Sometimes I see things at auctions and think "Hum...I wonder what I could do with that!?"
Keep in mind, they were not all clean and shiny when I bought them. They were sitting on top of this ugly little shop cart I cleaned up and reconstructed into a decent little shop cart...and they were NASTY. Truthfully, they were sold with the cart since they were sitting on the cart...so I figured I needed to do something with them!
Before you grumble at the prices of the crafty little items at flea markets, drive an hour or two and spend the entire day, on your feet, at an auction, load everything up and haul it home, spend two or three hours scrubbing your little treasures with steel wool and straight ammonia, spend hours repurposing or refinishing, and THEN complain! Trust me...you will appreciate what the vendors do!
The shop was full of AC and refrigeration stuff and I suspect these are fans from AC systems...but I'm not sure! Someone probably knows. But they no longer served the purpose for which they were intended and desperately needed to be repurposed...at least that is the way I look at "junk."
I decided to turn them into swag lights. You could also easily convert them into fixtures that can be hard wired to an existing light box! Super cool for a bar pendant light or an exterior patio light!
First, clean the dickens out of them...seriously, a good soaking in straight ammonia didn't cut it...it took some serious scrubbing with steel wool, Bar Keepers Friend and ammonia to brighten them up.
Lowe's (and most hardware stores) carry all kinds of stuff for rebuilding and repairing lamps and light fixtures. For this project I bought a swag light kit ($13) and a keyless socket adapter kit ($4).
The little "O ring nut" the chain attaches to was "brass" colored so I hit it with some brush nickel spray paint so it would match the chain!
The first thing you need to do is string the electrical wire through the chain...both come in the swag kit. I just wove the wire through the chain. The wire is split on one end and ready to be wired to the socket...the other end has a plug.
The chain and wire came 12' long. I would suggest measuring your needed length and cutting both the wire and the chain about one foot longer than what you need...that way you don't end up with a bunch of chain and wire laying around.
The first thing I did was "dry fit" all my nuts and bolts through the fixture (fan) before attaching the chain and wiring...that way I could see if the bolt was too long or too short. You can buy threaded bolts in different lengths, so if the bolt that comes with the socket kit is too long or too short, you can usually purchase the right size!
Attach the "O ring nut" to the threaded bolt and then attach the chain to the o-ring. Thread the wire through the o-ring nut and through the bolt and then thread all of it through the fan....
You may notice I added some washers...this was so the "o ring nut" on the top side of the fixture and the socket on the inside of the fixture would fit snug after I screwed it all down tight...otherwise I would have had about a 1/4" gap and they would be loose. (It was easier than going and buying a new bolt!)
Remove the back plate of the socket by removing the two little screws that are INSIDE the socket.
String the wire through the back plate and screw it tightly onto the bolt! Make sure it is all tight!
Attach the two wires (it is actually one wire that is split on the end) to the two screws (one brass, one silver) on the back of the socket and reattach the socket to the back plate with the two little screws (This is much easier if you have TINY fingers...needle nose pliers help IF you don't squeeze it so tight it shoots across the garage and you have to spend an hour trying to find it!)
The swag kit comes with an on/off switch that can easily be attached to the wire. I did not install it since I am selling these fixtures and I have no idea where someone would want the switch...so I put it in a plastic baggy, along with the swag hooks, and included directions on how to attach it to the wire. That way someone can figure out where they want it after they hang the fixture!
If I was a good blogger, I would have hung these in a bedroom over a night stand and staged it all pretty! I am not...I'm just a DIYer who is sharing my experiences...so this is as good as it gets. Looped over the hanging rod in my laundry room...but you get the picture!!!
Personally I think the bottom one would look better with a "flood" light kinda thing...or maybe you could use Edison lights...those are soooo cool! But kind of pricey for something I am going to sell!
Truthfully, this is exactly why I love hanging out at auctions all day, hauling, scrubbing and repurposing.
A unique light fixture that someone will love!!!