Archive for May, 2010

Electrical Tip of the Day: Light Fixture Restoration 101

May 20th, 2010 No comments

We deal with a lot of historic properties, both on the commercial and residential sides of the business.  On thing that comes up on a regular basis is the question of what to do with those original fixtures when doing updates and remodeling.  In many cases it may be in the best interest of the project to rewire and restore these old fixtures rather then replace them.  Here are a few things for you to consider while making those decisions:

1)  Many historic fixtures can be rewired and grounded to be made as safe as any new fixture you might purchase.  We typically can replace all the wring and lamp sockets in most of these fixtures without changing their appearance.

2)  Replacement reproduction parts, missing glass and “finals”, new shades and trims, and decorative chain can all be fabricated or bought now for these projects.  We even have suppliers who can match and remake the old “slumped” glass panels and faceted hanging “jewels” for fixtures.  We can even costume cut and replace stained glass panels!

3)  To maintain that vintage look we can get new UL listed lamp cord that still has the old tweed cloth covered outer casing – we can even get vintage reproduction cord ends and switches.

4)  On the commercial side of things we can re-build old florescent fixtures / outdoor lanterns / signage lighting / goose necks / and old shop fixtures, using  modern parts and materials to make the efficient and safe.  We can even convert old gas fixtures to electric or refurbish old gas fixtures to be actual working gas lights again!

5)  We typically recommend that the original finish, know as the patina, be left undisturbed on a fixture – particularly if it is of historic value.  However – if we need to take it back down to metal, get it bead blasted and structurally repaired, then stat from scratch with a new powder coat or plating we can do that as well.

Here are some pictures of some fixture projects we have had in the shop – lets us know if there is anything we can help you with!

german light re-fit

peoples brew fixture

new lamp socket - bocker fixturebocker fixture re-wiregas light re-fit

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Are you using “ELITE” contractors? Here is our A-TEAM

May 13th, 2010 No comments

In this day an age of low bids, trunk slammers, poor workmanship, and a general lack of professionalism in the trades finding the right folks to do work with can be a challenge.  It comes as no surprise that we get asked for contractor referrals all the time.  Naturally this leads to us keeping a list of referable, reliable, trustworthy companies that can deliver a quality product and keep to a time table.  Here is my “GO TO” list – the people that I  have come to trust, who consistently meet my expectations and take great care of our clients.  I will personally vouch for these companies – this is my A-TEAM when it comes to local small contractors.

The A – TEAM


BRENNECO Plumbing (765-448-6190) > Randy Lynch

MECKO’S Heating and Cooling (765-447-7555) > Dave Mecklenburg

ARNIE COOK Roofing – residential and commerical roofing / windows / siding (765-420-7663) > Arnie Cook

ARTISAN ELECTRIC (765-414-3913) > That’s me – Chris Voglund

HAGUE QUALITY WATER – water conditioning equipment sales and installation (765) 538-2549 > Steve Sidel

HENERY POOR LUMBER – building materials / custom wood / kitchen and bath supply (765) 474-1388 > Jay Andrew

KIRBY RISK SUPPLY – all things electrical / lights / fans (765) 448-4567

CARPENTER’S PAINTING – exterior paint and restoration (765) 430-5560 > Bryan Carpenter

R.DOUGLAS PAINTING – high end interior paint (765) 412-4621 > Gaius Douglas

ECODOMIA – steel frame homes / general contractor (765) 418-7117 > Chris Xioufarides

SIMON CONSTRUCTION – general contractor (765) 567-2764 > Sam Simon

WYATT COMMUNICATIONS – phone and com tech support and supply (765) 447-6545 > Bill Wyatt

TRI-TECH CONSTRUCTION – commercial buildings / cement work / crane service / overhead doors (765) 448-7994

KJG ARCHITECTURE – full service architects and engineers (765) 497-4598 > Kelly Good

K.L. SECURITY ENTERPRISES – fireproof data and document storage 1-866-867-0306 > Johnny Klemme

BECK’S AUTOMOTIVE SERVICE CENTER – all things car and truck (765) 447-9459 > Robert Hancock

MAXIMUMMEDIA – media / web / graphic design and consulting (765) 413-8923 > Noah Mattern

JP VIDEO PRODUCTIONS – all things video (765) 269 – 9692 Jay Patzschke

IS PHOTOGRAPHIC – all things photo (765) 420-9621 > Dave Mason

AUTO GLASS EXPRESS – all things auto glass (765) 446-7900 > Ron Whitaker

EDGE IT SOLUTIONS – all things IT (765) 807-6121 > Ryan Edgell

OUTDOOR ROOMSCAPES – all things outdoor kitchen (574) 965-2009 > Andy Schwindler

HAYS and SONS RESTORATION – emergency fire / water / flood /smoke / wind / tree / roof issues (765) 412-7048 > Greg Kreinbrook

If you have any questions about who to use for a project or how to find the right contractor for a job let me know – I am happy to help!   Also please feel free to check back in from time to time as we are always updating the list as a local resource.

Best Regards – Chris Voglund