I don’t know if you can tell, but I’ve been on a diy lamp kick for several months now. Everywhere I go, I see objects that are just calling out to me…Make me into a lamp.
This railroad tie was no exception. This little beauty was just laying in the weeds minding it’s own business when it was spotted by me, aka Scavenger Chic , on a Father’s Day hike.
I don’t know about the railroads near you, but the ones near me are very messy. When the railroad is finished with a tie, they don’t haul it off, they just leave it next to the rails to rot.
For the most part there is absolutely nothing I can do with an old full length tie. They are way too heavy to budge, but this little beauty, measuring only 17″, was actually movable.
Noticing me oogling my little tie, my wonderful, sweet, youngest son, gallantly offered to carry my treasure out of the woods. (that’s him photo bombing my picture) I protested a bit, since we were still a mile from the nearest road, but he insisted and I really did want it. Where was my husband at this point? I don’t know, but I think he was ignoring us.
So you would think that would be the end of the story since I made that cute little tie into a lamp. Almost…it turns out that that little tie was home to hundreds of ants who apparently did not like having their home moved. They showed their disapproval by crawling up my sons arms. It did not take him long to tell mom, forget the tie you are on your own. Maybe if it had been Mother’s Day instead of Father’s Day….
It wasn’t until a month later when I was in the area again, that I thought I would give it another go. I packed up a backpack that I thought it would fit into and made the trek back down to the railroad tracks. For some reason nobody else had tried to salvage it, it was right where it was thrown the month before. This time when I picked it up, no ants showed their beady little heads. Apparently they had all abandoned ship when their house was moved the month before.
It took a little effort to haul that little piece out of the woods. While it felt like 50 lbs of dead weight, it was really only 30.
He is a little on the fuzzy side. Guess where the ants made their home.
Anyway, after all that effort you would think I would start in on my lamp right away. Not quite. My little tie was taken out of my car and placed in the garage. Right about the same time, my middle son and his wife moved out of their apartment in Philadelphia and while they were looking for a permanent home all their stuff made its way into our garage.
On the far back wall sits my little piece of railroad tie. (It’s also where my stash of pallet wood is, but that’s another story)
So now several months have passed…my son has found a cute little home, we can park in the garage again and my railroad tie is just sitting there waiting for me.
First thing I had to do was take a palm sander to my tie. This got rid of a lot of the dirt, splinters and fuzziness.
A hole was drilled down the center of the tie.
Using a wire taped to my lamp cord, I was able to pull the lamp cord through the base.
A threaded nipple was inserted and attached with a lock nut.
For more complete lamp wiring instructions visit my How to Wire a Lamp post here. It has lots of pictures.
The underwriters knot is tied, the cords are screwed into place, now it’s just a matter of snapping into place.
While I think it looks pretty good here, my little friend was a Christmas present for the two that clogged up my garage space for a couple of months. I hope they like it.
and I was featured at