I have an old house with black metal boxes on which there were old wall scones. All of the boxes have a threaded nipple in them which held the previous sconces. I am able to use a hickey to attach the new sconce via a threaded rod which works but there is nothing to counter rotation of the sconce around the thread. I could probably screw in some small "anchor" screws to help secure it better but I was wondering if these old style boxes have any kind of mounting holes that a universal mounting plate might work with. Thank you.enter image description here

1 Answer 1


In answer to your question and looking at this picture. I don't think so. You're probably better off doing as little as possible with the wiring in this house. Be very careful. The only thing that I see here that is younger than me (including the method of installation) are the yellow wire nuts and the black pigtail.

  • yeah, the wiring is old rubber coated wire, it's actually in good condition given its age. I wrap each wire with new electrical tape as a "just in case." Any idea what this type of box is called? I can't even find a picture of one to get an idea of what might be buried behind the plaster.
    – Elmo
    May 15, 2017 at 16:48
  • I have seen them but I don't know the call out would be for them. May 15, 2017 at 16:53
  • The old 3-1/2 inch metal boxes were usually used for lighting fixtures, this one has the hickey , I would look close as many of them did have threaded holes at the edge that may be covered by the plaster / concrete wall.
    – Ed Beal
    Feb 23, 2018 at 15:44
  • Could you an old work box there ? Not sure if your wall is solid or not.
    – ecco88
    Dec 22, 2018 at 14:52

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.