Blog Post

This week I’m installing a sweet farm light that we found on the Magnolia Market. It was a little more extensive of a project than I had thought. Watch the video to see what I did.

Our kitchen has three main lights. They aren’t really that bright, especially not right over the kitchen table. The style of our roof means there is no access from above, so it would be a little bit more difficult of an installation.

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The first thing I did was to make sure the table was in the correct spot, which is just the right distance away from both benches. I needed to find the spot on the ceiling directly above the center of the table. To do that I would use a plumb-bob.

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I marked out the center point on the table, and then hung the plumb-bob with a string against the ceiling, until it rested right above the center line.

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I moved everything out of the way, and began to remove the board. I knew the ceiling was tongue-and-groove pine boards, but I had no idea how thick they were. They were basically tongue-and-groove 2×4’s. Using the oscillating saw, I cut up through both ends. I thought I would be able to pry the board out after cutting along just one of the lengths, but since they were so thick, it took cutting all four sides to get them out. I only had two boards to remove, since I just needed to get a cable to the closest wall.

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Once the large board was out, I did the same thing with the short one.

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The easiest way I could think of to run Romex wire to the wall was to cut a dado in the two boards. I swapped my normal blade for a dado stack and cut right down the middle of both boards.

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This is what they looked like. As you can see, there is plenty of room to run a cable through the dados.

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I went to the drill press and bored out a hole right where I had made a mark with the plumb-bob earlier.

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My plan was to just knock out the extra wood sitting above this beam, but there was a nail hold it all together. I grabbed a drill bit and put a hole right through it.

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I also put a hole into the board sitting above the top plate of the wall.

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So that I would have space to work, I opened up the drywall using a razor knife and drywall saw.

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I grabbed the drill and made another hole to intersect with the one I had made above. I sure could have used Izzy Swan’s curved hole jig for this one.

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I removed the cover and both switches to gain access to the box. I’m no electrician, but I can usually figure things out eventually. This time, I was completely stumped. I had to combine two, three-way switches into one, making all 3 of the main lights work together, instead of on different switches. That would free up a switch for this new light to stand alone. After quite a while of trial and error, I decided to call an electrician for help.

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In the meantime, I could wire up the new light and just leave it ready for the electrician to tie in. I ran the 14/2 Romex wire down into the wall and through one stud. I also had to cut another access hole into the drywall to drill through the fire break. I eventually fed the wire all the way to the box and cut it to length at the ceiling.

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I grabbed the boards I had cut out and put them back in place. I shot in a bunch of inch-and-a-half brad nails at an angle to secure them in place.

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The light came with a really long chain and cable but I needed to shorten it quite a bit. My wife helped me determine the final height so I could make the adjustment.

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I marked the link I needed to cut with a sharpie so I wouldn’t accidentally cut the wrong one.

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I secured the link into the vise and cut it using an angle grinder with a cut-off wheel. I cut one side, then flipped it over and cut the other.

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The top length of the chain was still stuck to the ceiling mount because of a closed hook, so I heated it up with a torch, bent it open, and then removed the unnecessary chain.

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I hooked the mount to the new link and then reassembled the light. I rewired it exactly how it was before, just with a shorter chain and a shorter cable.

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Back inside, I connected all the wires on the light to the new Romex. I screwed in the mounting bracket and smashed all the wires in above the ceiling mount.

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The light was now installed, but not wired. Once the electrician had come and finished the re-wiring, I could finish up the wall.

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I sanded all the patches in the drywall with a special drywall sandpaper. It works much better than regular sandpaper because the joint compound doesn’t clog it up as much.

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I applied a good amount of wall texture spray and then let it set up for about 5 minutes before knocking it down with a taping knife.

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Once it had dried, I applied a couple coats of the matching paint to hide everything.

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I installed the switch plate cover and this project was all done.

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My Project Tools

OSCILATING SAW

TABLE SAW

DRILL & IMPACT DRIVER

PLUMB-BOB

DRILL PRESS

BRAD NAILER

GRINDER

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