would look classier if I didn't add yet a third color.  Also, the lamp cords were either white or too short.  Plus buying the component parts would cost 3-4 times as much.  So, I searched online and found a site with A LOT of different lamp kits in many combinations of size and color. YES!  I did those above steps while I waited for the lamp kit to arrive.

Being a kit, the assembly went really quickly and easily; the only trick was figuring out how to get it all attached to the tripod.  I went down the hill to my local hardware store, found a black rubber stopper, drilled a hole in it, and used to to attach the lamp hardware to the tripod. POW.

Then all I had to do was install the shade that I had picked up on sale in February.

I am still on the lookout for a cool finial, but in the meantime the one that came with the lamp kit will work just fine and we can use the comfy chair for more than just sitting.

We both think that we need to rearrange the key pieces here a bit. Now is not the time to do so, though.

* RANT ALERT! Why "re-purpose" and not "recycle"  or "upcycle"? I'll tell you why: I think that "recycle" should be used for what you do instead of putting something in the landfill - when you turn over material to be broken down and remade into another item of the same or consisting at least partly of the same material. If you use an empty beer bottle as a vase, that's "re-purposing" and if you used it to bottle you're own home brew, that would be "reusing."

I think "upcycling" needs two components. First, the new use must be better than the original or current use, hence the "up." Second, the item must have been destined to be recycled or thrown away, hence the "cycle." This might include burying a used beer bottle upside down with the bottom exposed to make a garden path, but how is that any better of a purpose for a bottle than holding beer? There may not be a better purpose for a bottle than holding beer! It may not even be possible to "up cycle" a beer bottle. [mind blown]


  1. YES. Yes to everything you said!!! Sick to death of purported "upcycles" that are anything BUT- and most of 'em make whatever got "upcycled" impossible to actually recycle, after their supposed "upgrades". Your lamp, though- total upcycle. That's really cool! :)

    1. YEY validation! Like those light fixtures made from old cheese graters. I like 'em, but a light is never better than something associated with cheese. It's just not!

      Thanks so much! I guess a lamp is an improvement over a thing-in-the-closet. :)


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