The ultimate resource for help assembling flat pack funriture in the UK.

July 13th, 2008

I was called out on Saturday to assemble a crystal chandelier from Heals. Unfortunately I cannot find it on the website, but it was beautiful. It isn’t technically a chandelier, but simply several spot lights shining down onto a ball made of dangling crystal jewels as per the photo below:-

To be honest the photos, don’t really do this light justice, because it really comes into its own as you walk around it, because the light refracts forming a myriad of colours from the spectrum and the final result is stunning!

The customer had arranged for an electrician to install it, who had wired it up in the correct place in the stairwell for when I arrived. I had been asked to attach the jewels/crystals to the dangling wires to make up the ball.

If you ook at the photo below you can see part of the way through, the wires on the left are dangling and have yet to have the crystals added:-

This was to be frank, a pain in the backside! Each wire ended with a loop. I had to hook a V shaped paper clip through the hook and then clamp this onto the crystal. Each one took about 10-20 seconds to do, which doesn’t sound to bad until you realise there were over 180 of them to do.

This was excruciating and took me around 90 minutes to do. Partly because I was stretching and some of the time stood on a free standing step ladder; partly because my arms were constantly above my head with lactic acid slowly rising in my arms; and partly because every time I added a crystal more light diffracted into my eyes and the harder it was to see where the vacant loops were for the next crystal!

Finally once I had added them all, I had the challenge of untangling the wires. This can be difficult at the best of times, but again stretching and glaring into the light was not easy. However, fortune was on my side and I was able to use the weight of the crystals to gauge when my twists were the right or the wrong way and finally with a lot of patience I finally untangled them all.

The instructions were great and I ignored most of their recommendations:

1) Use gloves to avoid getting greasy finger marks on the crystals.

A nice enough tip, but could you imagine the crystals pinging off down the stairs all over the house as they slipped out of my fingers? You really needed to be dexterous to manipulate them into position and only someone who had done a lot of this work would be able to use gloves. Perhaps a jeweller?

2) Try not to let the crystals swing as they may shatter if they hit one another.

A great tip, but since these things get tangled and rest on wire of about 2-3 feet in length and rest about and inch apart this simple was not going to happen!

To be honest the finished light look fabulous and it was worth all the effort!

If you buy one of these (or similar) be aware that there may be significant effort in installing it! The crystals were about an inch in diameter and came individually wrapped in a box about 2 foot square.

If you have one that needs assembling you can always give me a call! I can’t wire it in as I am not a registered electrician, but I can save you the stress, particularly if you don’t have the patience for assembling this sort of fiddly thing!