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The Modern Way To Measure Rawhide Lamp Shades Properly

Oct 9, 2007
What in the world are you talking about? That might be the question that comes to mind when ordering western rawhide lamp shades or replacement lamp shades. It can be extremely exasperating because various people fit lampshades by different standards.

The whole ordering process is compounded by telephone discussions and internet ordering. If you realize how you should measure a shade to get the proper fit and also communicate the right size, you're going to prevent problems and receive the lamp shade you are expecting.

If the shade is rawhide or not isn't important, there are important tips you should use to correctly measure and order a shade and also the proper description that will allow you to insure that the person receiving your order is on the same track. We fabricate custom rawhide lamp shades for rustic western lamps and southwestern home furnishings. Because we encounter this situation all the time we have some tips that anyone can use to insure the right look for a lamp, even without seeing the lamp and shade and lamp together.

The right way to measure:
1. You will need to have three different measurements, bottom diameter, top diameter and height. The bottom diameter is always measured across the bottom of the lamp shade. The top diameter is measured across the top opening of the shade. The height of a lampshade should be measured straight up and down vertically, not along the slant.

At this point is where the challenge starts. When relaying the measurements various individuals and companies will use the three dimensions in various order, it's not uniform, so be careful that you are not confusing the bottom and height measurements for example.

2. The height has to be measured straight up and down, but some stores will measure along the slant. These two measurements can vary or be quite different and may make the finished shade to be distorted if confused. Be sure to make clear how the height has been measured. We have noticed that many people that measure the slant rather than the shade height refer to it as the lampshade length rather than height.

A good Tip On Height Measurement:
The reason you should measure height up and down, vertically, is that the height measurement of your lamp from bulb socket base to top of harp is always the minimum vertical height you will want to cover the electrical parts with the shade.

A good Adjusting Height Tip:
When considering a stock replacement shade, the lamp's overall height and look can be adjusted. The wire harp that holds the shade in position above the bulb is simple to replace. That can be great news when a standard shade is
too short to look right. In place of having to order a custom shade you are able to change the harp that can make the shade to sit lower on the lamp to give you the desired look.

lampshade Mounting Type:
The most common shade mount has a center bar across the top with a center hole for the harp mount or a washer centered by three supports that attach to the top rim of the shade. Both types allow the shade to be secured to the harp. Some small lamps and chandeliers don't use a harp but rather use a bulb clip adapter to attach directly to the bulb. A bulb clip is simply two wire loops that are attached to the shade's center bar and grip the bulb.

It's easy to add a clip to any regular shade to allow it to be placed over the bulb. Chandelier lamp shades almost always have built-in bulb clips made for the small flame or candelabra type bulbs. Lamp shades used as hanging lamps can use an uno mount which has a center ring large enough for the bulb socket to pass through. These also are used on some table lamps. You can use a bulb clip on a replacement shade instead of an uno mount.

You find these tips useful on your future rawhide lamp shade or replacement lampshade project and you will certainly to measure, order and receive the right size lamp shade the without any trouble for fabric or rawhide lamp shades.
About the Author
Craig Chambers is a southwest lamp builder who offers rustic western leather and southwestern rawhide lamp shades. He also makes available dramatic free home lighting tips and articles on his website http://www.missiondelrey.com
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