Monday, March 28, 2011

Never Again (ok...maybe one more time)

So I "won" this vintage Italian Tole chandelier from an ebay auction back in high bid was $79 plus the $25 in shipping. Tom told me he could re-wire it (mainly due to the fact that the main wire was much shorter than the chain)...but it sat there through January, it sat there through February...he bought lamp wiring...but it sat there some more. Finally one evening I plopped the chandelier down in front of him and demanded to know what he was going to do about it. He told me he wasn't sure he could do it so I should bring it to The Lamp Menders in Minneapolis (wow, really? you tell me that now). So The Lamp Menders replaced the main wire and all five sockets for $136 bringing my total to $240.00. Tom planned on hanging it on Saturday but we had too much running to do so he PROMISED Sunday would be the big day.
And he made good on his promise...but not without him seriously wanting to kill me. Listen to this: So Sunday morning about 8:30 he starts working but discovers the "black" and "white" wires weren't marked so we drive to Home Depot. We were told by a lighting "expert" (I use that term loosely) to buy this $17 home, it didn't work. Went back to Home Depot, found a different lighting expert who actually knew what he was talking about. Told us how to LOOK at the wires to tell which was which. Got back home, work a little more, find that the screw (or as the lighting people call it, "nipple") from our fixture we were replacing was smaller than that needed for the vintage chandelier. Tom went back to Home Depot, replaced the bracket to fit the bigger screw that he also got a home depot. We got the chandelier up, tested it then held the base up to the ceiling to find that the base didn't cover the hole. I went back to Home Depot to buy a medallian. They only had white so I found my ivory spray paint but it was out in the 30 degree garage so I had to wait an hour for the paint to warm up, got high in the basement spraying the medallian and now we're SURE we're good to more trips to the hardware store!

We take the chandelier back down, string the painted medallian, make sure the hole is covered, connect the wires, test to make sure it works, start to screw in the base...only to find that the new screw is not long enough for the darn vintage base thats about 3 inches deep (refer back to pic 1 to see the pretty scalloped base). So down it comes...again...and by this time Tom wants to throw the darn thing out the window (and me with it.) We already know that Home Depot doesn't have a long enough screw so we try luck...they just don't make the 1/4" screws (nipples) anymore, they're all 1/8". As a last resort we head to our local Frattalone's Ace Hardware and they actually have another 1/4" screw the same length as the one we got at Home Depot BUT they have a little coupling that hooks the two together and VIOLA! We now have one that's long enough and that pesky (but pretty) vintage chandelier finally gets hung at 3:30. I don't know why Tom was so only took 7 hours and 6 trips to various hardware stores.

Final cost of the $79 chandelier = $302.00 (and almost my marriage)

Moral of the story = Don't buy a friggin' vintage chandelier (ok...maybe one more, just don't tell Tom)


Jessica at Kids Napping? I'm Scrapping! said...

So worth all of the work! I'm sure it didn't feel like it in the middle of it all. It looks great. It's so pretty!
I just looked at your previous post, too... I love the vintage doilies you found.
...Ugh, I hate it when you have to tell nurses how to do their job. I hope your dad is getting better.

Sue (Vintage Rescue) said...

It's 110X worse when it's something you'd hoped to sell. Last fall I bought a standing lamp with marble base for $20, a pink goose-neck lamp for $5, and a standing fan for $35. Took them all to the rewiring store, and they want $150 to rewire the standing lamp, $50 for the lamp, and won't even venture a guess on the fan (viz., too high). ARG! I need to know how to rewire, or get me one of those "husband" thingies....

jilly said...

Rachel, I may have to give you my dad's cell number, he is an electrical wiz, I don't think between my mom and I that we can count the number of lamps he has rewired, lamps he has built from scratch and lightening fixtures he has replaced (so far here at our house five already and there are a few more to go). BUT, please tell Tom it was WELL worth it, that is gorgeous, I just love it! Definitely worth it.

Kate said...

And here I thought I was the only one who made my husband endure things like that. If it makes him feel any better, you can have him call my hubby and they can go out some night to compare notes.

The chandelier looks wonderful though. I would imagine that he is still not appreciating it in all it's glory, but I love it!

Zita - Mlle Magpie said...

OK, forget about all those hassles (and wow there were a lot :) - that chandelier looks gorgeous all hung up now!!! In a week it will all be a distant memory... p.s. nothing looks as good as a vintage chandelier (my house is full of them)