Tag Archives: re-wire

Original Anglepoise Lamp Restoration

For a while now I’ve been after an original Anglepoise lamp. The iconic design has been around since the early 30s when car engineer George Carwardine designed the three spring version. To this day, the lamp can be seen in design magazines and stands proud above lesser modern designs.

Once again, I turn to eBay and find an average example of the 1227 lamp, dating from somewhere in the 1960. The Shade has no lip on the rim and the 2-step base has a pressed steel cover over the heavy base material. The lamp is black and in fairly good condition if a little tired looking. The existing brass bayonet bulb holder has a switch that works – but doesn’t feel very positive. Dismantling it reveals remains of a spider and some surface corrosion on the brass contacts.


As this first attempt is for my own desk, I’ve decided to deviate from the original restoration and replace some of the fittings with new alternatives. I want to use a Philips Hue e27 edison screw bulb in the lamp and ultimately strip all the black paint. I’ll then polish the aluminium parts to a mirror finish and possibly spray the base cover in a complementing metallic silver.

The paint is fairly thin so one dose of Nitromors should do the trick.

The lamp if fully dismantled, wiring stripped and retained (in case I want go back to original state) and aluminium parts prepared for paint removal.

Thankfully, within a few seconds of applying the Nitromors, the paint on the shade begins to bubble revealing a clean bright aluminium underneath.

The arm sections require a little more effort, especially at the ends where the joints are – I wonder if the paint is thicker at these areas to allow for wear and tear.

With all the black paint removed I’m left with a clean, plain aluminium set of parts.

The other parts of the lamp; Springs, nylon spacers, nuts & bolts are in good condition and are retained for reassembly later.

For the rebuild, I chose some 3 core, braided cable in a steel grey colour which came from Pendant Lighting on Amazon UK, some new grommets, an inline switch and a chrome bulb holder with shade rings.

I treated myself to a bench grinder with polishing kit from Machine Mart and set to polishing the aluminium parts of the lamp. The wire wheel attachment on the grinder also did a good job on the steel base of the lamp. The polishing kit consists of a rag preparation wheel, a cotton polish wheel and some some metal polishing compound.

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I’m very pleased with this machine, it makes light work of the polishing but it does take a bit of practice to find the sweet spot on the wheel – I launched parts of the lamp across the workshop a few times. Got away with it though.

With a final polish by hand, re-assembly and rewiring was done. The rewire is a little fiddly, posting the braided cable up the narrow bars and feeding on the grommets where necessary took a few hours.

As the replacement chrome bulb holder doesn’t have an integrated switch, I wired in an inline switch on the power chord. Here is the finished article. I’m quite pleased with the result.

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