Even with minimal building capability, you can learn how to make light fixtures from old metal chicken feeders. The feeders may be hard to come by, but if you know someone that has been in the commercial chicken-raising business, then you can likely find some in their used feeder pile. That’s how I got some of mine.
This project is really quite simple. First, you will need to decide if you want a fixed light or a swag lamp. I made some of both. I ordered parts from a site I found by searching around on the Internet that supplied the lamp cords, sockets with rings, and rods. You can order any length rod depending on how low you want the light to hang.
Project Components and Cost
The parts I ordered to make the fixed light were a little less expensive than for the swag light. I used steel pipe, 1/8-inch, threaded on both ends (this fits the socket thread size). Cost of the pipe: $4.52.
Keyless lamp holders (sockets): $3.28. Locknuts: $0.26 each (you will need 2). The 3-inch electric box was $7.00 and the cover was $0.95. Paint: $4.00.
The total cost per light was $19.32. I used some electric wire I had already, so you may have to figure in the cost of a few feet.
For the swag light, the cost of the cord with socket was $30.00. The chicken feeder was free. The paint cost me $4.00.
I needed to sand the metal feeder tray and the wire cage. I did this with an electric drill and a wire brush attachment (see photos). Clean up the feeder up and spray-paint it a bright color.
I wired the rod and light straight into a junction box with a cover (the cover needs to have a hole in it) and then painted the feeder portion a range of bright colors.
I also made a swag light that turned out to be the easiest. I simply ordered a colored cord with socket and ring together and attached the cord to the painted chicken feeder tray, put in a light bulb and attached the wire cage (which is spring-loaded).
I did all the wiring of the electrical boxes myself but I did hire a licensed electrician to wire it to the main electric line.
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