Wiring a Lamp

My friend Kathy K used to help me wire lamps.  Here are the directions she put together:

1. Sponge lamp and grind any rough places from base.

2.  Lay out the following lamp parts:

Cap which fits hole in top of vase

Rubber and metal washers to fit inside opening snugly

Hex nut

Rod of correct length to hold all lamp parts together

Neck extender

Knurled lock nut

Harp base

Domed switch base


Switch cover in two parts (cardboard & brass)

Lamp cord

Felt pad for bottom of lamp

3.  Fit the cap onto the vase and glue securely.

4.  Thread up from the bottom of lamp the rod with hex nut and metal and rubber washers attached.

5.  Push rod up through top hole in lamp and add neck extender, harp base and knurled lock nut.  Tighten entire assembly with socket wrench, making sure harp is parallel to hole in bottom of lamp.   Leave about ¼” of threaded rod extending from knurled lock nut.

6.  Make sure it is very tight, then apply Elmer’s Glue to hex nut and adjoining threads of rod, inside the lamp.

7.  Screw domed switch base  onto remaining ¼’ of threaded rod, applying Lok-Tite to threads of rod to ensure a good, tight fit.   Tighten the tiny screw on the side of the domed switch base.

8.  Run a lamp cord from front to back through the small hole at base of lamp.  Pull the cord up on outside of lamp to domed switch plate; add about another inch of cord to this measurement and tie a knot into cord on the inside of the lamp, to keep it from pulling too hard on the lamp assembly inside the lamp.

9.  Run the cord up through the threaded rod and all parts above it, coming out in the bowl of the domed switch base.  Split the cord and tie a single knot to keep it from slipping back through the switch base.

10.  Attach wire to switch.  The SMOOTH wire attaches to the BRASS screw; the RIDGED wire attaches to the STEEL screw.  DON”T GET THIS WRONG!  RE-CHECK it before you go any further.  If you can’t tell which is ridged wire, test with teeth/tongue for ridges.

11.Put switch cover over switch.  Sometimes it is easier to separate the cardboard from the brass of this part, attaching them separately.  Adjust the switch so that the cardboard does not show.

12.  Test with light bulb to make sure the lamp will work, then push entire switch assembly into the domed switch base.  IMPORTANT:  line up the switch on the FRONT of the lamp, directly opposite the cord coming out of the back of the lamp.

13.  Find a harp and a shade that fit the lamp and put a sticker on the back of the lamp indicating the harp and shade sizes.

14.  Apply a felt pad to bottom of lamp, trimming to fit.