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Lodestone25

Question on running wires along steel

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I've finally finished the metalwork part of a chandelier I've been working on for about a year now and I have a question on the best way to run the wires.  My plan all along has been to just run them along the steel "arms" of the chandelier and then up and into the center piece where they will be wired together (see pictures).  I'm trying to think of a way to discreetly make sure the wires stay "attached" to the steel arms along the way to the center piece, so that they don't hang down and look all sloppy.  At first I was thinking very small dabs of hot glue spaced every couple of inches would do it, but now that the piece is finished (I used several coats of linseed oil), I'm concerned that linseed oil and hot glue might not be the best idea.  Does anyone know if there is a different adhesive that would work better?   Any other ideas on a better way to do this?    Thank you for your help!!

 

Lodestone

 

 

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I would suggest caution.  Wire that's rated for such use isn't made to be hot-glued to anything.  Lamp cord is often wound through fixture chain to protect it and offer a means of getting from here to there.  Your other option is to attach some kind of conduit (pipe) that's large enough to accept the lamp cord.  That's a troublesome point since you're largely done. 

 

In the event you're trying to sell it, a UL listing is typically required unless the local inspector is willing to sign off on it.  

 

Alternately you could opt to keep it a non-electrical chandelier.

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try twisting the wire in the groove of the steel twist? that would keep it fairly snug at the sag point.  if you want a permanent connection you could use some kind of epoxy or caulking, no guarantees of how well they will stick to the linseed finish though.  you could also get some small but powerful magnets and use them as clips if you want a connection that can be removed should something get damaged in the future.  ill let one of the electricians chime in on if putting a magnet against an electric wire will affect performance or not, my gut says no, but im no EE.

 

that's a bloody fantastic chandelier you have put together there, that came together beautifully :)

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I've bought some more attractive lamp wire from 1000bulbs.com. If your wire's going to be exposed, it might as well be some nice-looking braided stuff. :)

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Plastic wire ties (smallest size) same color as chandelier arms.... BLACK?

 

IF you back off about 10 feet and close one eye, you will never see them...

 

Dale

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Thanks for your input gentlemen, it's much appreciated.  I'm definitely going to be running the wires along that twist to help hold it in place, and I think I'm going to try to attach them mechanically in some discreet way, like small zip ties... or another idea i had was burning the paper off of twist ties and using the thin blackened wire to hold it in a couple places.  Maybe I'll try both and see what happens.  

 

doc, do you think silicon caulk would hold to the oiled steel and the wire?  I dont have any experience with the stuff, but that would be my concern.

 

Chinobi, thanks for the compliment sir!  that means a lot to me.  

 

Lodestone 

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removing the protective wire from the ties?  how good is your insurance? ask your insurance company before offering to make electrical devices. This is a bad idea.

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There are some kind of twisted/ braided wires that are ususally intended to be outside and they are even giod looking. They are generally tissue coated and Usually they are fixed with pins in the middle of the braid/twist. Maybe it could be an option...

Francesco

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personaly i'd leave that 1 just for candles then make another 1 out of tube ( arms ) so you can get a licenced sparkie to run coded wires to light fittings .

 

my 2 cents anyway

 

Dale Russell

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There is really no reason to have a licensed electrician run these wires, nor is there a 'coded' wire to run. Lamp cord works fine.the wireing should have been planned out during the design phase of the build. Making one of the legs out of tubing works best. It takes a little extra practice to be able to forge the tubing, but pays off at wiring time. Were I trying to wire that I would likely split the wires where it goes into the twist, then run one of the pair on either side  up the twist. just put a little caulking to hold it in place.

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How about running the black wire around the twist with a little dab of crazy glue gel every so often? (You'd probably only need to use it on the bottom side of the twist to make sure it doesn't hang or droop)
Very nice job  BTW!

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Weld some short pieces of tubing, hidden as well as you can, and run the wire through the short section of tubing to hold it.

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Actually the reason to have a professional help with this is that in some areas that is required, and you may have to have it done to meet UL specs and then have the UL label.  As far as coding:: that can simply be the color of the wire insulation itself.

This is an interesting mix of thoughts from a site that is international.

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There is really no reason to have a licensed electrician run these wires, nor is there a 'coded' wire to run.

really? and to think of the years of training and education I wasted to get my Electrical Masters license :(   thank you for your expertise. While many commercially available lamps and such are assembled by non licensed people, the design is laid out by EE'ss and they are following approved methods with approved materials. Even the DIY kits have been certified. Making it is fine, but getting it installed legally is going to be a problem.

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Steve you're correct. This one is a far cry from the 1920 lamp I was once asked to repair. On that, the original wiring was single wire and the metal lamp itself as the other conductor SCARY................!!  And it was commercially made!

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I have seen post and knob electrical wiring with barb wire (bare wire with no insulation) being used as the conductor. It is not code and will never pass UL standards.

 

Please use caution when you wire the product for use in YOUR HOUSE. It may cancel your insurance. Please be doubly cautious if this is made for others or for sale. When in doubt contact those with training and a license in that field. They can guide you in the right direction. 

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Bill Epps made a lot of lighting fixtures and he always sold them less wiring..And told new owners to have a licensed electrician do that part of the project.

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The idea of welding small sections ot tubing isn't that bad.  If you do it symetrically it could look like part of the design.

I'm confused about the UL standards. i've been making lamps out of stuff since I was a kid, and no one had ever asked me about this. Is there someone who has to approve the work?
For example, I once made a fish tank light using a small candleabra socket and a conch shell. The switch was a simple "in the wire" add on, and the whole thing set nicely above the cover of the tank. Would this need to be approved, and how would you get this approval?

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Just to keep everyone posted, I ended up running the wires along the inside of one scroll-arm, around the spiral, and up into the center cylinder (This was JimsShip's Idea - thank you sir!).  I attached the wire to the steel in three places each by putting a little acetone on the buffer wheel of my Dremel and buffing the oil off in small spots for a dab of Loctite super gel.  This stuff cures in 60 seconds and held the wires to the steel great.  If i didn't clean the spot off well enough (ie there was still Linseed oil in the area), the glue would not hold in the slightest and I'd have to re-buff and try again.  In the end, i think it turned out really well.  

 

Oh, and I had my neighbor (who owns his one electrician company) come by to make sure my wiring was legit and he said it looked great.  so it should be safe as well!

 

Thanks for your input fellas,

 

Lodestone

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Posted · Hidden by Dale Russell, May 28, 2013 - No reason given
Hidden by Dale Russell, May 28, 2013 - No reason given

Loadstone25,

Great job, it came out just fine.

How many experts does it take to wire a lite? None, the government has to give you permission to after you pay them enough money. We get what we tolerate.

Peter

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Just to keep everyone posted, I ended up running the wires along the inside of one scroll-arm, around the spiral, and up into the center cylinder (This was JimsShip's Idea - thank you sir!).  I attached the wire to the steel in three places each by putting a little acetone on the buffer wheel of my Dremel and buffing the oil off in small spots for a dab of Loctite super gel.  This stuff cures in 60 seconds and held the wires to the steel great.  If i didn't clean the spot off well enough (ie there was still Linseed oil in the area), the glue would not hold in the slightest and I'd have to re-buff and try again.  In the end, i think it turned out really well.  

Oh, and I had my neighbor (who owns his one electrician company) come by to make sure my wiring was legit and he said it looked great.  so it should be safe as well!

Thanks for your input fellas,

Lodestone

 

Did you include a ground lug welded to the fixture and a green ground wire to CYA?

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Yep, I have a grounding wire coming down to a copper clamp bound around a structural piece of the chandelier.

Lodestone

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Finished today!  Here are some pictures of it hanging in my dining room.  The wire's blend in really nice, can't really notice them at all.  

 

 
We've got a big dining room table on order that will fit better with it, but for now we'll have to make due with the little one. 
 
Overall I'm very happy with how it turned out.
 
Lodestone

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