New entry in my Kilt blog 9/21/2011

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Old Fools Journal: Fixing Stuff or If it can't be repaired it's junk.

If you have been reading my post for any length of time then you know that I am a bit of a lamp freak. Actually I think of myself more as a light freak since I don't limit my interest in light to electric lamps only.
I picked up this lamp at the thrift store for three dollars (USD). It was clean (something you don't often see), it had a bulb and it had a strong clamp but the switch seemed a little iffy.  Clean was good enough but the bulb, socket and portability made it a good value.
On disassembly I discovered that it had a 250 watt socket and a switch assembly that could be taken apart and cleaned up. That little pin on the left of the exploded switch had brazed itself to one of the copper contacts and trying to force it had lifted the other end off the other copper contact.
It was easily cleaned. It actually took longer to clean up the battery contacts and probe tips on my meters than it did to repair the switch.
Reassembled and it works  beautifully.

I have several of these portable lamps and I use them extensively expecially during the winter.  My eyes still work pretty good for a geezer but they do require a lot of light.
This lamp has a permanent storage spot above the dark hole of the aft end of the galley were it will be used several times daily. It can be redirected into the closet on the other side which is a light absorbing black hole. Light goes in there and never returns.  That closet is a scary place. I was rummaging around in there a while back and felt something stiff and furry. Since it did not snarl and snap at me and seemed quite stiff I pulled it out and found it to be a house shoe I got for Christmas in 1972. I'm wearing them now and they still work good. Never mind the mess and the propane torch is an essential cooking utensil.

The bulb is a CFL which I have mixed feelings about.  I find that in daily on/off use they don't last any longer than a quality incandescent.  They do work well for overnight light such as a porch but only if you don't need a lot of light. They get dimmer and dimmer  pretty quick.  I use them in the summer because even though they do create heat it is not near as much as an incandescent and in a close space that is important.  I have switched out the CFL's for incandescent for the winter.  With all of them on I get a nice even heat distribution though out the hovel on wheels. On many days I need no other heat except when it's very cold and in the mornings to knock the chill off.

Now it's time to heat up some of  SWMBO's left over homemade potato soup.  It's not just food it's pure magic and I don't need teeth.


Dizzy-Dick said...

Good job on the lamp repair. Looks like you keep happy in your "den". Glad the furry slipper didn't bite you.

Ben in Texas said...

Must be an old American made switch if you were able to take it apart and clean it. Most stuff now days... well, you know.

Love those gooseneck lamps with clamps, Got a couple here.

Oldfool said...

As a matter of fact it was made in Chinaland. Surprised me. The lamp fixture was oversized, 250w and 250v, the switch was repairable by fat American fingers and it even had a touch of glue in strategic spots to keep the screws from vibrating loose. It was not like the throw away Chinaland distributor (walmart) stuff I'm used to seeing.

Oldfool said...

D D: after I wear them for a few days they will bite your nose.

Von said...

Lovely job!!I love those gooseneck things!

TaosJohn said...

Whoever heard of a 250 watt socket in a lamp like that?!? You have clearly stumbled upon an ancient Martian artifact.

BTW, I just went to Click Clack Gorilla, Bildungblog, Outa_Spaceman, and somehow ended up at Batterfang. I gotta get out more.

John Romeo Alpha said...

Stuff you can take apart yourself, clean, polish, reassemble back to working order, that's just crazy talk. What's next, stuff that lasts? Stuff that doesn't come in a blister wrap package and get thrown away after one use? Next thing you know, you'll be imagining devices that come with detailed instructions which include exploded diagrams, parts lists, and spare part ordering information. Hell you might even be fantasizing about the vacuum tube testing machine and the knowledgeable store owner who would stop by and express interest in your project.

rlove2bike said...

mmmmmmm...potato soup

Rat Trap Press said...

I've got that exact same lamp. I picked it up at a church garage sale several years ago. It goes well with the 1950's Steelcase work table its clamped to right now.