Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Pretty baubles

Finally! After almost two years, the guest room chandelier is up!

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Up, but not quite completed. This is the project that keeps on giving.

It was never really a priority, but the chandelier was getting dustier and dirtier languishing out in the shop. Jeff hesitated about replacing the existing ceiling fan, figuring that any male guests would prefer a breeze over a beautiful fixture. But since it's cool weather now, he agreed to give the chandelier a trial run. Who knew it would be such a pain to hang?

I bought this vintage, very heavy, very quality chandelier used. And I thought I got all the parts with it. But it turns out the mounting strap was missing. No problem, we have extra around. Except the threaded nipple for the chandelier is a big, heavy duty one, not the standard dimension for our mounting strap. So we decided to switch the nonstandard nipple out for a regular one we had on hand. But then we couldn't get the extra thick wiring through the new, narrower one. So Jeff had to remove some little plastic ends and try again. Success! Only then, we had to change the canopy cover because the nipple wasn't long enough for the original canopy. Okay, I have some extra canopies around, too. Just spray paint to match and go.

But wait; the extra heavy duty chain links are really difficult to open. No problem; we can use one of the 1/8" quick links from our miscellaneous fasteners box as a substitute. Another spray paint job and we're ready. Uh oh; the 1/8" link doesn't open wide enough to fit onto the heavy duty chandelier links! A trip to the orange big box store results in a 3/8" quick link that is big enough. But it needs a coat of spray paint, too. No problem; quick spray, fan assisted drying, and we're back in business. Not so fast! Now the canopy cover can't fit down over the chain links to give Jeff enough room to complete the wiring.

At this point, I'm ready to call it quits! It's been two weeks with a ladder and electrical and lighting parts scattered over the guest room. I'm starting to think the old ceiling fan was meant to be. But ever patient Jeff persists and manages to wire the fixture up with just a few inches of room to work. Surely we're home free! But after screwing in the bulbs, several of the lights flicker ominously. So Jeff takes the sockets apart and discovers that an important rivet is too loose to make a good connection. None of the big box stores carry the replacement candelabra socket size we need, so now we're waiting on special order ones to arrive.

In the meantime, Jeff let me leave a few bulbs in the sound sockets and I step in and flick on the switch every now and then for a little chandelier goodness. It's enough to see me through to the end of the project!


  1. That sounds like most projects in our house. :) The chandelier is gorgeous.

  2. Yes, isn't that how it always goes? No matter how much time we allot to a project, we always have to double (or triple) it! I'm just thankful we have the room to stash so many supplies and miscellaneous parts. I don't know how you do it with a minimalist decor!

  3. I love the chandelier! And, I know JP would love the fan! lol. What a great story! I know, it must be a real pain for you all. But, wow, what a patient husband you have...all to give you what you wanted! High maintenance, you are :-) kidding! But, it is sweet of him to go through all that. Looking forward to reading the outcome!

  4. Yes, Jeff is the very model of patience. The more difficult something becomes, the more dedicated he is to persevering! It's very inspiring, because I'm rather the opposite and would have thrown in the towel days ago ;-)