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Old 06-11-2016, 10:35 AM   #1
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Default Fixture Restoration

I have a client with a 1920's Spanish home. It has the original outdoor fixtures, which were all wrought iron with mica shades.

The fixtures are in fairly good condition but of course the mica is toast on all but one. Has anyone ever tried installing new mica to a cylindrical style fixture?

We will more than likely send them out to a specialist, just thought I would see if anyone has done it.
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Old 06-11-2016, 01:59 PM   #2
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No idea but I'd love to see before and after pictures.
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Old 06-12-2016, 01:42 AM   #3
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Ditto !
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Old 06-12-2016, 01:44 AM   #4
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Have you tried posting this question in the vintage electrical section ?
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Old 06-12-2016, 02:43 AM   #5
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You can buy mica sheet
https://www.google.com/search?q=mica...h&q=mica+sheet
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Old 06-12-2016, 10:23 AM   #6
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Yeah I googled that too... It seems you can heat it up in an oven and form it to a shape pretty easily. Might be worth it to try a few out, maybe when I am finally broken I can sit in my wheelchair and repair old fixtures!
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Old 06-12-2016, 01:58 PM   #7
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Yeah I googled that too... It seems you can heat it up in an oven and form it to a shape pretty easily. Might be worth it to try a few out, maybe when I am finally broken I can sit in my wheelchair and repair old fixtures!
Soon then? I kid I kid.
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Old 06-12-2016, 02:16 PM   #8
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Soon then? I kid I kid.
I am probably closer to it than I want to admit.... Suppose I should take up surfing so I can be a beast like Mike!
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Old 06-12-2016, 02:19 PM   #9
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I am probably closer to it than I want to admit.... Suppose I should take up surfing so I can be a beast like Mike!
Admit nothing!
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Old 06-12-2016, 02:46 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Switched View Post
I have a client with a 1920's Spanish home. It has the original outdoor fixtures, which were all wrought iron with mica shades.

The fixtures are in fairly good condition but of course the mica is toast on all but one. Has anyone ever tried installing new mica to a cylindrical style fixture?

We will more than likely send them out to a specialist, just thought I would see if anyone has done it.
We do production bending using heat and it's my experience that you're going to need two forms, one for the inside radius of the mica and one for the outside radius of the mica. What you're going to have to experiment with is spring back. The longer you let it cool, the less spring back you get. If it ever heats back up, it will want to restore the original shape. Another option, and I don't know what your fixtures look like, is that if the fixture can be used as the jig, you may not need to make any forms. Or maybe the fixture can be half of the jig (one form) and make something to hold the mica in the fixture while it cools.

Can you post a picture, or several pictures showing different angles, of one of the fixtures?

Sounds like a fun project but I don't know what kind of money the owner is willing to spend. Sounds like they prefer restoration over replacement so there has to be some kind of reasonable budget.

How many fixtures? Maybe you can make your wages on volume to offset the setup time.
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Old 06-13-2016, 12:14 AM   #11
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What area are you in ?

If your in the jersey area there is a lamp shop in Medford NJ that specializes in restoration.
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Old 06-13-2016, 01:20 AM   #12
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The fixture are cylindrical, so I think if you heated the mica up you would need and interior form, but the exterior would be the fixture itself. I would assume also that any spring back would be beneficial do to the design.

I think I'll try a couple and if it doesn't work I'll send them out.
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Old 06-13-2016, 02:08 AM   #13
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The circumference of the circle is the length of the sheet.
( 2 * pi * radius ) or ( pi * diameter )

Can you tell how tight the old ones fit? Did they leave an 1/8" for expansion?
Too loose and it may rattle. Too tight and it may warp or crack.

It should be a fun experiment.
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