Attaching a mason jar lamp to the ceiling w/o hardware visible

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Forum topic by Seles23 posted 02-11-2013 08:47 AM 1774 views 1 time favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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7 posts in 2703 days

02-11-2013 08:47 AM

Hi, I’ve made my wife a mason jar lamp like this:

I found a nice piece of spalted maple from trees harvested in our metro area and I’m hoping to mount it to the ceiling with very little or no hardware visible. So, I’ve ruled out drilling up through the bottom into the studs.

it’s essentially a 24” X 6” X 3” box with no top that should attach to the ceiling leaving a hollow space for electrical.

I’m really new to woodworking so I can only imagine that there are easy solves that I havent considered.

Two solutions I’ve considered are:

1” X 6” square dowel rod attached to the ceiling and then attaching the box to the rods w/ set screws.

same dowel idea but instead of using set screws using some sort of cleat system
(may be inferior to set screws as there would be a risk of marking the ceiling while sliding it in/out of place)

12 replies so far

View Marcus's profile


1165 posts in 2261 days

#1 posted 02-11-2013 11:26 AM

I would drill holes through it and just fill with dowels. If you do this in a place where it’s not splayed, most people will never see it. This would make it a bit of a hassle to remove though.

View dhazelton's profile


2805 posts in 2538 days

#2 posted 02-11-2013 02:39 PM

Don’t know how you could do it without outside fasteners. I would put a couple of cleats on the ceiling and screw through the side or end caps of the box as opposed to up (drywall screws have poor sheer strength). if you screw up you need something like a number 10 wood screw. You could dab a little brown paint on them or hit them with a black Sharpie after and you won’t notice them.

Also, line the inside of the box with something sparkproof, some lightweight aluminum trim coil stock or flashing cut and bent to fit probably the cheapest and most workable. Combustible wood in close proximity to electrical connections is not to code.

View lumberjoe's profile


2899 posts in 2490 days

#3 posted 02-11-2013 03:23 PM

Cleats on the top of the fixture screwed from the top of the cleat into the top (facing the ceiling) of the fixture. Put cleats on the ceiling. Screw through the sides of the cleats.


View melliott's profile


28 posts in 2250 days

#4 posted 02-11-2013 05:25 PM

If you have attic access you could secure it from the top side.

-- Mike

View MrRon's profile


5281 posts in 3485 days

#5 posted 02-12-2013 09:14 PM

I can think of a unique way to make it with no fasteners showing. Make your 24×6x3 box. make a piece about 3/4” thick that fits inside nicely the open top of the box. Bore shallow holes in the edge of the 3/4” piece and embed rare earth magnets in them with epoxy. Maybe 8 magnets is enough. A metal strip would be attached to the inside of the box to contact the magnets. The magnets and metal strips could be placed the other way around. Either way, it would provide a secure mounting. The 3/4” wood piece would be screwed into the joists in the ceiling.

View Seles23's profile


7 posts in 2703 days

#6 posted 04-06-2013 03:08 PM

Thanks for all of the insight on this project. I finally got them up a couple weekends ago.

I ended up fastening 2 1”x1”x13” cleats to the ceiling and then fastening the box to them. Hard ware is showing but I’m still very pleased with how they came out. I used drywall screws and I think they work well with the spalting(sp?) of the maple and the accidental cut in the middle of the board.

Attached is an image I took this morning.

View camps764's profile


867 posts in 2602 days

#7 posted 04-06-2013 03:20 PM

very cool! my wife has been after me for one of these for a while.

How did you do the wiring? That’s the part that intimidates me a little.

-- Steve

View John Ormsby's profile

John Ormsby

1288 posts in 3979 days

#8 posted 04-06-2013 03:34 PM

Looks good.

Did you drill holes in the lids so the heat can dissipate? Those jars will explode if they get really hot. The bulbs will last a lot longer also.

-- Oldworld, Fair Oaks, Ca

View Seles23's profile


7 posts in 2703 days

#9 posted 04-06-2013 04:01 PM

I cut the plugs off of the pendant sockets, joined the cords together using wire nuts and electrical tape in groups of four, and then the two groups together with the wires in the ceiling in the same manner. it was pretty straight forward. I was a little concerned going into it but I ran my plans by an electrician friend and he gave me the green light.

View Seles23's profile


7 posts in 2703 days

#10 posted 04-06-2013 04:02 PM

thanks for the tip on the lids. I’ll do that this weekend. Last thing I need is glass showering down on my family

View camps764's profile


867 posts in 2602 days

#11 posted 04-06-2013 04:06 PM

Thanks! That was my concern as well. Love the idea, hate the idea of burning my house down because I don’t know electricity.

That’s how I planned it in my head…but figured it couldn’t be that easy.

-- Steve

View jenniferzinger's profile


5 posts in 2118 days

#12 posted 04-06-2013 05:14 PM

If you have attic access you could secure it from the top side.

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