Edison Bulb Chandelier

The Inspiration

                                                  Urban Chandy Chandeliers                                                               

The Thrifty Solution

TOTAL = Approx. $200

*length/number may vary depending on, A) how long your run is from the outlet and/or, B) how many bulbs you would like in the chandelier.

For all intents and purposes, these instructions are based on a chandelier of 10 bulbs.  All instructions should be universal, with one exception.  The number of bulbs will affect the spacing of the "male bushings" on the wood plank fixture.

Tools & Supplies
  • biscuit jointer (optional)
  • biscuits (optional)
  • miter saw
  • bar clamps
  • measuring tape
  • sand paper (80, 100, 150, 220 grits)
  • stain (optional)
  • wiping varnish (satin, optional)
  • power drill
  • 3/16" drill bit 
  • 1/2" drill bit
  • wire stripper/cutter
  • electrical tape
  • staples
  • twine
***Most of these images were taken out of sequence due to the immense amount of time spent searching/waiting for the correct electrical parts.
Step 1: Cut 5/4" X 6" X 6' pine into three (3) 23" long pieces.  Butt the three (3) pieces next to each 
             other to determine their orientation (grain). 
                 *To achieve shadow lines, sand the front edges (finish side) that butt up to the adjacent                     piece.  DO NOT sand the back side.  You would reduce the gluing surface.  This must be
                   done before you glue the pieces together.

Step 2: On the unfinished side, and with the pieces butted together, mark the locations for the biscuits.
             (four to each joint is plenty).  Cut the biscuit slots into the matching locations.  Glue-up the
             joints (add biscuits) and clamp together.
                 *If you have scrap plywood on hand, use it to sandwich the boards during glue-up. 
                   Clamp front-to-back to prevent warping.
                 *There are other ways to fasten this plank together.  Biscuit jointer is not necessary.

Step 3: Located the middle line of each piece of board (=5.5/2 = 2.75")  The center (C) board will
             have four (4) lines for bulbs coming through it, and the outer (O) boards will have three (3)
             lines for bulbs coming through them. 

             On the FINISHED SIDE of each board, mark the following locations:

             Piece C Spacing: Mark the vertically centered location 2" from the left and right sides of the
                                          board.  With a little high school level algebra (below), you can figure out
                                          the equidistant points for the remaining locations.  For boards 23" long,
                                          mark the locations 8.3 inches from each edge of the board.
                                         23" - 2" - 2" = 19"
                                         19" = 3X (*3 is the number of open spaces between locations)
                                         19/3 = 6.3"
                                         mark the location 8.3" (6.3 + 2") from each edge.

             Pieces O Spacing: Mark the vertically centered location 5.15" (6.3"/2 + 2") from the left and
                                         right sides of the boards. Last, simply mark the center of each board.  In this
                                         case, 11.5" from either edge.

            Once all locations are properly marked, drill ten (10) holes using a 1/2" bit to accomodate the
            male bushings (which the SVT wire passes through for each bulb).
                 *Make sure to drill THROUGH the finished side TO THE back side.  Better to have any
                   chip-out on the back (non-visible) side.

                 ***Special Note: As you can see from the images, I finished the piece first and drilled
                   after.  I didn't have my parts in time and got anxious.  If the male bushings did not have
                   an overlapping lip, this could have been a big mistake.

Step 4: On the UNFINISEHD SIDE, mark the four (4) locations 1" in from each corner of the plank. 
             Pre-drill for the small screw eye bolts (which will be used to suspend the fixture from picture
             wire) using a 3/16" bit.
                 *DO NOT DRILL THROUGH THE PIECE, only a 1/2" or so.

Step 5: Progressively sand the entire plank to 150/220 grit sandpaper.  Ease all the edges.  Foam
             sanding blocks are recommended to sand the shadow lines.  Do not go crazy sanding the back
             side of the plank because it will not be visible once hanging. 
                 *If you plan on staining this project, make sure you sand the end-grain just as smooth as
                   the face-grain.  Otherwise, the end-grain will stain darker.  Generally speaking, the
                   finer/smoother the finished product, the lighter the stain will appear. 

Step 6: (optional): If you're using pine, apply a pre-staining seal to reduce the practically unavoidable
             visual blotchiness of the stain.  Apply the stain of your choice (walnut in this case).  Apply
             wiping varnish in multiple coats, to your liking.

Step 7: Insert male bushings into all 1/2" holes.  Insert screw eye bolts into four corners. 

Step 8: Determine the hanging length(s) of each pendant.  The finished example below has random
             lengths of 10", 12", 14", 15", and 16" (2 of each length).  Cut the SVT wire into lengths
             that are 6" longer than the finish length.  This will ensure you have enough wire to secure
             above the fixture, and connect in a parallel circuit to the rest of the pendants. 
                   *When determining the length of each pendant, take into consideration that the overall
                     height of the plank fixture must be hung high enough so you cannot view the top of it
                     (the unfinished back side).  Also, take into consideration the wiring that sits atop the

Step 9: Slip a socket bushing onto one end of the SVT wire.  Strip about 1.5" of casing off each end. 
             Wire one end to the keyless phenolic socket (and screw into the socket bushing).  Pull the
             other end through the male bushing on the plank and staple/secure it to the back side with a


             Once all the wires are secured, link them together in a parallel circuit.
                  *Wiring Instructions: when viewing the diagram, imagine the outlets are bulbs.  Only
                    focus on black and white wires.
                  *Make sure to leave enough wire at the beginning of the circuit in order to connect
                    to the wire that will go up the wall and across the ceiling to the outlet.
                  *Make sure all connections are COMPLETELY COVERED with electrical tape.

Step 10: Cut the 9' of picture hanging wire in half.  With each piece of wire, thread through the screw
             eye bolts on the short sides of the plank and twist both ends to a hitching ring.  Play with the
             overall length so that opposite hitching rings touch each other.  Join both hitching rings
             together with the Quick Link.

Step 11: Secure a longer screw eye bolt into the top corner of your wall (where the walls and ceiling
             meet).  Secure another longer screw eye bolt into the ceiling at the location you'd like the
             chandelier to hang from.  Using twine, run the line from the floor (below the corner of the
             wall), through both bolts, and cut to the desired hanging length (where the chain connects to the
             Quick Link).  As you can see from the second picture below, there is about 1' of space
             between the top of the plank fixture and the Quick Link.  Worst case scenario, you buy too
             much chain.  Measure the total length of the twine and buy the chain link.

             When measuring for the remainder of the SVT wire, account for the distance from the outlet to
             the corner of the wall where the chain starts, the entire distance of the chain, plus the distance
             from the Quick Link to the connection point on the back side of the plank.  Add on another
             2'-3' because the wiring won't be in a straight line (it weaves through the chain).

Step 12: Hang the chain from the floor, through both screw eye bolts, and connect to the Quick Link. 
              Strip the casing of one end of the SVT wire and connect it to the Bakelight outlet plug.  Weave
              the other end of the SVT wire up through the chain.  This may take a bit of trial and error due
              to the rotating nature of the chain link.  Terminate the SVT wire at the connection on the back
              side of the plank fixture.

Step 13: Screw in any bulb.  Plug in the fixture.  If the bulb lights, screw in the rest.  If not, go back
              and check the wiring.
                   *If hung high enough, you will not see any of the wiring on the top side of the plank.

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