Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Lighting arrestor's table light

Back in the late 90s, I made a pair of these from parts of our old farm house for our younger son, Matt. The base was a bit small and light, so they were a bit easy to tip, being tall. Time for an update.

To add weight and stability, I made a new wider bottom part from 1 inch thick oak.
I was not sure if that would add enough stability, so I made provision to add weight if needed.

I did that by making the wider base part from 4 mitered pieces, leaving an empty space in the middle. I figured I could add piece of tiles or whatever else I had on hand that would do the trick.
My first thought was lead, but we all know that would make them heavy for sure, but also unsafe...

The corners are mitered and re-enforced by a biscuit.
Judging by Rudy's face, I did those a few months ago :-)

Both pieces screwed from the bottom.

Then after sanding, sprayed painted

I'm also hedging my bets by changing the lamp shades by smaller ones, in a bid to make them less tippy.

And while I was rejuvening them, I decided to add some hi tech lighting to them :-)
Bought a pair of Homebrite smart LED bulbs, controllable via smartphones using Bluetooth V4 technology. 800 lumens using 9 watts each for a 60 W equivalent bulb. Total 120 Watts equivalent light output for a mere 18 Watts, gotta like it :-)

The wooden bases are made of oak, the lighting rod holders are brass, the rods copper and the insulator, molded white glass.

Somebody is trying to help me this morning with my project...
Now if only I could find where he put the bag of screws I had for them...

The rods and holders are verdigris from years of being on top of our house. So did they do their job protecting our house?
Debatable, we got hit twice and never again after I took them down...
Hence why we gave them the nickname "lighting attractors" :-)

Me and Heather and our critters standing in front 
of our 150+ years old farm house, mid 90s.
My brand new "was to be retirement" workshop in the background.

The last time we got hit, mid 80s, we dutifully unplugged electronics to protect them before the storm.
The lighting bolt jump off the power receptacle and hit the stereo cables from our brand new Panasonic portable VCR (PV6500K) to our older stereo. And where did it go? To the new VCR of course and totally destroyed the audio outputs. I rebuilt it, but could never get rid of a low background hum grrrr.

That's when we decided to take them down...

Years later we sold the house and moved to Ottawa. A small part of the house where the kids grew up went on to live as table lamps, and now they have been rejuvenated and brought into the 21st century.

Our son Matt being presented with his certificate of appreciation from the RCAF in recognition of the important support, family members make to an effective Air Force, at my retirement ceremony. Strong family support is what enables us to do our job without worrying too much while deployed.

So after two trips to the hardware store, strip a brass screw, replaced and replace one socket/switch assembly, could not find the bag of parts that the dog took off with, and last minutes paint touch ups... Got it done with hours to spare, phewwww :-)

This socket has a kaput switch, to be replaced

Lightning rod was cut and a section of thread rod was steel epoxy glued, 
with a nut to prevent the exposed thread to be pushed in.
That was done more than 20 years ago, so I'll say it's holding pretty good.

Detail how the glass insulator is held on the quad legs assembly 

Modified base. Much more sturdy and no longer tippy
Yes the lighting rod is inverted. 

The pairs of lamp re-united, and yes, 
they are Asymmetrical :-) 

Happy 37th birthday Matt.

Bob, still looking for that bag that Ruddy took off with??


  1. The lamps shades are a good match. You couldn't run the cord down the tube?

  2. No, the rod being copper and hollow, it would have weaken it too much if I left the spiky ends, which i did and so the rod is inverted in the holders.

  3. Bob,

    Good story, what made you decide to move?


  4. BTW, Rudy dresses better than I do, looks better as well.


  5. It was a big house, once the kids moved out, the cats and the dog passed on, it was time to downsize. Got promoted and posted that solved that problem. We would have liked to stay longer in Ottawa, but got promoted and posted again 4 years later.
    When we were in Bagot similar scenario except that I turned down my last promotion to come here to retire.
    Bob, the traveller.

  6. LOL Ken, rudy got quite the wardrobe, we even have matching outfits... :-)

  7. How were those litghning attractors grounded when on the roof?

  8. Hi sylvain
    They had a heavy multi-twisted copper cable running all the way to the ground into a long rod buried deep attached to a mesh about 3 ft or so underground.
    Not sure i remember if the rods were kept isolated from the stands or not. What you see is a shorthen version of the stand modified for my needs and the rods ate upside down.