Saturday, January 16, 2016

Installing a switch for my work light.

 I need to preface this blog by saying, though I am confirmed D.I.Y guy I almost never do plumbing and only slightly more often do wiring. Those are two areas where I willingly hire a trade specialist.

 My efforts in the shop today reminded me why I hire a specialist. Last week I stuck a work light onto a stand and was pleased with myself. Well, I got less pleased with myself when I realized that plugging and unplugging my light was not really very handy.  My inspiration!, wire a plug into the light's power cord, easy peasy lemon squeezy, right?  Not for me.
Not because it is a difficult technical challenge, but because I an all thumbs around none wooden mechanical devices. If some one had filmed my efforts to install the light switch on Black and White film they could have sold as the sorry of Laurel and Hardy's klutzy brother.

the switch in all its glory, and it works fine.
  To begin the process I checked on the internet to be sure how to hook up the wires, even though I thought is was pretty obvious.  For a switch you only cut one wire, unless you are putting the switch into a box like I did.  So, after thinking about how to do this with out cutting the other two wires, and performing careful microscopic surgery to get the outer insulation off the cord, I realized that all the wires needed to be cut anyway. That was the first thing extra that I did that was a waste of my time.  Next I got the proper plastic sleeves to go into the holes on the metal box and installed them.  I didn't know that the sleeves had a 'thing' in them that grabs the wire and won't let you pull it out again. So I got the wire kind of stuck, I needed to take the wire out because I hadn't stripped enough insulation away in the first place. Once I got the wire stripped and the plastic sleeves to comply with my wishes I realized that I had attached the box too low down the stand.  I took the screws out holding the box  finally got to wire the switch and screw it to the box, of course I had to unscrew the switch because it was in the way when I went to re-attach the box. Then I dropped and lost one of the tiny tiny tiny little screws that hold the face plate on.

  I fumbled around for so long doing a five minuted task that I didn't even lose my temper because I was to busy laughing at myself. 

 The end result is a work light stand with a dedicated switch that is properly wired making the work stand easier and safer to use.  A side benefit is being reminded that anything bigger than this needs a professional.

cheers, ianw 

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