ScrapHappy May 2021: Candle with Care


Lights out!

Lights out!

I am all for the right to repair, as my reader will know. Give me a broken thing and I will try to mend it. Give me a working thing and I’ll probably break it. Give me a decent single malt, and I’ll stop breaking stuff.

Sometimes though, things can’t be fixed because the manufacturer has inadvertently, or advertently, made them unfixable. And so it was with this pair of quite funky lamps from Mother-of-Snail. These lamps, when they worked, were touch sensitive so when you brushed them with your finger they giggled like a small child. Oh, wait, that’s me. You could cycle through “light off”, “light a bit on”, “light quite a bit on”, and “Ah! My eyes! My eyes! on”, just by touching the base. Then a power glitch one day meant you could only use the “light off” setting.

I took the pair of similarly-afflicted lamps to my workshop/office/lair/scrapheap and replaced the electronic component that was most likely to have been affected (it’s a thing called a triac, but you already knew that, didn’t you?). Sadly, that didn’t do the trick because the little custom-made silicon chip that controls the whole thing had also decided that the power glitch was a perfect excuse for a permanent holiday.

Nobody's bolt but mine

Nobody’s bolt but mine

I decided to de-evolve the lamps to candle holders. The threaded bolt that held the bulb holder into the body of the lamp was removable and so I glued a screw as shown to push the candle into. I was going to use something pointed but then realised how dangerous that might be for passing spaniels/terriers/Snails.


DIY candle holder

There are a few bits left over. There will be some electronic components that are still useable and the bulb holders are fine (although I have no use for them at all unless I build a lamp, which is unlikely). There are the little boxes that held the circuitry that might come in handy.

...and that's what lamps are made of.

…and that’s what lamps are made of.

I may add some extra support (possibly by melting wax) around the base of the candle at some point.

And now, by the light of two candles, I am off to finish some lovely single malt.

Another two, and we have the basis for a very funny sketch

Another two, and we have the basis for a very funny sketch



Many other people contribute to Kate and Gun’s wonderful ScrapHappy every month – check out what they have been up to too!


KateGun, EvaSue, Lynda,
Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy,  Tracy, 
Jill, Jan, Moira, Sandra, Chris, Alys,
Claire, Jean, Jon, Dawn, Jule, Gwen,
Sunny, Kjerstin, Sue L, Vera,
Nanette, Ann, Dawn 2, Carol,
Preeti, Debbierose, Nóilin, Viv and Edi


Categories: recycling, repair, ScrapHappy | Tags: , , , | 28 Comments

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28 thoughts on “ScrapHappy May 2021: Candle with Care

  1. I chortled madly at your light settings and had to read the paragraph to my husband, who also chortled madly! The candlesticks are quite fetching but, when you have had a little too much of the good malt, don’t forget yourself and try to use the ‘touch’ method of adjusting their light…. that would lead to, ‘OH! My fingers!’ (a truly unfortunate setting….) 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • I am pleased to have been the source of mad chortling! The “Oh! My fingers!” setting is a bonus one I hadn’t considered but it goes nicely with the “Ooh, I can smell bacon, wadda ya mean that isn’t bacon” and “Why’s the fire alarm going off?” settings. 😁

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m very impressed by your conversion! One thought; if the current candle-impalement method turns out to be a bit wobbly, could you consider using Stelvin wine bottle caps as a cup to hold the candle base? Surely there might be one or two of those around Chez Snail, particularly if you happen to drink a couple of bottles of something Australian….


  3. cunning repurposing. We have some similar touch lights for the bedroom side tables, and yes – oh my eyes – is exactly the correct term!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Going Batty in Wales

    Those lamps were too nice to just throw away! A really neat bit of upcycling there Mr S

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I feel a candle-lit dinner coming on…

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Wow! These were quite fetching touch lamps! I am glad you salvaged their beauty! They went from touch to torch! 😁

    Liked by 1 person

  7. grr how annoying the lamps being unfixable, but the transformation seems to have been satisfying – chalk another one up on the scrappy ledger!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. claire93

    a lovely step back in time from electricity to candlelight. I do like a candleholder, not for the romantic dinners, but because we often get powercuts during summer storms.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sometimes going backwards isn’t always a bad thing! We have very occasional power cuts here but there is generally a headtorch around which can then be used to find the lighter… for the candles! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  9. There is something so appropriate about turning intentionally unfixable electric lamps into candlesticks!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. The lights make beautiful candleholders. Nicely done.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Great looking candle holders!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I like the candle holders better. 🙂 Lovely idea! Have a great week.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Pingback: ScrapHappy December 2021: Repair, Reuse, REVIEW | writinghouse

  14. Pingback: ScrapHappy December 2022: Power to the Pine Tree* | writinghouse

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