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DIY Mason Jar Chandelier
DIY & Crafts
STEP 1: CREATE PILOT HOLE TEMPLATE FOR JAR LIDS
I decided to drill and wire the jars first, build the unit that would house the wiring after and then mount it to the ceiling. Being married to a hat designer helps with measurements. Together, we created a pilot hole template to drill through the lids of the jars where half of the metal nipple and wire passes through. I placed the paper pilot hole template on each lid and then screwed the outer piece of the locking lid on and marked the centered hole in preparation for drilling.
STEP 2: DRILL LID HOLES FOR NIPPLES, ATTACHED HEX NUTS
Use a 1/4" metal drill bit to drill the holes in the lids and a 1/16" bit to drill 6 small holes around the lid to allow heat to escape from the jar. (I eyeballed the air holes, as no one would see them.) Next, insert the metal nipple through the hole leaving equal lengths on each side of the lid. Be careful, as the lids are very light gauge and razor sharp shards can cut fingers easily. I used a very fine metal sandpaper to remove the shards. Next, place a Hex nut on both sides of the lid and hand tighten before using a wrench to lock them into place.
STEP 3: MEASURE BOTTOM OF CEILING BOX FOR DRILLING
Decide where you want the jars to hang from the bottom of the box that will be secured to the ceiling. Measure the center of the jars against the width and length of the 'junction' (ceiling) box so that the jars would be positioned proportionately. Drill holes large enough to accommodate lamp wire width, Holes will be drilled through the red circles in the below picture and the wires will go through them. The wires will ultimately be connected to the lead wires in the ceiling.
STEP 4: WIRE THE KEYLESS LIGHT SOCKET
With all of the lids drilled and the nipples locked down by the Hex nuts, it's time to wire the keyless sockets as pictured below. Make sure to pass one end of the wire through both parts of the lid, (Mason jars have air-tight lids by having two parts: one is the thin flat piece and the other is the screw-on cap) and then through the nipple. (We wanted the jars to hang 3' from the ceiling and cut the wire accordingly.) Before wiring to the two screws on the socket, you'll have to strip the wire covering with wire cutters. There is a positive and negative wire. It depends on the wire you choose
STEP 5: PASS THE WIRES THROUGH BOTH PARTS OF LID
After the wire has been passed through both parts of the lid and the nipple, screw the keyless light socket onto the underside portion of the nipple. This is portion of the nipple that goes inside the jar. Screw the bulb into the keyless socket. At this point, your wiring and hardware should look like the picture below.
Each jar should now look like the second picture. Before attaching the other end of the wire to the ceiling wires, unscrew the lid and take the glass jar off. You don't want the extra weight at this point.
STEP 6: ATTACH ELECTRICAL GROUNDING BARS
One of the best products ever invented is probably the Electric Grounding Bar. I used it to 'piggyback' all ten of the wires into two. The two wires will connect to the lead wires in the ceiling. The grounding bar is screwed into the junction (ceiling) box bottom as pictured below. I placed the bars close enough to the lamp cords but far enough away from each other as not to create a short. (Refer to Step 3 where you drilled the box bottom wire holes.) You will be bringing each of the ten lamp wires through the pre-drilled holes in the box's bottom.
STEP 7: SPLIT THE WIRES - ATTACH TO GROUNDING BAR
Next, split the corded lamp wire so that the two wires are separated from each other, enough to reach each bar. Strip away 1/2" of the wire's insulation and insert into an open hole in the bar. Hand tighten using a Phillips screw driver the bar screws so that each wire is screwed to one side of the bar as pictured below. Using electrical tape, cover any exposed wire. (I used extra tape to ensure that non of the Rayon coded cord would be exposed.)
STEP 8: CONSTRUCT & MOUNT CEILING BOX
The most difficult part of this project was creating a box for the wires to be housed and that could be mounted to our concrete ceilings. I wanted to make this as simple as possible so I designed a topless box. You can make this any size you want. I wanted something as narrow as possible but deep enough to hold the wires and hardware. I cut a basic rectangle shape (see parts list below) using a 1" x 8" pine board for the bottom of the box and 1/2" x 2" poplar for the sides. I screwed the sides to the bottom using pre-drilled and countersunk holes and then screwed six
1/2" brackets to the inside portion of the box sides. The brackets were then screwed to the ceiling using a concrete drill bit and drill.
I am assuming that at this point you or someone else, (a licensed electrician perhaps?) has completed all of the appropriate wiring in the ceiling and on the wall switch. (I used a dimmer switch.) Have someone help you to lift the jars towards the ceiling as you place the box's bottom into place. Screw the box's bottom to the four sides, cover the holes and screws with wood putty and paint with color of your choice.
STEP 9: Now, screw the jars back onto their lids. If you measured correctly the jars should hang exactly where you wanted them. Now turn the wall switch on and bathe in the light and satisfaction of a job well done.