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High-Wire Act

Now that you’ve mastered creating a lampshade, here are some wiring tips from Sundial Wire, a specialty lighting company in Northampton, Massachusetts.
Martha Stewart Living, September 2013
  1. First, make sure the device is not connected to a power source: Turn off the circuit breaker or remove the fuse.
  2. Cut the cloth-braid wire to the desired length plus 10 inches. Measure 2 1/2 inches from the end that will be the socket, and wrap it with a 1 1/2-inch piece of silicone tape.
  3. Slide on the two pieces of the strain relief (so the narrower end of what looks like the cap of a tube is facing away from the socket). Unscrew and open up the socket. Slip the round top of the socket over the end of the wire with the large end toward the end of the wire, away from the strain relief.
  4. Snipping lengthwise with scissors, cut away the cloth coating from the end of the wire to the silicone tape. (Leave the wire’s plastic coating intact.)
  5. With wire stripper, remove the plastic coating from 1/2 inch of the wire. Tie an “underwriter’s knot,” below, in the wire’s plastic ends; this will take tension off the connection when the lamp hangs.
  6. The middle, interior piece of the socket has a silver screw (for the neutral wire) and a gold screw (for the hot wire). Tightly twist the copper end of each strand. Bend each end into a small hook. Hook the striped neutral wire over the silver connection and tighten the screw. (If you’re not using this specific cord, the neutral connection wire will be white.)
  7. Hook the unstripped hot wire over the gold connection and tighten the screw. (If you’re not using this specific cord, the hot connection wire will be black.)
  8. Screw the bottom piece of the strain relief to the socket, then screw the top piece to the bottom piece.
  9. Tighten the socket base’s small set screw to hold it to the strain relief.
  10. Slide the remaining section of the socket over the interior and screw it to the socket cap.
  11. To make the plug end, unscrew and open the plug. Repeat steps 1 through 4, then slide the plug’s shell over the wire before attaching the wire to the screw terminals. The wide end of the plug should face the end of the wire. Repeat steps 6 and 7. Screw the plug pieces back together.