Care Guide

Caring for your Clamshell Alchemist lamp

Changing the bulb

The Clamshell Alchemist lamp uses a CX53 LED bulb which is a standard fitting and can be purchased from many bulb suppliers. It is important to use a LED bulb because these run cooler (and use less electricity) than the older types. You can purchase them in three different colours or temperatures - 'cool', 'daylight' and 'warm'. 

These bulbs are flat and circular in shape with a dimension of approximately 80 cm. They have two small protruding bayonet contacts on the bottom which engage with the light socket.

To access the existing bulb:

  1. Open up the Clamshell so that the upper wooden shell is in the fully raised position

  2. Carefully lift out the glass Petri dish that contains the bone china fragments - this will reveal the bulb beneath

  3. Turn the bulb anti-clockwise a few degrees by pushing down gently on the top surface of the bulb with your fingertips and using friction to rotate it. Note: the bulb does not actually move down - it simply rotates. it can be very stiff so you may need to use firm but steady pressure to get it to move.

  4. Once the bulb feels loose, get hold of it by the edges (or gently insert a lever) and lift it out.

Fitting the new bulb is just a matter of reversing the above instructions. 

If you are unable to track down a suitable bulb, get in touch us and we will get one sent through to you.

Adjusting the tension of the winding handle

Over time the brass winding handle that lifts the wood upper shell may become loose which means it may not stay open when left in slightly open. This is easily rectified but will require a small spanner or adjustable if you have one.

  1. Locate the chrome nut on the opposite end of the winding shaft, i.e. on the other side of the grey metal structure from the brass handle.

  2. Fit your spanner onto this nut

  3. Holding the brass handle, tighten the nut very slightly against the handle - this has the effect of pulling the handle into the body of the Clam a tiny amount which increases the amount of friction needed to turn it.

  4. Remove the spanner and test.

  5. Repeat until the handle feels to be at the correct tension

Note: The nut has a locking compound in its thread which should hold it in position. If the nut itself starts to feel a bit loose it may need a the compound replacing. If this is the case, get in touch with us or a competent mechanic/engineer to help you remedy this. 

Looking after the wood

The main top and bottom  shells are carved out of kiln dried European oak and have been given a light treatment with a specialist wood oil.l The product we use is called Polyx RAW  which is made by Osmo and has been developed to protect the wood without changing the natural appearance. This should be all the wood needs but if you feel it would benefit from a bit of extra attention every now and then, you could use any oil that doesn't colour or add shine to the wood. 

The wood will naturally change colour over time - it may simply turn grey a little bit but oak also has a tendency to yellow, especially if exposed to sunlight. If you are not happy with the changes and would like to restore the wood to its original colour then this can be very simply done by rubbing it all over with a piece of 120 grit sandpaper (or similar) until the surface colouring has been restored. This should only take a couple of minutes or so, but will, of course, create a little dust. The wood can then be either left as it is in its natural state or lightly oiled as above.

If you get any blemishes or scratches you can lightly sand the area as above and re-oil if you wish.