how to rewire for arc lamp

jbug1960January 2, 2010

A perfectly good torchiere lamp was left in my attic by previous owners and I would like to make it into a one arm arc lamp with a traditional linen shade to place over a game table. I wonder if anyone can give me some idea of what type of material to use to make a rigid curved extension and how to fit it for a traditional lamp shade. Any ideas would be appreciated as most arc lamps cost more than I care to pay.

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Ron Natalie

for a second there I thought you were talking about an arc lamp (i.e., one that uses the arc between two carbon electrodes to make the light).

    Bookmark   January 2, 2010 at 2:36PM
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If I understand your question aright, your torchiere isn't likely to be very stable with any mass hanging out to the side (most are unstable enough already).

Besides, how much is your time worth, modifying and rewiring that (most likely) cheap home-center junk torchiere? I say buy a decent quality lamp that you like, and enjoy a couple more games with your spare time.

    Bookmark   January 10, 2010 at 4:39PM
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To davidr...Thanks for your reply and I guess some would agree with you, but this torchiere is great quality with a marble base that is heavy enough to balance the extension. I guess I could purchase one at about $400 or more, but I can think of a lot of other things to use that $400 for if I can figure out somehow to reconfigure this one. My husband and I retired early and we like trying to make something new out of something old rather than discarding in the landfill. I want a very traditional looking lamp and most of those available are more than one arm or are very modern. I would just like a single arm, one 150 watt bulb and a large linen shade. Some of the ideas we are tossing around to use for the extension include a length of fexible gas line or a piece of sealtite conduit and figure out what to place inside in addition to the needed wiring to keep the curvature we need rigid. We can use the bulb socket from the original lamp as it is a one piece molded deal ...we just have to figure out how to attach to the extension and to the lampshade. I appreciate your responding and we may find in time that it isn't practical, but we did notice in the description of one of the retail lamps that the extension was wrapped in leather. We figure that we could do that also and hide any flaws in the curvature. The diameter of the lamp is 1 1/4" so we are looking for something to use that is a little larger and would simply slip over it and we could anchor it someway. Anyway, thanks again. The great thing about retirement is that you now have time to drive yourself crazy with projects like this.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2010 at 6:17PM
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Can you post a pic of the lamp?

    Bookmark   January 16, 2010 at 6:47PM
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A linen shade on a torchiere lamp....hmmmmm
I can almost hear the fire sirens now.

    Bookmark   January 17, 2010 at 12:26PM
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to lbpod....I am not using a linen shade on a torchiere lamp, instead I am trying to make a one armed arc lamp out of a torchiere lamp. They sell them with linen shades in catalogs and on the internet so I assume these are safe. I agree that a linen shade on a torchiere would certainly not work. I wish I knew how to send a picture of what I am trying to make, but unfortunately, I have not mastered that.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2010 at 7:24PM
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to jtorres60....I do not know how to send pictures yet but if you go to and key in item 15907 it should bring up a picture of it. I think the description is Arcing with linen shade floor lamp item 15907

    Bookmark   January 23, 2010 at 10:58AM
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The arm of the lamp in the photo is probably made from steel tube. It appears to be made in 4 sections, each a little smaller in diameter than the one before, with the lamp fitting attached at the end. How the sections fit together and how the bottom section fits to the base is not clear. The wires to the lamp fitting run inside the arm.
Getting pieces of tube bent to the right curve is the easy part. Working out how to join them up, how to mount the lamp fitting and base will be the tricky bits. Finish for the steel tube could be either paint, powdercoat, or even chrome plating.
Best of luck, this sounds like a fun DIY project.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2010 at 3:44PM
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