DIY Mishaps: Lamp Fault

Christmas just passed our way, and for me that meant a week or more in my workshop, banging out gifts for friends and family. This year, Mom got a floor lamp to stand behind her reading chair. I made a T-shaped stand, with lights on each arm of the T. That meant splitting the cord and splicing it to go in two directions. Of course, all the wiring was hidden inside the stand.

I constructed the whole thing, wired it up, set the sockets just so, screwed in the bulbs and plugged it in. Nothing. Not a flicker. I must have made a mistake or broken a connection in the wiring. I disassembled the base, undid the wiring, re-did the wiring, reassembled the base and plugged it in. Nothing. Frustrated, I moved the lamp, ready to take it apart again, and one of the bulbs winked at me for an instant. I flicked the bulb. FLASH! I flicked the other bulb. FLASH! Turns out, I hadn’t screwed either bulb tight enough into the socket. I twisted them home and the lamp lit up just like it should.

Lesson learned. Always check the simplest solution first. Mom loved the lamp by the way.

Do you have a story that you’d like to share from the frontlines of DIY? Tell us about projects you’ve taken on that didn’t work out and help others avoid the same mistakes… or just give them a good laugh. Send your DIY Mishaps to [email protected]