How many MeFites does it take to find a clamp for this vintage architect's lamp?
November 13, 2008 11:46 AM   Subscribe

Vintage lamp clamps? I have this red vintage desk lamp, similar in style to an architect's lamp (like this newer version). It has a thin cylinder at the bottom, presumably to fit into one of those C clamps. Where do I find the right clamp to attach this lamp to a desk or table?

Here are a few photos of my lamp: 1, 2, 3, 4.

It has a thin cylinder on the bottom, presumably to fit into a clamp like this or this or this.

Are those the right kinds of clamps? The bottom cylinder is about 0.5" in diameter. I've emailed the companies and they're not entirely sure how big the diameter of the holes are. Do I just have to order a whole bunch and deal with returns? Or is there a place that deals with vintage lighting and might be able to help me?

Also, what's a safe wattage for a vintage lamp like this?

Many thanks in advance.
posted by barnone to Home & Garden (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: My lamp like that has a bottom cylinder of diameter 12.9mm, a tiny slither over half an inch. I would guess that half an inch is a standard size - so my guess is those clamps would do what you're looking for.

For your bulb wattage, my lamp looks a lot like yours and takes up to 60 watt bulbs.
posted by Mike1024 at 12:07 PM on November 13, 2008

Best answer: A lot of these lamps weren't clamped to the table. Instead one drilled an appropriate sized hole in the top of the desk, placed a washer over the hole, and then stuck the cylinder thruogh the washer and into the hole in the desk.

Most of these shroud lamps I've seen are rated for 60W. If you don't find the light of CF bulbs objectionable then they are a good choice as they give off very little heat, even at a nominal 100W.
posted by Mitheral at 12:16 PM on November 13, 2008

Do not give up that lamp! My fiancé has that one - it's awesome, and it's worth it for you to find the clampy part. His is just that: a clamp, with a cylinder sticking up out of the top for the lamp body.

He talked his parents into buying one for me that's like your second link. The plastic clamp base broke in no time. I made one out of oak, using a tiny router thing, that's an OK substitute, but it's kind of a pain to have to make one.
posted by amtho at 1:14 PM on November 13, 2008

Response by poster: Interesting about the hole in the desk. But it's not really possible for my situation!

Thanks for the confirmation that these are more or less standard sizes. I'll order a few and see how they work. And don't worry, amtho, no plans to get rid of these sexy things anytime soon!
posted by barnone at 5:10 PM on November 13, 2008

Thanks for asking this. We have a lamp with a base like that, and lost or broke the clamp some time ago. It's a very nice florescent lamp. Good to know we can get the clamp!
posted by Goofyy at 11:08 AM on November 15, 2008

Response by poster: As a followup, this is the only one that worked. It's the "Grandrich - Adjustable Adie Cast Metal Drafting Clamp" - in case the link eventually dies. The others didn't really fit for some reason.
posted by barnone at 5:33 PM on November 26, 2008

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