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wingless' NOS Post Lamp Repair / Restoration / Installation


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There was a terrific NOS post lamp that was severely damaged during normal handling, revealing insufficient construction process. This broken lamp remained idle in the original carton for decades (waiting for me...)

 

The lamp is constructed of antiqued copper and brass, w/ beveled glass panes and fluted glass skylight. This fixture has three candelabra sockets and I used LED candle bulbs.

 

The lamp is very heavy. The manufacturer unfortunately designed the construction to depend upon the corner solder joints for upright ribbed copper bars to maintain the structure. Solder is not ideal for maintaining structural integrity.

 

Long ago, during normal handling, those solder joints failed, permitting the lamp to disassemble and some of the beveled glass panels to shatter.

 

My current home "needed" a post lamp, so I was determined to repair / restore this fixture. 

 

My Master VT-750C adjustable 1,000°C heat gun was used for soldering disassembly / assembly, using their 3/8" pinpoint nozzle. This tool was ideal for the project.

 

Once disassembled all the copper solder joints were scraped clean to bare copper. I used normal 60/40 tin/lead rosin core solder and brush on flux during assembly. Unlike the initial assembly I created a very good solder fillet at each joint.

 

Copper is an excellent heat conductor, so I needed fixtures (instead of hands) to hold the parts during soldering assembly. I used binder clips to hold the parts together during the soldering. Those binder clips were perfect for this task.

 

There were three types of vertical ribbed copper support bars. One had the door hinge attached, one had the door latch strike attached and the remainder were "plain", so the placement was important. Each bar had a top / bottom. as the scraped to bare copper for soldering were on opposite sides.

 

My careful strength testing revealed my construction now had sufficient strength for the application. My plan is to remove the fixture (easy) during tropical storm preparation to avoid storm problems / damage.

 

The prior damage included three of the flat isosceles trapezoid windows being shattered. That original window had a ½" wide polished edge bevel. Unfortunately having someone create an identical replacement was waaay beyond the budget for this repair (impossible for me to recreate the polished bevel), so I instead got a sheet of flat window glass and cut it myself. It isn't possible to see the difference, even when standing next to the lamp. The replacement parts cost was minimal.

 

When I tore up my front yard, I ran a dual circuit within conduit to the post lamp location, one for the lamp, one for a convenience receptacle. The post lamp is on a timer w/ photocell, for on at dusk, off at 11 PM. The receptacle always has power and has been very handy.

 

The LED bulbs consume very little power and this post lamp is an excellent addition to the overall landscape lighting.

 

 

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Thanks always for the kind words.

 

These images show the lamp post installation and wiring details.

 

The front yard was dug up, sifted of weeds / roots / rocks and replaced. All of the old / new buried services were changed at that time. Some images show the piles of sifted dirt and the untouched weeds / grass.

 

The 1" Schedule 40 PVC EMT conduit was run diagonally across the yard. My 100' Greenlee nylon fish tape was used to pull my two sets of 12/2 UF cable through the conduit, one switched for the light, the other w/ continuous power for the post convenience receptacle. (All power is properly GFI protected upstream.)

 

At the post location, I dug deeper and compacted drainage rock below the post. If water (which should not be present) ever gets into the post, I wanted a path for it to drain. My hand compacting tool shown in some of the images is very handy for this stuff.

 

The vertical lamp post was slid over the conduits (in and out). An empty 5 gallon bucket was modified to remove much of the bottom, so it could be slid over the lamp post, then used as a form so the surrounding dirt could be packed against the bucket. Once the dirt was compacted the bucket was removed. Now there was a nice cylindrical hole for the post concrete base. Then wet concrete mix was compacted around the post perimeter in this newly formed hole.

 

Dirt was then moved to cover the conduit and concrete.

 

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Deep Compacted Dirt at Post Location

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Compacted Drainage Rock at Post Location

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Conduit Run to Post Location

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Conduit w/ One 12/2 UF Cable and w/ Nylon Fish Tape for Second Cable

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Wet Concrete Mix Compacted Around Lamp Post

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Dirt Spread Now Covering Concrete and Conduit

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With this being the front yard, my neighbors can attest w/ certainty and w/o hesitancy that my conduct demonstrates certifiable insanity...

 

Now that other projects are ongoing I have MUCH less visibility to the spectators. (Plausible deniability) 

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