Sunday, December 13, 2015

Black Pipe Pendant Lamp

I needed a new lamp over my drafting table and decided to come up with an industrial looking black pipe design.

Parts are mostly generic and available from home improvement stores and plumbing/electrical houses.  I found the best prices were Value Brand black pipe fittings at plus free shipping.

Deciding upon 3/4" pipe for a beefier look, the next thing was to think forward about mounting the fixture to a standard electrical box for safety and code compliance.  The mounting holes on the 3/4" flange did not match up with anything I could find.  However, the 1" flange mounts pefectly to what they call an "old work octagon metal box".  The flange also completely covers the electrical box so there will be no need to use some sort of intermediate plastic or wood ceiling plate.  The 1" flange is stepped down to 3/4" by using a bushing... problem solved.

All of the parts come either very oily or covered with an anti-rust coating.  Kerosene cleaned off the coating on the pipe and soaking the parts in a solution of Dawn dishwashing soap removed the oily residue.  After drying the parts with a compressor, they were sealed with Minwax Wipe On Poly.  After assembly they will get a second coat.  Be sure to plan enough time to clean, dry, and coat the parts at the same time because rust will form very quickly.

SPT-1 two conductor 18 gauge lamp wire is sufficient for the two 80 watt lamps planned.

Lay out the parts and run the wire through them before assembly.

This photo above shows the 1" flange, the reducing bushing, the 3/4" pipe, and the 3 1/2" old work octagon electrical box.  The box will be secured to a wood brace between the ceiling trusses.

During assembly, use a square on the work surface to insure that the vertical pipe is aligned correctly with the lamp couplings.

It worked well to begin at the bottom and work up to the mounting flange.

This lamp will use two each of this phenolic lamp socket and ring.

Sand the bottom of the socket ring.

Mix up some 5-minute epoxy and coat the bottom of the socket ring and the bottom surface of the reducing coupling at the bottom of the lamp.

The socket ring and the outside diameter of the reducing coupling were exactly the same size.  Sometimes things just work out.

Hold the ring against the coupling until the epoxy begins to set up.  Before the epoxy sets up completely, it is possible to wipe off any excess epoxy with rubbing alcohol.

Run the wire through the socket mounting bracket, split and strip a couple of inches of insulation from the wire.  Twist the exposed wire.

I like to tin the wires to keep them from breaking when attaching to the socket screws.

Run the ribbed wire to the neutral (silver) screw and the non-ribbed wire to the hot (brass) screw.  It is a good practice to always run the hot wire through the switch.  The ribbed wire is typically used as the neutral.

Before inserting the socket into the socket ring, rotate it counter-clockwise about 10 times so that after screwing the socket into the ring, the wire won't be twisted inside the pipe.  You can add some Shoe-Goo or silicone to the threads before installing the socket to "glue" them together.  I chose not to in the end.  I'll just hold the socket to keep it from twisting while screwing in a lamp.

Here is the finished pendant lamp still laying on the workbench.  Using a continuity tester, all connections were checked.

Hope this helped.


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