Potentiometer vs Dimmer

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Old 05-19-14, 02:31 PM
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Potentiometer vs Dimmer

I build lamps as a hobby/side business. I make them out of cigar boxes using a dimmer switch to control the bulb(s). I am using a Lutron Rotary 5-Amp Preset Dimmer, purchased from Lowes, Model D-600PH-DK. This runs to a Pass & Seymour 660W Rubb Lampholder. Everything works fine, but the problem is that the center post on the dimmer switch is generally not long enough to go through the box and into the knob, while still allowing the push on/off function. My workaround so far has been to drill a hole that is slightly larger that the knob. I want to be able to drill a hole just large enough for the dimmer post.

That all being said, I can not find a dimmer switch with a a longer post. What I have found are that potentiometer's have a long enough post for my purposes. My question is, is there a type of potentiometer I can use that will act as a light dimmer safely?

Please see an example of my lamps below.
 
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Old 05-19-14, 02:51 PM
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Potentiometers are usually used on low voltage low amperage electronic circuits. Rheostat, the potentiometer's big brother is what I think you mean but then you have heat dissipation problems. . Why not extend the dimmer shaft using a piece of copper tubing epoxied in place. Or better pin it in place by drilling a small hole through shaft and tube. A brass nail can serve as a riveted pin. Old style radio knobs with set screw could be used instead of the dimmer knob if you couldn't make the dimmer knob work
 
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Old 05-19-14, 03:01 PM
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This is a great idea! I got some knobs that do have a set screw that I want to use. I had not thought about using tubing to extend the shaft, and this might work. I need to go find some tubing!
 
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Old 05-19-14, 04:21 PM
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Let us know how it works out.
 
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Old 05-19-14, 09:26 PM
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They also make shaft extensions that can be found at many surplus parts places.

Shaft entenders.

Shaft Collars & Solid Couplings
 
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