This old fire extinguisher brought back memories of elementary school and seeing these big copper and brass behemoths hanging in hallways and class rooms. So when we saw one at the flea market we really wanted to do something with it. The price seemed right and while we didn’t know what we wanted to do with it at the time, we knew we had to have it.
How we rate this project
- Flitz instant brass and copper tarnish remover no rub formula
- Flitz metal plastic fiberglass polish
- Black and Decker Drill
- Paint Stripping Disc
- DeWalt Black Oxide Drill Bits
- Kichler 60W Bulb
- Allen Roth Drum Lamp Shades
- Portfolio 3-Way Lamp Socket
On to the project
At first, the thought was to make it a table of some sort. The top seemed kind of leveled and it was an option. We thought glass then wood then scrapped the idea in favor of trying to make it into a lamp.
We did some research and saw that it was something a lot of people were doing with them. So there were a lot of tips that we could follow to help us out, starting with this product called Flitz.
We watched some videos and saw people saying how miraculous it was. We searched all the hardware stores in our area and finally had to resort to ordering it online. Strange that we couldn’t find it and some had never heard of it. But we’re happy to say that they worked really well in combination.
We wore gloves, a mask and goggles and followed the instructions. Applying a good coating all over, stopping the process by spraying it with water and wiping it dry, gave us this.
Then we used the paste, again following the instructions and began applying it in small areas, waiting a bit then buffing it away. This part took some time and several top to bottom passes. We did find that it didn’t work very much at all on the brass top and brass spout elements. So we got a circular fiber disk sander and used it in our drill and after a few hours the brass came clean.
We got a lamp wiring kit from the store and picked out a lampshade that we felt really matched the style. We also got a couple filament bulbs to experiment with.
This is when we hit a bit of a snag as our drill bits wouldn’t go through the thick brass top. So back to the web we went, did some desk research and saw that we’d need better drill bits. So we purchased black oxide bits. Once we got those it was easy.
We didn’t start with the largest though. We started with the smallest and worked our way up to the size needed for the wire fittings. Make sure you have things held firm! I have a scar on my shin because the extinguisher spun free while drilling and gave me a bit of a gash. Live and learn though. We drilled a hole in the base and the side, then threaded the wires through. Once it was all complete it wound up like this.
We liked it so much we went back out a few weeks later and found another extinguisher, this time for $50 and made a “matching” pair. One we keep stored for later use and the other we have out in the living room. Here’s a better shot of the pair.
If you’re working on or planning to work on a similar project, have any suggestions or would just like to let us know your thoughts about this project, let us know in the comments or send us a PM. We’d love to hear from you.