Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Reusing a Pole Lamp: Two Inventions

This isn't exactly what the pole lamp looked like, but the wood panelling is an exact match for our old rec roomAs I mentioned Sunday, it was a big weekend for inventions here at Scribbles Labs. Two of the inventions came in large part from a pole lamp. The lamp originally belonged to my grandparents in Halifax (I'm pretty sure about that, but if I'm wrong, I think we can count on Big Momma clarifying its provenance). At some time in the 70s, it wound up with our family (I imagine Uncle Bert fought for it, but he's no match for Mom.) About twenty years later, not long after I got the house, it was offered to me and I snapped it up. (This is why it can pay to be the oldest, you get earlier curfews at every possible age as a child and teenager, but then you get a priceless heirloom offered to you before the others get a chance.) I put it in the upstairs hallway where it cast a soft glow outside the washroom door whenever we had a party. It worked fine for many years, but then it started falling over. I'd mess around with it and set it up again, but eventually it became clear that the spring that kept it taut with the floor and the ceiling had lost its sproing. It sat in the corner until this weekend when I had a brain wave. I could take the middle part with the two lamps and hang them in the corner of the lounge area for soft mood lighting. Then, because I was having people over and it's a bit cold out, I was thinking it would be great to have a temporary coat rack by the front door that I could put up for parties and take down afterwards. But where to get a pole strong enough to hold up a lot of coats and long enough to span the area? Hey, the leftover tubes from the pole lamp, and to extend them far enough, a metal broom handle I scavenged last summer. (People always throw out old mops and brooms not realizing that almost all of them have screw-out poles that can be screwed into new brooms, mops, squeegies, tree saws, etc. which can often be bought for less than the price of a complete new broom, mop, squeegie, tree saw, etc. To mount to the wall, some 3/4" by 4" squares of wood, cut from a longer piece with a hole drilled through to be used as a support for the middle so the rack wouldn't bend too far and fall out of the mounts. (Tip: It is probably easier to drill a 1 1/8" hole with a 1 1/8" drill than it is with a 1" drill.) It worked like a charm. Any thoughts on what I should do with the leftovers?

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