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Topic: "Catheteresque" Coffee Urn Lamp  (Read 43683 times)
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« on: August 03, 2003 10:32:34 PM »

This lamp will add a nice institutional feel to any room of your home. ­Alternately, you can keep it at work like I do. ­Imagining myself an artist, I expected my coworkers to thrill at its irony, to participate in its anger, and to walk away mournful of the human condition and subconsciously scarred. ­Instead, most coworkers think it's cute. ­You decide.

Here's what you'll need:
  • An old coffee urn.
  • A light kit, or a fixture, cord, and all the other stuff salvaged from another lamp.
  • A shade

There are only two tricks to making a lamp out of just about anything. ­First, you have to find a way to mount the light fixture. ­Here, just drill a hole in the top of the lid. ­And second, you have to find a discreet (or indiscreet!) place for the cord to exit. ­I was going to drill another hole at the bottom, in the back, but the spout just seemed better.

  • Take it apart.
    Use a screw driver to remove the handle from the lid. ­Remove everything from the inside of the urn. ­Mine had a strainer and other stuff in there. (Anyone have any ideas for what to do with it?) ­Remove the spout at the bottom. ­This may require a socket wrench.

  • Clean it.
    It's easier now than later.

  • Start at the bottom.

    Take apart the spout. ­Run the cord through and reattach to the urn. ­ I had to use pliers to pull out a rubber stopper so the cord could fit through.

  • Drill
    Light fixtures are standardly mounted on something called a threaded nipple. ­There should be one of these in your light kit, or you can get one at a hardware store. ­Drill a hole through the lid just wide enough or slightly wider than the threaded nipple. ­I had the guy at the hardware store do this for me because I couldn't find my 3/8 drill bit. ­Secure the threaded nipple to the lid with threaded nuts (find them in the same part of the store). ­

  • Attach the fixture
    Attach the harp (the thing that hold the lampshade), then the fixture, drawing the cord through. ­Wire the socket. ­You can find helpful instructions at


    If that link dies, do a web search for "wire lamp socket," or check the back of the light kit, or study another lamp. ­Basically, you want to split the end of the cord, strip the wires, wrap them around the screws, and tighten the screws. ­Use an underwriter's knot to keep the cord from getting pulled out from below. ­There's a picture at the link above.

Add a compact flourescent bulb and an ulgy blue shade and you're done. ­If anyone can figure out how to make the spout lever a switch, let me know!

« Last Edit: December 31, 1969 04:00:08 PM by -1 » THIS ROCKS   Logged
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« Reply #1 on: August 04, 2003 05:12:36 AM »

I absolutely love this idea! Mental note: add old coffe pot to thrift store list.

« Last Edit: December 31, 1969 04:00:00 PM by 1062345600 » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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« Reply #2 on: August 04, 2003 05:49:07 AM »

I bet you could raid just about any church and find a couple of these rusting in a closet or basement, too.

This is a truly fine lamp, even inspired. And with all the picturesque "catheteresque" and "threaded nipple" talk, maybe these would sell at local punk craft fairs  Wink
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969 04:00:00 PM by 1062345600 » THIS ROCKS   Logged
« Reply #3 on: August 05, 2003 04:57:35 PM »

i love it too! oh I am a coffee addict.. old and new.. this would be a great accessory for my home! thanks for the inspiration!!  Smiley
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969 04:00:00 PM by 1062345600 » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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« Reply #4 on: August 05, 2003 09:01:48 PM »

That is just plain too cute!
For those of you that need pictures,there is a good 'how to wire a lamp' article on the Martha Stewart site(I know eveil bt hey,gotta get it where it's at!)in the crafts section.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969 04:00:00 PM by 1062345600 » THIS ROCKS   Logged
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« Reply #5 on: August 07, 2003 10:51:26 AM »

Another hit!  Love it, love it!  I have seen many a cute coffee urn in my thriftshop travels but never had a use for one... until now!  Wink
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969 04:00:00 PM by 1062345600 » THIS ROCKS   Logged

« Reply #6 on: September 06, 2003 06:06:19 PM »


this is my real life, right?
« Reply #7 on: September 08, 2003 08:50:07 AM »

Cute idea!

Might I suggest you replant your little plant in a coffee mug? Wink

« Reply #8 on: September 15, 2003 06:46:14 PM »

Cute idea!

Might I suggest you replant your little plant in a coffee mug? Wink


You are brilliant!  Must do!
« Reply #9 on: November 20, 2003 06:41:29 PM »

­If anyone can figure out how to make the spout lever a switch, let me know!

Try a small toggle switch from radioshack..  make sure its rated for AC.. if you can't fit a small one in it, you could try a large on with one of the black plastic tabs that would replace the spout lever.

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