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I bought a lamp kit to rewire an antique lamp that was not working. Basically replaced everything except the base, neck and lampshade. This is my first time doing any kind of electrical work.

The wires came with metal end caps. I had to shorten the cord, which cut those ends off. Then stripped the casing off to expose enough wire to attach to the socket screws.

My question is, how should I finish these wires before attaching? This doesn't seem to be discussed in any of the diy articles I've found, except one which mentions that you can solder the end yourself or just twist them tightly. I don't have the means to solder, but is it really safe to just twist the ends and then wrap them around the screws in the socket? Do I need to buy and attach some kind of cap?

Thanks.

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  • I would really like to see a picture of these "metal end caps" for the wires. I'm guessing that you're not using the right term, and that's OK, but it's confusing. Take a clear, focused pic, edit your post, and drag the picture into the post. The site will upload & host it for you so we can see what you're talking about. – FreeMan Dec 17 '20 at 18:00
  • +1 for asking instead of doing a hatchet job... @Freeman it's probably a ferrule, and OP may be in Europe where ferrules are often seen... – Harper - Reinstate Monica Dec 17 '20 at 18:26
  • @Harper-ReinstateMonica what is the land speed of a European ferrule? :) – FreeMan Dec 17 '20 at 18:58
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You can twist them tightly and be fine. Just be sure that there aren't any "hairs" (individual strands) that are loose. If so, just clip them off with a pair of scissors or nail clipper.

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    Also, wind the wire clockwise around the screw that it's being attached to. That way, tightening the screw pulls the wire into the screw. Doing it the other way pushes the wire out, and can leave more "hairs". +1. – Pete Becker Dec 17 '20 at 17:26
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Don't solder the ends. That's an old-fashoned idea that went out a few decades ago. Solder is less springy than copper and leads to contacts that work loose over time. It also makes the wire more brittle and likely to snap if it's flexed.

If you haven't got any ferrules (the solid metal things that can be crimped onto stranded wires), then twist the wires as recommended in the answer by George Anderson.

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