Homemade Kitchen Light: New Life For Old Milk Can Funnel

| 1/4/2012 12:41:00 PM

GRIT Editor Hank Will at the wheel of his 1964 IH pickup.One of the final steps in our ongoing kitchen renovation was to replace a ceiling fan whose blades hit a cabinet door when opened so we decided to make use of an old milk can funnel to create a homemade kitchen light. The vintage milk can funnel is shaped quite perfectly to serve as a rustic shade for a ceiling light, and its tin-plated mild-steel self is easy to modify as needed. Plus you can find antique milk can funnels for very little money at junk shops, farm auctions and even antique shops that offer a decent line of rustic country collectibles. Since I was already working on the ceiling and needed to upgrade the wiring a bit, I also built a mount for the main kitchen lights -- a pair of reproduction drop-pedestal school lights -- and hung them. We didn't mount those lights directly to the ceiling because there was only a single box that served the cloud-like fluorescent fixture and I didn't want to tear up the old ceiling tiles to install new electrical boxes. Both projects turned out nicely, but the milk can funnel light tickles me the most since I built it from parts.

Homemade Milk can filter funnel light.  

Our homemade milk can funnel light serves its purpose wonderfully and its rustic nature fits the kitchen perfectly. If you don't want the rust marks to show where the tin plating is gone, you can easily paint the milk can funnel with a metallic paint to bring it back to  a more shiny life. 

Ceiling in need of lights.  

Here you can see the ceiling sans light fixtures and fan. The fluorescent fixture was in the freshly foamed-in box on the left, while the ceiling fan was connected to the box on the right. Both electrical boxes are fed from the same hot wire but only that on the left is controlled with a wall switch.

Milk can funnel light bulb base detail. 

2/13/2012 7:53:01 PM

This might be a separator strainer, dave ... it does fit nicely into the mouth of the old milk cans though. I'm sure glad you got your land!

2/13/2012 7:51:16 PM

I replaced my first switch when I was 7 ... my mother couldn't get my dad to get around to it, so one day I looked at it and did it after pulling the fuse. Then I took physics and learned all about circuits and the like and then I read most of the electrical code book for residential and damp locations because I thought it was interesting and useful. :-)

2/13/2012 7:48:40 PM

I'd love to know if you ended up using the old fixure, Christine I rewired a couple of those old fixtures to light up the hog feeding area. I love those old enameled shades.

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