Raku ceramic fired lamp

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repairfair Staff asked 4 months ago

I have a raku fired ceramic lamp that has broken at the point where the metal light bulb/lamp shade are attached to the ceramic lamp base (epoxy solution?).  The light bulb holder and lampshade holder are also loose so the lamp shade won’t stay firmly on the base.
Can this be fixed at the repair fair? I could bring epoxy if told what kind is needed. Also, if I need a new fixture, please let me know what to bring. Thanks!

repairfair Staff replied 3 months ago

It is fixable, but it will take pretty much the whole time. The concept is to create a counterbody inside the ceramic such that we can tighten the lamp parts against the ceramic body.
Assuming that the bottom is solid ceramic, here are some options.

Buy all the lamp parts that you can see; you can return the ones that are not used. Also, buy a 6″ lamp nipple, which is the hollow threaded rod that holds everything together.
EPOXY FIX – Buy quite a bit of epoxy.The fix requires a fairly thin, runny epoxy, and a lot of it. After pre-assembling most of the lamp, I would flow the epoxy into the crack. After taping the crack (and potentially caulking around the lamp parts), I would invert the lamp such that the epoxy would settle to adhere to the inside ceramic around the lamp parts. I would add enough epoxy to get a puddle of epoxy at least 1″ deep in the deepest part, maybe 2″. The 6″ nipple is long enough to not be flooded by the epoxy.
If you have the missing ceramic part, it can be incorporated back into the main part.
Some kind of fixture will be needed to hold the inverted lamp until the epoxy has set.
Once the epoxy has set, cleanup, sanding, and painting can help hide the epoxy in the crack.

Re-working would be hard, so we’d have to take our time.
A giant wad of caulk instead of epoxy might work. That stuff sets up pretty well, and can serve as the counterbody.
Another counterbody option is to carve up a firm piece of foam and use the lamp nipple to squeeze it against the ceramic instead of a pool of epoxy. Something that can squeeze down small enough to be inserted in the opening and that will expand large enough and be firm enough for a solid connection is needed. Maybe a hard-ish rubber ball? An ensolite camping pad? Anyway, the concept is similar to a dry-wall toggle bolt.
If the bottom of the lamp is made such that we can access the insides of the ceramic from there, we might have other options.
David

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