Floor Lamp Height vs. Reach: Plumbing Fitting

Update: Welcome Adafruit! The reshaped elbow shown here eventually got threaded adapters for the tubing and an awful paint job.

The floor lamp with the invisible / non-tactile controls moved to a different chair, where it didn’t have quite enough reach and too much height. Knowing what was about to happen, I spliced a JST-SM connector into the wire inside the tube:

Floor Lamp - base wiring JST-SM connector
Floor Lamp – base wiring JST-SM connector

After trimming off all the extraneous bits, the larger half of the connector (male pins) fits through the tubing and the smaller half (female sockets) barely fits through the bottom bushings.

It turns out half-inch copper pipe fittings (ID = 15.9 mm) almost exactly fit the tubing (OD = 15.7 mm):

Floor Lamp - copper 45° elbow
Floor Lamp – copper 45° elbow

A quick test showed the 45° (actually, it’s 135°, but we’re deep into plumbing nomenclature) positioned the lamp head too high and with too much reach:

Floor Lamp - gooseneck exercise
Floor Lamp – gooseneck exercise

So shorten the tube attached to the head and deburr the cut:

Floor Lamp - tube deburring
Floor Lamp – tube deburring

The 45° fitting is too high and a 90° fitting is obviously too low, so cut a 20° slice out of a 90° fitting:

Floor Lamp - copper 90° elbow - 20° cutout
Floor Lamp – copper 90° elbow – 20° cutout

Cut a snippet of brass tubing to fit, bash to fit, file to hide, buff everything to a high shine, silver-solder it in place, and buff everything again:

Floor Lamp - copper 90° elbow - 20° fill strip
Floor Lamp – copper 90° elbow – 20° fill strip

The 5/8 inch aluminum rods serve to stiffen the fitting, smooth out the torch heating, and generally keep things under control.

Wrap the obligatory Kapton tape around the butt ends of the tubes to fill the fitting’s oversize hole, put everything together, and it’s just about perfect:

Floor Lamp - copper 70° elbow - installed
Floor Lamp – copper 70° elbow – installed

I immobilized the fitting with black Gorilla tape, but it really needs something a bit more permanent. One of these days, maybe, a pair of setscrews will happen.

The additional reach required a little more counterweight on the far side for security, so I added the broken stub of a truck leaf spring. It should be secured firmly to the base plate, but no tool I own can put a dent in those three pounds of spring steel. Maybe it’ll merit a fancy enclosure wrapped around the base?

5 thoughts on “Floor Lamp Height vs. Reach: Plumbing Fitting

    1. Admittedly, duct tape (even Gorilla Tape) is a poor substitute.

      I’m coming up with a justification for knurling + threading + JB Weld, so all hope is not lost.

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