Overview

an assortment of old pulleys
Photo: Ryan Benyi
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Inspired by a $500 industrial-look fixture in a catalog, I made this sconce for a fraction of the cost using a barn pulley. At $22, it wasn't the cheapest pulley, but it was clean, had a nice patina, and was stamped "Myers O.K." on the side. Such maker's marks add value and can also reveal a pulley's age—mine dates to the 1920s. A second, smaller screw-base pulley and the cast-iron bracket were $8 at a garage sale, and the cloth-covered cord, brass light socket, and Edison-style bulb totaled $42 from a lamp supply shop. To protect the bulb and yourself (it can get hot), you might consider adding a metal bulb cage.

Shown: Pulleys cost from $3 to $75. Clockwise from top: Dual-sheave industrial pulley; nautical wood block with hook; well pulley; screw-in shade or clothesline pulley; and barn pulley.
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    Tools List

    • cleaning rag
      Rag
    • wire strippers
      Wire stripper
    • Phillips screwdriver
      Screwdriver
    • tongue-and-groove pliers
      Pliers

    Shopping List

    Large pulley

    Small screw-base pulley

    Cast-iron bracket

    Beeswax polish

    WD-40Cloth-covered lamp cord

    Brass light socket

    Lamp plug

    Jute twine

    Edison-style bulb

    Metal bulb cage(optional)