If I Can: re-wiring George The Funky Chicken

One thing about living in the city, you never know what’ll show up in your alley.  Usually it’s not the best surprise (hint: that’s not Santa…) but sometimes it is.  Tada: George the Funky Chicken!


How could I leave him out there all alone? Yes, I feel sorry for the lamp. So I took him in, cleaned him up, and gave him a place of honor right in the front room. Only one problem.

He doesn’t work.

So, I figured that with my vast knowledge of electrical wiring [kaff] I could figure out how to fix George. And the interwebs didn’t let me down. Mostly because it’s a super-easy project that I knocked out in less than an hour.  Here’s how I did it.

Gut George (aka “unscrew the bottom, unscrew the socket”.)  Ease the old wiring out of the lamp pipe brass tube thingy.

George Wiring Start

How to get the wire out without a wire cutter?  Simple.  Pop open the socket.  It’s a lot easier than it sounds, especially if you see “PRESS” in small letters by the switch.  You can press with your thumb if that’s the case, but a small screwdriver and a tiny bit of leverage will have it open in a tic.

g wire boom

Check out the wires.  Two!  Easy!  Just use a flat-head screwdriver to loosen the wires from the socket, and get those old wires outta there.  Wire it with the new stuff.  I picked up a “15 Foot Cord Set”, which is a cord and a plug.  You can also get all the works – new finial, harp, base caps, yada yada – by picking up a “Lamp Rewiring Kit.”

George wiring

But don’t do it old school.  Do “the loop” (aka an Underwriter’s Knot) to make sure the connections don’t get pulled out if someone gives the cord to much of a tug.  Which one’s the neutral, and which one’s the live?  Instructables has a good what’s-what, so I’ll leave you to it.

If you can, take a piece of your handy-dandy electrical tape and wrap it around the connections.  Then stuff everything back into the socket, and screw it all back together. Or, if you’re like me, you’ll forget to put stuff back on, then forget to re-loop, then forget to re-tape…and have to dis-assemble and re-assemble the thing several times.

g through

And there you have it.  Tada — George!

g no shade

Yes, he needs a lampshade.  And finial.  All in good time, my pretties.  All in good time.


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