Project Hay Trolley light

I have bemoaned the fact that I’ve spent the winter without a project. I finally got one.
hay trolley lamp 2
I have written of my interest in hay trolleys. Hay trolleys are the little cart that rides the rail found at the interior peak of most dairy barns. The trolley has rope that runs through a series of pulleys that once were used to lift a load of hay to the peak of a barn roof and then ride the rail into the hay mow. These hay trolleys are tough and elegant. They also touch a memory that makes me want more hay trolleys as evidenced by the trolleys which decorate the perimeter of our porch.
So I am without a project and looking for some trouble. I know other people have made hay trolleys into all sorts of interior projects. I decided to bring one of our hay trolleys in from the cold and make it into a light fixture.
I started ahead of the game as I had a chunk of rail like you would find running parallel to the interior peak of a barn. I cut about four feet of the rail that already had hangers attached to it. I then used bronze eye bolts to hang the rail from the ceiling above the kitchen sink. The trolley and rail are meant to operate together so I then simply slid the trolley onto the rail.hay trolley lamp 1
Lisa and I thought about wiring old power line insulators for a light. We looked around the house and instead found an old glass kerosene gallon bottle to use. Thief River Glass cut a hole through the ½ inch glass bottom so I could pass a narrow bulb through the bottom into a receptacle that I mounted into the mouth of the old bottle.
Wiring the whole contraption was the most interesting task of the project. Hay trolleys always had rope threaded throughout their interiors so I thought rope wiring would be a nice idea. I picked up some ¾ inch rope and unwound one cord from the whole thing. I then threaded the wire through the opening left by the missing cord after which I replaced the cord which I had initially removed. I had to hurry a little as the cord started to unravel a little when I removed it from the rope. It went back in naturally but you have to twist the individual cord against the grain and then let it twist back when you lay it into its place in the rope. Colored wiring would have worked better but I was able to place the single cord back into the rope in such a way to cover most of the wiring. Ain’t nothin’ perfect.
This hay trolley light replaced a pull-string ceiling light. I used a screw-in outlet to replace the light that was previously mounted in this fixture then plugged the new trolley light into the outlet. We are still able to use the original pull-string which is great because there is a cow fob at the end of the pull string and I like cows.
The hay trolley lamp gives good light to wash dishes by or to read the tiny script on a prescription. As my age increases I really appreciate good, bright light. After a winter without a project, I realize how much I appreciate a good project too. This was a good project.

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