Results on dial lamp coloring quest

Kenneth Laine Ketner ketner at ARISBEASSOCIATES.COM
Fri Jun 27 11:32:50 EDT 2003

Got a lot of nice replies from folks about how to make the good ole dial
lamp number 47 and friends change their colors.

Fingernail polish and shrink tubing don’t work too well. Polish for me
has yielded streaky results. Shrink tubing that I have is mostly opaque.
A few colors are not too bad, and the white makes a nice diffused effect
kinda like ground glass. But a lot of light is cut back.

The paint made for “staining” clear glass to make imitation stained
glass effects works pretty good. It is “Gallery Glass Window Color” made
by PLAID ENTERPRISES in Norcross, Georgia. It is kinda messy, and takes
a while for it to cure, and it is sometimes streaky. The price is right,
about $2 at your local general purpose hobby store.

But the best deal is the little silicon rubber slippers. These are made
by Hexseal, and can readily be obtained through McMaster Carr in many
sizes, shapes, and colors. See the MM-Carr web catalog page 609.
Or search for them as “Colored Light Bulb Cover.” The size that fits
type 47 lamps is MM-C stock number 16925 with additional sub numbers for
color (blue is K323, green is K325, amber is K324, and more colors are
available). These com in a package of 10, the package costs about $4.50,
so one slipper is about 50 cents. Because these little dudes
arent’streaky, pass the light great, and are re-usable, that is the
solution I chose. I stuck some Heathkit greens in my Hallicrafter FPM
300, and all that gray, green, blue coming off it now is rather nifty.
If I get tired of green, I can just open the conveniently hinged
Hallicrafters lid and slip on amber booties, or add a third bulb and go
for red, white, and blue. Wow,  I can have a white tuning dial, a red
power light and a blue s-meter, for less than the cost of a porch flag!


Ken Ketner
ARS KA5ELD (Extra Class)
  Personal Webpage:
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 home: ketner at
 office: kenneth.ketner at

PO Box 65135
Lubbock, TX 79464

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