The rest of this post is random stuff.
One of the things I received during the party was an antique mogul lamp. This lamp was actually part of my birthday gift, but my friends who gave it to me were from out of town, and they had forgotten to drop it off, so they remembered to bring it this time. The lamp was in a very sorry state, and the lamp cord on it was beyond frightening. If you look closely, you can see part of the original cloth cord (which is a beautiful dark reddish brown), which is frayed in some places down to the bare filaments, then it's spliced onto a newer plug.
What you can't see is that the original cord is also spliced again on the interior to another pair of old wires (although these were the original wires/splices and they were still in good shape in the interior rod of the lamp). It's interesting to note this, because I had thought that these lamps originally just had a single length of fabric cord that went all the way up into the lamp, but apparently they didn't. They used separate plain white wires, one with a red tracer wire, in the 5 foot (or so) unseen portion.
The candle covers are also missing, and one obviously needed re-straightening.
Another small issue, which I don't know if I can fix or not, is that for some unknown reason, there were 3 holes drilled into the brass candelabra base. Two side by side, and one across. These are NOT original holes. You can see the odd pair on the left near the candelabra (above photo). It's fixable, but it would require a LOT of work. I'd have to solder a patch on the interior body, then fill the hole with either a small cut piece of brass (then solder, grind, smooth, and polish the repair), or use a filler/paint combo. I am probably just going to leave it (ignore it).
The lamp looks to have been partially rewired in the past (candelabras had new wire), but I did not trust any of it, and rewired it completely. I also installed a new 3-way switch (pull-chain). This is the second lamp I've rewired that just had a simple on/off switch, rather than a 3-way for the candelabras. They are supposed to be 3-way, but I'm sure the old switch was original on two of the lamps I rewired. I prefer a 3-way, and I feel safer with a new switch in the case of these particular lamps.
This is the extremely useful (and simple) wiring diagram that I use for these lamps.
The mogul socket is wired separately, and attached to the main black/white leads, and likewise, the two blue lines are connected at the 3-way point with a marrette (wire nut).
For now, the lamp is done, and functional, but I'm missing a top for it (with the mogul socket and shade holder), and 3 replacement candle covers. The loose wire sticking out of the top is for the mogul socket. Also note that when I took the lamp apart (everything unscrews into sections), I cleaned the pieces, and in some cases, repainted them. The base was in very poor shape, and I used 3 or 4 different mixes of spray paint to get the right effect. The "onyx" base disc is actually made of coloured glass (some lamps used real onyx).
And if you've read up to this point, and have no idea what a "mogul" is, and haven't bothered to Google-it, let me just quickly explain. A mogul is another style of light bulb base. A standard bulb uses an Edison style screw base. A mogul base is the same, only much larger. Because of this, you need a jumbo sized light bulb (Mogul bulb). Mogul base bulbs are often seen on large industrial lamps (such as halogen, mercury vapour, high-pressure sodium and metal halide bulbs), but they are also used in these mogul lamps with regular filament mogul bulbs. The lamps are called mogul lamps because of the mogul bulb that they use.
Many people choose to just buy an adapter for the mogul socket, and use a regular bulb in the lamp, but the bulbs are actually very easy to find. Here in town, there are at least 3-4 places that carry them, and they range in price from around 5$ - 15$ depending where you buy them. I made the mistake of buying the first one for 15$ at a specialty lighting shop, and then I later found out that Wal-Mart carried them for only 5$.
These lamps are AMAZING if you're doing home renovations. If they're fitted with a typical mogul bulb (which is also 3-way), they generally run 300-200-100w, plus the three candelabra bulbs (I use 40w but you can use 60w), which, when all are lit, gives you up to 480w (300+60+60+60) of light! Do be careful, though. The mogul bulb gets insanely hot (so hot that it must be used only "upright" like in this style lamp. This is why you'll frequently see one in the background when I'm working on the house. It's as good, or better, than those halogen flood lights on a stand, and way more stylish!
So yeah, this now means that I own 3 of these lamps. Two were free (the one in the first photo with the white shade was from Mom), and one I paid 15$ for, at a yard sale, and it came with the original metal drum shade (you can see that one in the master bedroom in video 2 of the house tour, at around the 3:40 mark).
I thought I would share some photos of the first huge snow storm we've had this year. It was pretty amazing/awful. I didn't leave the house that day. The roads were terrible, and I was practically snowed-in. I would estimate that there was at least 12-24" of snow.
It's a good thing that my porch door now opens inwards...
Even though I'm on a fairly busy corner, this is how the roads looked. I can't imagine how the lesser-travelled parts of town looked. This was taken in the afternoon (the snow ploughs had been working non stop since early morning). The sidewalks didn't get done for another 2-3 days later (and they looked almost like carved square tunnels).
Additionally, all the snow stuck to my screens (I don't bother to remove them since they keep leaves/debris off the window ledges), and I couldn't really see outside.
You can see a lot of the accumulated snow in the house tour videos, which were taken a few days later.
I don't remember where or exactly WHEN I bought these two locks, but they arrived in the mail as a bit of a surprise. I had forgotten all about them. These are two old locks that appear to be NOS (new old stock). They are in mint condition, except for dust an a few webs. They even have the original varnish/lacquer on the faces, no scratches, and all the original paint. It's hard to imagine that they survived all this time. I got them for a song (less than 10$ a piece). As a bonus, they also had the original (new) strike plates!
They are unmarked, except for "P 5" on the brass face plates, but they match 2 other unmarked lock sets, and are also nearly identical in/out to 3 high-end Corbin locks.
This brings up my "stash" of good locks to 7. I'm trying to get mainly just the really high grade locks with cast iron parts for the house. These are much sturdier and more reliable than some of the flimsier locks that I have. I have other good Yale ones, but the spacing on them is WAY different.
I thought I would re-inventory my stash of good hardware, and take a photo at the same time. So far, I have the following, and I'm aiming to have enough for at least the 8 interior doors:
- 7 high-end lock sets (need 1 more)
- 5 strike plates (need 3, I can get new ones that are very close to these)
- 7 1/2 sets of black fired clay knobs (need 1 + extras for exterior doors) + extra stems
- 20 ball-tip hinges (I have enough for 10 regular doors, not sure if I want the same ones or antique larger ones on exterior doors - I have several larger sets)
- 14 face plates (need 2 + extras for exterior doors if I want those to match)
- 0 set screws for knobs, most are damaged (need 20-30 - I can get these on eBay)
Not all the hardware has been cleaned/refurbished yet.
"L Room" updates:
I fixed that huge hole/nightmare from a few weeks ago. Remember this?
Note mogul lamp cord! Haha! Well now it looks like this:
I purposefully left it slightly uneven, because the entire wall looks like a war zone, and a large perfectly smooth patch will show.
I finished sanding/filling/sanding/scraping/puttying/sanding/caulking the two windows. Still far from perfect, but it will look passable once it's painted.
Another view of the wall repair, and baseboard caulked:
Yesterday I scraped and caulked all the baseboards. They're actually in pretty nice shape.
Caulked both door frames:
Repaired/rewired 3 of the outlets. This before and after is NOT an exaggeration. It's seriously looked like this for the past 2 years. Two of the electrical boxes were installed crooked, and too far back from the drywall, so I had to re-install those, and re-patch the drywall around them again.
And just to keep things "real", I wanted to share this photo. Most of the original walls are pretty rough. I patched them and smoothed them as much as possible, and for the most part, they look alright, but if the light is shining on them the wrong way, they tend to look like this:
...and I'm ok with that. I actually prefer this to a perfectly pristine flat (boring) wall. It's part of the reason I wanted an old house in the first place. Some will call it charm, or character, but I see it as history. This house has survived since 1923, and it shows some "battle scars" as my high school friend would say.