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topic 33143 p2

Stiffel lamps: How to repair Q&A's



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August 20, 2016 -- this entry appended to this thread by editor in lieu of spawning a duplicative thread

Q. Where can I obtain repair parts for a tall 30 year old Stiffel floor lamp?

James Day
- Oxford, Mississippi USA


August 2016

A. Hi James. We appended your inquiry to a thread which includes a number of possible sources. Please try them and update the list with your findings.

Regards,

pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey
Aloha -- an idea worth spreading



November 30, 2016

Q. I have a Stiffel floor lamp on which the lampshade screws onto the socket piece, then the light bulb screws into the socket. The socket needs replacing. How do I find that kind of socket? I need a substantial socket due to the weight of the shade.

Carol Ghaffari
- Vancouver, Washington



November 30, 2016

Q. My mom left me a 1950s 1960s Stiffel Pagoda lamp. It was originally green but she had it painted pink to match her decor. I want to restore the lamp to the original color. Where can I have this done? It still also has the original shade....the pink is gross LOL.

Kim Pierce
- usa


sidebar2 January 13, 2017

Q. What is the best way to clean pleated lamp shades. Not sure what the material is, feels like a heavy paper.
Thank you.

Pat Russo
- Estero Florida USA


February 28, 2017

A. Hello,
I am the manager of the retail store which is attached to the facility that manufactures Stiffel Lamps. We do offer this service and I will be glad to assist you.

Ron DeCicco
Stiffel Lamp Co. - Linden, New Jersey



May 11, 2017

affil. link
"All About Lamps: Construction, Repair and Restoration"
from Abe Books

or

Q. I have a Stiffel lamp I purchased from Tuesday Morning. Its shade will not balance due to a stripped screw on top of the center frame or harp. It is a classic brass desk lamp with two bulbs on chains. My OC is annoyed because I cannot straighten it. Can it be repaired?

Sandra Henson
- Maumelle, Arkansas


May 2017

A. Hi. Depending on whether it is the stud or the nut which is stripped, it can be replaced if you can find one. But most people most of the time live with stripped threads for lampshades one way or another. If it's the nut that's stripped, you can pick up a "jam nut" at a hardware store -- this is a thin hex nut you would use to secure the shade, then just sort of lay the old brass nut on top. Alternately, you can wrap thin string around the thread and usually get enough bite to use your existing stud and nut because there is no substantial load on it; just don't try this approach to hold the landing gear onto an airliner :-)

Regards,

pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey
Aloha -- an idea worth spreading



June 12, 2017

Q. Hello, I have a beautiful vintage Stiffel lamp with Lenox base ... How can I determine the appropriate bulb wattage for this lamp?

Thank you for any insight!

Erin Ambrose
- Phoenixville, Pennsylvania, USA


A. Hi Erin. Simplest answer would be to just use an LED bulb because they use less than one quarter the power and generate one quarter the heat, so there is pretty much no way you would exceed the design rating of the lamp.

Regards,

pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey
Aloha -- an idea worth spreading



October 9, 2017

Q. Movers broke my old swing arm Stiffel floor lamp, at the joint, any place in the county repair them. Thank you.

Michael Metzger
- Davenport, Iowa USA


October 23, 2017

Q. I have a brass table lamp that is about 37 years old, and it has a clear glass orb in the middle of it. The wind blew it over and broke the glass orb. I need a supplier to buy a replacement glass orb.

Susan Rose
owner - South Lake Tahoe, California, US



October 30, 2017

Q. My Stiffel 8 way lamp has a central pole switch that broke. Someone previously disassembled the pole mechanism and I don't know in what order all the parts go back into the pole. Does anyone have a schematic of the lamp?

Jim Campbell
- Greenhurst, New York

----
Ed. note Sept. 2019: Please see response from Bea Koempel-Thomas, which references the Stiffel patent where you can see good sketches of how it works.



Stiffel replacement lamp switch

December 9, 2017
33143-3

Q. I purchased 2 Stiffel ostrich egg lamps. One is missing the proper switch knob. Where might I find parts?

Denise Mcdonald
- Grand junction Colorado


Hi Denise. Please post a good photo of the knob you're trying to match.

Regards,

pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey
Aloha -- an idea worth spreading



January 5, 2018

Q. I have a Stiffel floor lamp bought in 1998. It beautiful but the stem of the lamp which turns the lamp on and off doesn't work anymore. Do you know to fix it?

Pat Leonard
- Peachtree City Georgia USA



March 26, 2018

Q. Trying to repair my swing arm Stiffel lamp by replacing the socket. I am ready to assemble but now that I acquired all the pieces I have forgotten how to reassemble it. Does anyone know where Part C goes? I thought it went between N and D but inside A. However the threads are not long enough. Part C has a spring inside. Attached is a picture.

33143-2c   33143-2b   33143-2a  

Neva Pavia
- Bellingham, Washington, USA



sidebar May 1, 2018

Q. My name is Byron Reynolds and I am looking to purchase this lamp =>
It is old from what I am told. If anyone can help it would be greatly appreciated.

Not sure of the manufacturer.

Byron Reynolds
- Redford, Michigan


May 2018

A. Hi Byron. This site is primarily about metal finishing, so subjects like restoring the brass plating on Stiffel lamps come up, which attracts new questions, and threads sometimes gradually shift from our main focus. It's unlikely that any of our regular readers can offer history or preliminary appraisals (which I guess is the kind of "help" you are looking for). There are, however, sites which (for a fee) will try to tell you something about your antiques and offer an appraisal. Does it say "Stiffel" on it though?

Regards,

pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey
Aloha -- an idea worth spreading



May 1, 2018

Q. I have a 1999 Stiffel torchiere that needs repair. The lamp stem that attaches to the base is loose and therefore crooked. I had a handyman try to tighten it through the base bottom, but there is no screw visible. The lamp is quite heavy and very crooked. Can this be fixed?

Debra Gaveras
- Milwaukee, Wisconsin USA



June 28, 2018

Q. I repair lamps from time to time. I have run into a Stiffel floor lamp. The customer had taken it apart. So I have no idea how it should go back together. Does anyone have a diagram or anything that will tell me how to reassemble the pole switch. Thank You.

Greg Scharf
Scooby's Repairs - Des Moines

----
Ed. note Sept. 2019: Please see response from Bea Koempel-Thomas, which references the Stiffel patent where you can see good sketches of how it works.



August 18, 2018

Q. I bought an older Stiffel floor lamp with glass shelf. The solid pole above shelf is not straight. How can I straighten that part? Any instructions for taking apart and putting back together if that is required? Thanks.

Pat Horton
- Asheville, North Carolina, USA


August 2018

thumbs up sign  Hi folks!

We're more than pleased to make this space available for anyone who is interested in discussing Stiffel lamps. But as editor of this metal finishing site I have no expertise in the subject of Stiffel lamps, nor am I much interested in this particular subject out of the 50,000 topics on this site. So enthusiasts must discuss the topic and help each other, not just post a question, or the thread just deteriorates into simply a long & boring list of unanswered questions. There are no consultants standing in the wings to help you -- you'll have to help each other :-)

Regards,

pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey
Aloha -- an idea worth spreading



Repair base of clawfoot lamp

February 18, 2019
33143-4

Q. I have a Stiffel lamp with a base resembling four claw feet. One of the feet has broken off. Can it be repaired? I've looked online for replacement parts, with no luck.

David Schmitz
Husband! - Rancho Cucamonga, California USA


February 2019

affil. link
J.B. Weld

A. Hi David. If you have the pieces it might be solderable depending on what material it is, but it almost surely can be glued with epoxy adhesive or possibly even with superglue.

I've personally been amazed by the strength of J B Weld epoxy =>

Regards,

pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey
Aloha -- an idea worth spreading



July 19, 2019

Q. I have two 3-ft lamps, I need to change the wiring and new 3 way socket. The shades set on top open on the top. How can I get to open.

Linda L Launder
- sun city, Arizona, USA


August 19, 2019

Q. I purchased two Stiffel lamps at a yard sale they are in good condition but a little tarnished, my question is if I polish them do they decrease or increase in value?

Orville BRANHAM
consumer - THE VILLAGES, Florida

----
Ed. note: Sorry folks, no valuation questions please! Wrong site!


August 20, 2019

Q. How do you get the bottom off a Stiffel lamp to replace the 3-way switch?

KENT A SCHROEDER
RETIRED - KEARNEY, Nebraska


September 9, 2019

A. Hello,
I grew up with a Stiffel floor lamp with the patented pole switch, of course without realizing how unusual they were -- and how difficult it would become to get them repaired. The patent expired long ago, and unfortunately, no companies currently seem to use the switch technology, which I think is really sad because it is just cool (IMHO). The patent is US2459898, entitled "Means for Actuating Electrical Switches," and one should be able to find it easily using your favorite search engine. Just download the pdf, and the figures and description may be helpful for those seeking to put one back together or trying to make repairs. Now that I'm a patent attorney (not an offer of services), I wanted to share the patent information for those who may be seeking to repair the pole switch in a Stiffel floor lamp with that switch -- a really early 'remote control' even if not very remote.

A bit of history; as shown on the patent, the inventor, Theophile A Stiffel, was in Chicago in April of 1948 when the patent application for the pole switch was filed. The Stiffel company probably wouldn't have started selling lamps with this switch until 1947, and it could have been much later since the patent would not have expired until the 1960s. My grandfather actually spent some time in Chicago as a baker in the late 1800's, but he had moved to Washington State by the turn of the century and passed away during the 1960s, so I'm not sure whether he may have gotten the lamp from a friend or relative in Chicago or if they were sold throughout the US. After I inherited the lamp, I found it was no longer working, and went through the hassle of getting mine repaired. I was lucky to have an older-generation lighting-repair person in distant family who knew about the switches! Then, recently online I bought an alleged one that I wanted to give as a gift, but I now believe that was actually a Frankenstein lamp because even though there were Stiffel markings, the style of the lamp was much different, it seemed much more 'loose' and fragile, and the same family member could not repair the second one.

If anyone knows of a manufacturer that might interested in reviving use of this type of switch, I'd love to hear about them because I just love using a lamp with this type of switch, and they are getting harder and harder to find!

Bea Koempel-Thomas
- Spokane, Washington USA


September 2019
33143-5ext

thumbs up sign  Hi Bea. Thanks so much for the interesting discussion. I now understand what people are talking about with "the pole is part of the switch" / "the switch is in the pole", etc. The patent makes it all very clear: you grab the pole and push it down with a "plunger move" to turn it on or off.

Regards,

pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey
Aloha -- an idea worth spreading


November 6, 2019

thumbs up sign Thank you for the information on the Stiffel lamp pole switches! I have a lamp that's had switch problems for quite some time and will plan on taking it apart for repair. Since the switch is just a push button 3-way switch (AntiqueLampParts has these in stock) it should just be a matter of making sure that the replacement switch will thread into the base properly. When I find the correct part for this I'll post it.

Andy Lehing
- Little Rock, Arkansas USA



February 23, 2020

Q. I have a Stiffel torchiere table lamp that will not turn on anymore. Where can I get a twist switch and how do I do the wiring since it probably needs replacing too?

33143-6a   33143-6b  

Kristine Durocher
- Thompson Connecticut usa


February 2020

A. Hi Kristine. Although your graphics are a bit on the small side for me to see clearly, it looks like this is a switch with a special finish, not something you can pick up in the electrical aisle. But after unplugging the lamp, unscrew those two small screws so you can remove that brass cover plate and get a better look. You probably need to shop at a place like mylampparts.com, grandbrass.com, or maybe by searching for 'stiffel lamp parts' on Amazon.

You can re-wire the switch by putting the wires on exactly the same places on the new switch, or by replacing wires with ones of identical length, color, and gauge. For more general info on household wiring, big box stores all have small paperback books on the subject, although it is obviously best to simply have it done by a licensed electrician. Good luck!

Regards,

pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey
Aloha -- an idea worth spreading



April 26, 2020

Q. First, my thanks to, I believe, Ted Mooney for taking the time to handle this site.

Second, though a finishing site, I am at a loss of how to find a Stiffel lamp socket from the 60s or 70s. Three way - three brown wires soldiered in - no screws - Stiffel decal. So, again, thanks and I hope I am not too out of line asking about a socket. I have become rather frustrated.

Thanks, and I hope everyone is safe and well, Ken

Ken James
- University Place, Washington, US


June 2020

A. Hi Ken. Thanks for the kind words! You're welcome to ask anything you wish! Still, the problem remains that this is NOT A CONSULTING SERVICE; I've never owned a Stiffel lamp, and have no particular interest in them :-)

Rather, I provide a public forum where enthusiasts are invited to gather & chat with each other, and post pics and Q&A's. But I can't build a community; enthusiasts do that among themselves or they don't. If people come here not to interact with fellow Stiffel enthusiasts, but just to post their own question (and often torpedoing camaraderie by posting with a fictitious name), what can we do but return now to our regularly scheduled program of unanswered questions ...

pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey
Aloha -- an idea worth spreading


June 30, 2020

Q. I own a Stiffel floor lamp that turns on by compressing the center pole of the lamp up and down. The Center large light has come very loose and I want to know how to tighten it. The collar at the top of the pole that the center light sits on has three screws on the underside. Do I just loosen those and then tighten the center light socket?

Dennis L Eckman
- Carlisle Pennsylvania


September 9, 2020

Q. Need a weight for Stiffel lamp base, 6.5", 3/8" hole

Any suggestions on salvaging

am smith
- Rockledge Florida

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