Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Lesson No. @!%!**#~@#!!

Installing a light fixture in the dark: Don't

Okay, so this one may seem a bit obvious to all of you, but just you wait until You get that cherished light fixture you had to have re-delivered (because the first one was received broken) and you get home from work late and can't find any portable lamps.

For weeks we had been put-off by the cheap bathroom fixture dome light that graced our front porch. Even the nickel plating was corroding away. It was no early/mid-century standard, either, but a knock-off from the 70's. We had been looking for a proper replacement from some time and finally smitten by the fixtures from Hubbardton Forge.

So when it finally arrived mid-week, I was over-eager to get this beauty all hooked up just as the sun was going down. I nabbed up the closest tools I could find, including the only portable light I knew the immediate whereabouts of: an LED "battery-free" flashlight that you must shake vigorously for a short charge. I was hoping to beat the sunset, however.

Perched up on a ladder, I got that cheap lantern dismantled, disconnected and discarded in no time. This is where I come to the realization that there is no fixture box to protect the electrical connections or to mount the fixture bracket to; there is only a hole in the 3/4" beadboard (hardwood) ceiling were the aged electrical tubing protrudes from.

So, I am past the reversal line of this project and must push on. I know I will have to someday soon replace this old wiring before the dried out sheathing breaks off. I will also have to install a proper fixture box that's a bit larger than the 3/4" dia hole. By now, the sun is down and I have only one long screw holding the mounting bracket hand screwed through the thick hardwood. This takes both hands, and I have the shake-a-light tucked under an arm. But I must stop every few minutes to give the flashlight another shake.

By the time I get the light hooked up & taped, assembled and "hot", I turn it on and step back only to realize that I mounted it crookedly by about 5-degrees! So I knew better than to mount a light in the dark, right? Well, thankfully I already knew I would have to revisit this project in the future. Consequently, now that the ugly light is gone, the sorry state of the beadboard has become highlighted and vies for our disdain along with our cadywompus light. Just have to toss that onto my To-Do pile. More Stripping in my future, Whoo-hooo!!!

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At May 11, 2007 5:49 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The new light is great - perfect style. I've also learned not to paint in the dark (or rather, in the absence of natural light).

As an architect working with my first house (circa 1926) in Richmond, VA, I look forward to following your progress!

At May 11, 2007 5:04 PM, Blogger Oblio70 said...

Hurray for Architects who fix up their own homes...kinda like marriage counselors who, uh...nevermind, poor analogy. =P


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