I Wired a $10 Light

A while ago (years maybe) I bought a $10 light at The Loading Dock in Baltimore.

The master closet now has a bare light bulb hanging rakishly from the ceiling.

The master closet now has a bare light bulb hanging rakishly from the ceiling.

I had the bright idea that it would look nice in our newly-built master closet.

$10 from the salvage yard.

$10 from the salvage yard.

The finish on it was vintage brass but it had become pitted over the years.

The spray painted pieces don't look like much.

The spray painted pieces don’t look like much.

I decided to give it my favorite metal finish: metallic charcoal.

Just returning the now-clean glass to the newly-painted frame is an improvement.

Just returning the now-clean glass to the newly-painted frame is an improvement.

After removing all the glass and spraying the metal parts, I rewired it. The original wiring fabric-covered and ragged.

The hardware store had a large selection of wire wherein we found exactly the right thing.

The hardware store had a large selection of wire wherein we found exactly the right thing.

Earlier in the day we had stopped at Clark’s Hardware for replacement candelabra parts. I had tried 3 other stores earlier in the week and was finally successful in finding the parts and wires for less than $8.

The wire was not difficult to guide through the metal tube.

The wire was not difficult to guide through the metal tube.

I threaded the wires up through the stem along with the copper grounding wire that came with the fixture.

The new sockets are repositioned on the fixture.

The new sockets are repositioned on the fixture.

I positioned the new sockets on the base and connected white wires to white and black wires to black with wire nuts.

Black to black, white to white, wire nuts and tape.

Black to black, white to white, wire nuts and tape.

The expert at the hardware store said to also use electrical tape which I did.  I thought it was overkill but then I’m no expert.

Before

Before

After

After

I put all the pieces pack together and, voila, a hanging fixture for our closet which, by the way, Charlie also likes.

What your latest “rewiring”?

High Hopes and the Real Truth

We had hoped to get in a real road trip on Saturday but, unfortunately, my car has been (ahem) hesitating.

The spark plugs are covered by the black plastic engine cover.

The spark plugs are covered by the black plastic engine cover.

Charlie insisted that the spark plugs needed cleaning de-carbonizing.

This 8-inch gadget is a spark plug clean which hooks up to an air compressor.

This 8-inch gadget is a spark plug clean which hooks up to an air compressor.

We bought an air spark plug cleaner, put it together, and mounted it on some heavy shelving.

Spark plugs are hiding under the 4 rectangles (3 white, one black) lined up in  the center of the engine.

Spark plugs are hiding under the 4 rectangles (3 white, one black) lined up in the center of the engine.

Charlie researched YouTube on how to remove the spark plugs from my car.

Spark plug in the top, push the button on the bottom.

Spark plug in the top, push the button on the bottom.

Then he proceeded to clean the spark plugs.

My car has four spark plugs, one for each cylinder (I think).

My car has four spark plugs, one for each cylinder (I think).

After using the machine, a wire brush, and a pointy scraper, Charlie removed as much carbon deposit as he could

We also bought some deep-well socket wrenches to remove the spark plugs.

We also bought some deep-well socket wrenches to remove the spark plugs.

and returned the spark plugs to their proper positions.

She still looks pretty but is not running very well.

She still looks pretty but is not running very well.

We headed toward the lumber yard but the car was still bucking so Saturday’s extended road trip has been postponed until a later date.

How do you vent your frustrations? Turn to another project? Have a cup of tea?

And the Winning Color Is . . .

I asked everyone a few days ago to decide whether I should make my greyish-green plastic urns green or ochre.

The pots are a greyish green color.

The pots are a greyish green color.

The overwhelming response was .  .  .

Honey in back, green in front.

Anduze pots: Honey in back, green in front.

well, not overwhelming. It split about equally between green and yellow.

I bought both matte and glassy paints but I knew I wanted to end up with a glossy finish.

I bought both matte and glassy paints but I knew I wanted to end up with a glossy finish. (Second from the right seems a pretty good match.)

I fell in love with the honey colored urns so I turned my attention to every yellow spray paint there is.

The base coat covers most of the strange coloration.

The base coat covers most of the strange coloration.

I started on the odd-shaped vase with some Valspar Hubbell House Golden Maize that I had used here and here.

I base coated both of these large pots before running out of Hubbell yellow.

I base coated both of these large pots before running out of Hubbell yellow.

I also gave some of the planters this same base coat. Next step: work on the slightly variegated finish of the original Anduze pots.

What’s your spring project?

Another Shorter Road Trip

A few weeks ago we hustled ourselves down to Richmond, Virginia, and found ourselves tied up in traffic for hours and hours.  Today we’re off to western Maryland to look at discount fabrics and to find a waterfall with the expectation that traffic will not be our nemesis this time.

The Wilson Lumber truck has been to our house before.

The Wilson Lumber truck has been to our house before.

First stop on the journey is Wilson Lumber to drop off our lumber order.

Charlie would like to have the soil in his garden tested and has not had time to access the Maryland Extension Agency.

Charlie would like to have the soil in his garden tested and has not had time to access the Maryland Extension Agency.

We’ll swing by Clark’s Hardware to have Charlie’s dirt soil measured for pH and any other information the pro can give us.

I'm planning to rewire this $10 vintage hanging lamp.

I’m planning to rewire this $10 vintage hanging lamp.

I’m looking for two candelabra sockets so I can rewire a lamp for our closet.  I’ve been to Lowes, Home Depot, and Capital TriState lighting supply so far and no one has this particular socket in stock.

A vintage candelabra socket that needs to be replaced.

A vintage candelabra socket that needs to be replaced.

Maybe Clark’s can also help in this department.

The paneling will remain white but the area above definitely needs some color. Maybe I can find fabric to cover it.

The paneling will remain white but the area above definitely needs some color. Maybe I can find fabric to cover it.

Then we’re off to Frederick, Maryland, to find a discount fabric store called Discount Fabric, USA.  I’m hoping for a great selections with deep discounts.  I’ll let you know.

I'm not planning on wading -- just looking and photographing.

I’m not planning on wading — just looking and photographing.

Finally, the highpoint of the trip is finding a natural waterfall in Maryland. I did a lot of waterfall chasing in Hawaii and was not disappointed.  I love waterfalls and was excited to find one here in my home state.

An hour's drive to a Maryland state park on a beautiful day -- who could ask for more?

An hour’s drive to a Maryland state park on a beautiful day — who could ask for more?

The location is Cunningham Falls State Park just north of Frederick.

Today's weather seems to be perfect for a hike in the mountains.

Today’s weather seems to be perfect for a hike in the mountains.

The weather is supposed to be sunny and 80 degrees today.

What wonder of nature gets you excited?

We were not perked or paid for the information in this post.

Here’s Spring!

A few weeks ago it seemed like spring would never get here.

The daffodils in the front border return every year.

The daffodils in the front border return every year.

Now our daffodils are blooming like crazy,

I love these white and orange daffodils -- so dainty and fresh.

I love these white and orange daffodils — so dainty and fresh.

including the white pigeon-eye narcissus, my fave.

We must find a wet, shady spot for these hosta before they get much bigger.

We must find a wet, shady spot for these hosta before they get much bigger.

Some hosta we received as a gift last year are still in the transport tub but coming to life anyway.

I should cut a few stems and take them into the house -- flowering quince.

I should cut a few stems and take them into the house — flowering quince.

Our flowering quince bush is flowering and, since we haven’t moved it for a couple of years, growing to fill the gap between the front border and the lawn.

The tightly-closed lilac buds will open in a few weeks with a glorious scent.

The tightly-closed lilac buds  (center of the picture) will open in a few weeks with a glorious scent.

We’re expecting to have a bumper crop of lilacs this year also because we haven’t transplanted the lilac bushes for a few years.

Daffodils surround the marble-hearth bench in the west side yard along with azaleas that have not yet bloomed.

Daffodils surround the marble-hearth bench in the west side yard along with azaleas that have not yet bloomed.

We wouldn’t have all the stunted plants if we could find the best spot for them in the first place.

3-inch spears of lily of the valley just showing through the soil.

3-inch spears of lily of the valley just showing through the soil.

I even saw the lily of the valley pushing its blades through the dirt.  My favorite.

Do you have a favorite spring bloom?

Let’s Order Some Lumber

Since we don’t have a truck to haul things around in we decided to make a large order for the local lumber yard and have it delivered.

All of our framing lumber came in one large delivery.

All of our framing lumber came in one large delivery.

When we had a contractor he mostly had things delivered by this same lumber yard.

A new 6-panel door.

A new 6-panel door.

We’re ordering 5 pre-hung doors.

The large opening from the conservatory into the dining room needs to be trimmed on both sides.

The large opening from the conservatory into the dining room needs to be trimmed on both sides.  The new windows also want trim and sills.

Our friend who knows everything drew up some rough plans to help us evaluate our trim needs especially around the large openings.

Our friend who knows everything drew up some rough plans to help us evaluate our trim needs especially around the large openings.

We’re planning to trim the large openings into the conservatory and master bedroom similar to the ones in this article.

We also need 6 sheets of 1/2″ plywood for the bathroom subfloors.

We're using 1 by 4 topped with ogee molding for the baseboard.

We’re using 1 by 4 topped with ogee molding for the baseboard.

Lots of trim for the doors, windows, and baseboard which we can have in 16-foot lengths since they don’t need to fit in my car.

A mocked-up wall of shelves in the bedroom.

A mocked-up wall of shelves in the bedroom.

While we’re at it we might as well order the lumber for the master bedroom bookshelves.

The bare master closet.

The bare master closet.

I’d like to order what we need to build the closet but that’s just too many decisions for now.

Do you prefer the planning or the doing stage of a project?

Measuring up for Interior Doors

We still have 4 5 openings in the new construction that will need doors.

The master bathroom door actually shuts it off from the bedroom in the middle of the hall.  The layout is very private.

The master bathroom door actually shuts it off from the bedroom in the middle of the hall. The layout is very private.

The master bathroom is laid out in such a way that even without a door it is very private but a bathroom door is still mandatory, n’est-ce pas?

The bathroom door is the one

The bathroom door is the one nearest the toilet — a wall separates them.

Also in the master suite we need a door  for the master closet shown above.

The master closet will get Shaker-style double doors  like those on the pantry.

The master closet will get Shaker-style double doors like those on the pantry.

Instead of one large door, we’re going to mimic the pantry doors except these will open into the closet so they can stand open without impeding the hallway.

The conservatory closet has two 38-inch openings thus two 3-foot double doors will be needed.

The conservatory closet has two 38-inch openings thus two 3-foot double doors will be needed.

In the conservatory downstairs we have a long closet that will also get the double door treatment.

The mudroom closet has 4-foot Shaker double doors which will be repeated twice on the conservatory closet.

The mudroom closet has 4-foot Shaker double doors which will be repeated twice on the conservatory closet.

Two sets of Shaker-style double doors which will open into the room and make the closet accessible.

The openings from left to right: bathroom, closet closet.

The openings from left to right: bathroom, closet closet.

The final door is an extra-wide (36-inches) door on the conservatory bathroom to make it possible for a wheelchair to comfortably enter the bathroom.

The conservatory bathroom doorway is 38 inches wide -- needs a 3-foot wide door which we'll order prehung.

The conservatory bathroom doorway is 38 inches wide — needs a 3-foot wide door which we’ll order prehung.

The opening for these various doors are different sizes so we needed to find out what size door to order.  The rule is: measure the opening and subtract 2 inches.  For example the conservatory bathroom opening is 38 inches wide, thus a 36-inch door.

If my description of door swing below is not helpful maybe this diagram is.

If my description of door swing below is not helpful maybe this diagram is.

To order the correct swing of the door: Stand with your back where the hinges will be and decide left or right.  Whichever hand swings that same way as the door determines a left or right door.

I bought extra antique pewter handles for the closet doors when the first ones were installed.

I bought extra antique pewter handles for the closet doors when the first ones were installed.

I have door hardware for the double doors but will need knobs for the other two.  It’s always something.

Do you get all this building lingo or let someone else worry about it?