Wednesday, September 2, 2009

First Light XLI

Things are moving right along with the lantern. Glass has been ordered and should be ready about now. I did a mosey, somewhat grudgingly, around the local Home Depot for electrical parts, and came away with several feet of 16/2 sheathed waterproof cable, and a porcelain bulb holder. This holder is meant to attach to sheet metal, however I was able to remove the internal fixing screws and install longer 6-32 screws, about 2" (5cm) long, which will facilitate mounting the bulb holder on the 3/8" thick lantern housing ceiling panel.

The ceiling panel needed three holes bored - one in the middle for the wires, and two on the periphery for the attachment of the holder. Here's a look at that board after the holes were done - here's the underside:


And the top of the board, where the holder's backing plate fits:


The backing plate installed:


And finally, a look at the porcelain holder itself:


It's nice and small, a clean install - the only pall (excuse the rhyming burst) is that it's yet another 'Made in China' item. I would much prefer to pay more to buy a quality domestically-made piece, but there doesn't even seem to be an option in that regard at the home center stores any more. Everything Leviton sells seems to be from China, or in some cases, Mexico.

This is the bulb - again made in China with no other option - it's a 100 watt bulb specially made for outdoor lanterns:


Here's some details on that bulb:



I guess 'DuraMax' LongLife =" lasts 1 year (asterisk)". There have been light bulbs made in the past that last close to 100 years - funny how they don't seem be producing them. 'One year' doesn't sound like great durability to me. Oh well, ya have to take what you can get sometimes.

I made a paint selection as well:


I couldn't determine from the can's label where the Behr paint is made, but it is low VOC which is jolly decent of them. Considering that I only will use 1/100th of the paint in the can, it would have been nice if smaller cans were available, but again, no such option exists - a quart is the smallest you can buy. One of the points they keep making in capitalism's favor is the dizzying array of consumer choices we're all supposed to have. I grow less convinced about that slogan by the day I'm afraid. The relentless drives for efficiency through standardization and corporate amalgamation would appear to be decreasing choices for the consumer, and quality stuff has all but disappeared from the shelves. The Behr paint might well be labeled 'premium plus ultra' but I assume it to be a merely average product. I imagine good paint would actually cost 'too much', but then again, I don't know jack-all about paint. I tend to think that if it were a really good product, it wouldn't need the hype of 'premium plus ultra' on the label.

I feel wistful sometimes for a mom-and-pop Japanese hardware store. Well, on the bright side, pretty soon a Lowes will be opening up in this area and then I can go and look at pretty much the same range of products, for pretty much the same prices, over in that store as they have at H-Despot. Wonderful!

One place where I have found plenty of choice, but still not the perfect thing, is rocks. Here is one of the candidates at this point:


I dragged this one out of the river across the road from my place. It's a tiny bit small and a bit, well, boring looking. It could work, but I hope to find something better in the next few days.

I have disassembled the lantern down to the post, masked off most of the pieces with the blue painter's masking tape, and slapped a little paint on. I'm certainly no pro painter, but hopefully it will look okay when it's dry:


Tomorrow I will pick up the glass, do a final check on the fit of the glass to the frames, and then glue up the kumiko-frame assemblies. After that, I will commence work on some of the various draw bars and fastening pins that need to be made, along with working on the mortises in the lower part of the post for the threaded rod nuts and washers. All for now - thanks for dropping by and hope to see you again. On to post 42.

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