How to Rewire a Lamp
A few inexpensive supplies and the right connections can make an old lamp new again
When you purchase an antique torchere, such as the one dissected here, or any vintage floor lamp that has not been restored, inspect it thoroughly to be sure every part is in working order. After time and extended use—or disuse—the sheathing (called a jacket) that covers and protects the wires inside the electrical cord may be cracked or frayed, or completely exposed. The prongs on the plug may have corroded, and the switch may not operate correctly.
Overview Diagram for Rewiring a Lamp
Always unplug a lamp before attempting any repairs.
Once it is unplugged, take the lamp to a hardware store to determine what type of cord and plug will suit it best. Electrical cord may be flat or round. A flat cord will take a clamp-style flat-cord plug; a round cord will require a two-prong round-cord plug.
A socket is composed of several parts: an outer metal shell; an insulating sleeve; the threaded socket with its switch and two screw terminals (one silver, one brass) to which the two wires inside the cord attach; and an insulated cap, which protects the terminals.
A two-prong, round-body plug is composed of several parts, too: the plug body, the shell, and the cord clamp. A clamp-style flat-cord plug comes in two pieces, a core with prongs attached, and a shell.