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Topic Title: Due to injury looking at doing light fitting restoration and repairs
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Created On: 21 February 2014 11:18 PM
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 21 February 2014 11:18 PM
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antric2

Posts: 1081
Joined: 20 October 2006

Evening,
Due to an injury I have picked up I am due in hospital for an op with a an apparent initial recovery time of at least 6 weeks minimum before I can have physio to get me back up to work so could be limited in work function for a while.
So, to earn money whilst sat down I am going to push a service of repair and restoration of light fittings.
I have for afew years taken on mains cable replacement and a couple of transformer replacements but I have only just realised how many of these sort of repairs I have turned down over the years.
It is surprising how many people want lights repaired rather then cost effectively replacing.

So, my query is what guide lines do I need to work to if I do many repairs or refurbs. Is just standard PAT test cert enough,for example.
I am even thinking of making lights out of large bottles as novelty units so how to I go about lights from scratch.
For example many old fittings will require earthing\cpc connecting so changing electrical character of the fitting.
Do any of you out there repair fittings or even make lights\fittings.
Any advice greatly appreciated.
What is the CE mark you see on most lights and lamps.
Regards
Antric
 22 February 2014 09:36 AM
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SKElectrical

Posts: 910
Joined: 01 February 2009

My guess is you're asking the wrong forum. But I reckon as long as you follow a safe working practice and follow a design that has considered the safety of the finished product, and assess the safety at the end - then you will likely be complying with H&S regulations. It would be worth reading the ACoP for 'Control of substances hazardous to health' (free pdf, just google it).

I have come across some incredibly dangerous fittings, most notably the tiered champagne glass chandelier, and its variants.

Get well soon.
 22 February 2014 02:03 PM
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largelunchbox

Posts: 376
Joined: 06 July 2008

making your own fittings is something i would be giving a very wide berth, i know you need to make some cash but the mine field of problems this could make for you just isnt worth it, if someone was to get a shock or worse still get electrocuted from one of your lights, is going to make your life hell.
 22 February 2014 03:20 PM
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weirdbeard

Posts: 1623
Joined: 26 September 2011

Hi Antric, sorry to hear that, hope you have a speedy recovery!

As with most things it's not the paperwork that makes the job a good one, so I wouldn't worry too much about that side of things - there's probably no-one better to effect repairs/restoration to a light fitting than a conscientious electrician with a bit of time on their hands!

Good luck
 22 February 2014 03:21 PM
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weirdbeard

Posts: 1623
Joined: 26 September 2011

Originally posted by: largelunchbox

, if someone was to get a shock or worse still get electrocuted from one of your lights, is going to make your life hell.


Sounds no different to any electrical work!
 22 February 2014 06:21 PM
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redtoblackblewtopieces

Posts: 208
Joined: 10 January 2013

Good luck to antric and I wish you all the best , I have in my time had two injuries that kept me out for 3months each time , luckly I was paye at the time,but its a good time to hit the books to stop going mad .
Kevin

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Compliance by Approved Documents
 23 February 2014 09:46 PM
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Zs

Posts: 3011
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Antric,

The desire to make light fittings was the very thing that bought me into this industry and I say go for it while you are off the big tools.

Why not?

You do need to be scouring the competitors web sites and I suggest having a look at the David Canepa Lighting web site. Last time had dealing with him he was looking after Kevin Mc Cloud Lighting and either way it will give you an idea of the expensive end of the market for individual fittings sold without lighting design services attached.


But, don't get too excited. The artisan market is just that and whilst you might sell the odd piece for £600 or so, most of your time you'll be bringing in £60 or £100. Very hard work. Remember always that a one-off hand made fitting may not be exactly like the photo you post and people send them back if they are not identical.

But if you are about to be home-ridden then sure as hell go for something like this.

Relevant British Standards apply and will usually apply to your component parts.

A word of advice from an artisan....if it looks to the buyer as though they could knock it up in their shed themselves then they will not buy. You must include a normally inaccessible skill or your design will be stolen and you won't sell it yourself. In my case....qualified welder at your service ( but I am keeping it stashed away for the future). Have a good look at UV bonding too, that's not inaccessible to onlookers but believe me, nobody has ever stolen that one from me because they don't quite know what they are seeing. It is amazing.

No, not the old bottles......you can do better than that pal.

Yes, do it....but never, ever, do a craft fair

Edit: I forgot. Restoring chandeliers is easy but takes so much time that it might not be worth it for you. You need to know that they always look much better but never like brand new after a restoration. Test the wiring before you pull it out in case it is good. Use a lubricant for pulling through any new wiring. Get loads of tiny drills because you are going to be earthing these fitings and need smart connections. I have an artists air-brush with small compressor and I run mild soapy water through it to clean the brass. The glass dangly bits go very carefully in the sink and get polished and then new wires attached which you will find as something called 'findings' on jewellery web sites. Gold leafing is a bit of skill for re-zizzing the metal work and serves me well. Takes practice and training though, hence time. It is not hugely profitable but it might keep the wolves form the door while you are in recovery.

Zs

Edited: 23 February 2014 at 10:09 PM by Zs
 23 February 2014 10:33 PM
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peteTLM

Posts: 3217
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Sorry to hear about your troubles Antric, keep your chin up fella.

Exactly a year ago i was on and off work for 2 months having a broken jaw and face bones.
Being a stubborn !"£$% i went back to work after 4 days to scare some customers.
Just dont rush it, all the best.

-------------------------
----------------------------------------
Lack of planning on your part doesn't make it an emergency on mine....

Every man has to know his limitations- Dirty Harry
 23 February 2014 11:18 PM
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antric2

Posts: 1081
Joined: 20 October 2006

Thank you all for your replies and comments.
Zs, again some very good points for me to simmer over and I agree about the bottles its just that I was looking at a few big bottles desperate to think of a way to make money and had a Blue Peter flashback moment. I dont think my patience will stretch to chandalier glass bits though!!!

Although not a serious injury, as such,(hip cartlidge torn in 3 places) it has become a really disabling and very painfull injury that has affected my job and day to day routine since it happened.
I have some top workmates who have carried me along a bit and helped me out with my work so as I didnt loose any, despite being busy themselves and they have still asked me to work with them despite not being 100% so consider myself very lucky.
It has made me realise that I need to look at alternative\supplimentary career or activity that can bring money in but I will be ok for a few months luckily.
My problem will be if recovery becomes months longer than expected.
I am surprised that the lighting repair industry as a small business is not biggar than it is though.
Again, thanks for your input.
Regards
Antric
 24 February 2014 08:18 AM
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dickllewellyn

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All the best for a speedy recovery Antric.

Light fitting restoration can be great fun, and very rewarding. I was given a pile of bits to restore a few years ago which turned out to be an antique baccarat crystal chandelier worth a fair bit. I had great fun and managed to source all original crystal pieces (at great cost!). The chandelier had been converted from candle with some lovely wooded pegs with lamp holders and some nice hair connections. I used loads of heat shrink, and plenty of black twin flex along with some bronze braided twisted flex supply. I managed to find a blacksmith to make me a new ceiling cowel to match, and picked up some second hand chain.

All in all, it cost me a fortune and a lot of time to strip, clean, figure out the design and rebuild it. I recouped my costs, but didn't earn a fortune! Always in the back of my mind too was that my van insurance only covers carriage of my own goods, so if anything happened I might be well out of pocket!

All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed the work.

I remember reading a book about sheds once, and there was a guy from the Middle East who was over here and was made redundant. He wanted to find something he could do in his shed to make some money, and lighting renovation was what he did. He has restored some fantastic fittings in his time, and every day is enjoyable. He earns plenty enough to live and support his family.

Good luck whichever way you go.....

-------------------------
Regards
Richard (Dick)

"Insert words of wisdom and/or witty pun here"
 24 February 2014 11:08 AM
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perspicacious

Posts: 7251
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"I remember reading a book about sheds once"

My, how the winter evenings must rush by Dick

Yes, I do realise the irony with my esoteric collection of books, magazines, cards, maps and comics

Regards

BOD
 24 February 2014 11:11 AM
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dickllewellyn

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Oh yes. The humble shed is a fascinating subject!

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Regards
Richard (Dick)

"Insert words of wisdom and/or witty pun here"
 24 February 2014 05:13 PM
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amandalewin

Posts: 153
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Don't knock the bottle light fittings. Interior designer spec'ed some on a job we just did and they were 200 quid a piece.

-------------------------
Amanda

'At some point we all must chose between what is right and what is awesome'
 25 February 2014 08:00 PM
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antric2

Posts: 1081
Joined: 20 October 2006

Originally posted by: dickllewellyn





................I remember reading a book about sheds once,
.....

I remember reading a book about sheds once"

My, how the winter evenings must rush by Dick

Yes, I do realise the irony with my esoteric collection of books, magazines, cards, maps and comics

Regards


BOD

Hiya Richard
Thanks for replying but your comment about reading a book about sheds has and will make me smile now each time I think of it and with it the very dry response from BOD.
Was it on the shelf next to ' The different Shades of White Paint' by John Stone by chance......

Sorry, dont be offended,I couldnt resist, as I only gest as you state you only read it once!!!! Thats what I like about this forumn, honesty,sense of humour and advice.
Regards
Antric
 25 February 2014 08:25 PM
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dickllewellyn

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-------------------------
Regards
Richard (Dick)

"Insert words of wisdom and/or witty pun here"
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