The Fix is In - A Guide to Repair
SMILEY PETE GUIDE TO REPAIR - By Robbie Clark - July 2011
Since Mark Shawk has been making custom lamps for over 25 years through his business, The Lamp Place, knowing how to restore and repair lamps and other light fixtures, such as chandeliers, is inherent to his trade. While most of the problems associated with busted lamps are related to
the socket, Shawk says, he does tend to chewed wires as well – victims of puppies or kittens, and even a rabbit on one occasion. Most of the socket problems arise from people using bulbs which are too big for the socket, causing them to burn out.
In any repair, Shawk makes sure to use quality products to mitigate instances of future problems.
“I use solid brass sockets. Those stay together better,” Shawk said. “A lot of times at Lowe’s, and places like that, their sockets are aluminum. Brass is stronger and aluminum is softer, and that’s the reason these sockets fall apart. These are solid brass – much better quality.”
Along with fixing broken sockets, Shawk also installs a lot of dimmer sockets in lamps, and he also utilizes the services of an employee who can re-line and re-cover fabric lamp shades – for the customer who just doesn’t want to replace something they have grown attached to.
“A lot of people find a shade they like, and that’s what they want to keep,” Shawk said.
As with repaired lamp shades, sentimentality plays a large part in some of the lamp repairs Shawk performs.
“I’ve worked on some that probably cost as much to repair as they did brand new,” Shawk said. “They bought it, they like it; they just want it fixed.”
The Guide to Repair Cover
Mark Shawk owner of The Lamp Place on the Cover of Smiley Pete's Guide to Repair. July 2011
Points of Illumination and Shade
Mark Shawk in the basement workstation of The Lamp Place.