hanging set of pendant lights

I want to hang a group of 3 or 5 pendant lighting fixtures over a dining room table. There is wiring in the center of the ceiling where the current fixture is (this would be replaced by the pendants).
Is there an easy way to hang each of the pendants independently and straight into the ceiling, instead of having a metal bar covering the cords as they run along the ceiling into that center outlet?
Thanks for your input.
Janis
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Janis wrote:

"Is there an easy way..."
Short answer: No.
Jim
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On Sun, 17 Oct 2004 11:45:59 -0700, Janis wrote:

If the attic is above the room, reroute the wire into 3 seperate boxes for a very neat look.
Depending on how the joists run, you could fish the wire between joists to the new locations.
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In alt.home.repair on Sun, 17 Oct 2004 19:22:51 -0500 pet

They also make flexible drill bits, so that if one really wants to, he could insert the bit into the hole and bend it to drill a hole through the joist. (There is also a tool sold to keep the bit bent when drilling. I didn't find it very valuable, but if I had an assistant, maybe it would work better.) The bit has a hole at each end to use for pulling a wire or string through. Once the light wire is through, use it to pull the romex.
Phone and burglar alarm supply stores have these bits. I think I paid 30 dollars for a 6 foot one 20 years ago, but I used it several times for things I could not have done otherwise. Later, since I'm not good at sharpening bits, I bought a 3 or 4 foot bit. Eventually I will sharpen, or get someone else to, the 6 foot bit. (it won't fit in the little jig I bought.)
Phone installation manuals show how to use two snakes (or maybe a snake and a some heavy wire), one to hook the other, so you could drill a blind hole into the space between the next two joists, or the second and third joist even, and send a snake down from the opening you make for your next pendant to catch the first snake and pull it through to you. You can also get ceiling junction boxes that can be attached between two joists from the hole in the ceiling. An electrical supply house should have these, although I've only seen them in the occasional good or big hardware store.
Meirman If emailing, please let me know whether or not you are posting the same letter.
Change domain to erols.com, if necessary.
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posted:

Sounds like a great tool. Thanks. But unfortunately, I'm in an apartment style condo, without an attic, just an upstairs neighbor... Janis
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THIS is the answer to a girl asking: "Is there an EASY way ?"

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Unfortunately it's a condominium/apartment type of building. No attic. Just upstairs neighbors. Good idea though. Keep 'em coming.
Janis
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Consider a "track" on the ceiling. Attach track connectors to all pendant cords. Gives you some flexibility in placement. Also allows you to easily change lamp styles in the future.

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That's the solution I figured I would have to use, but the problem is that I don't like how those track connectors look, if they are the ones I have in mind. Maybe now I'm looking for ideas more design-related than how-to. I'm just not crazy about how those metal or plastic tracks look. Any creative people out there?
Thanks.
Janis
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(snip)
pendant
easily
In a condo, your choices are limited. Maybe a disk attached to ceiling, the diameter of the circle of lights you want to hang? Hanging down an inch or two, with a recess around the outside edge to create a shadow line, and hide any unevenness in the joint with the ceiling? You could make the disk out of pretty much any wood for the frame, and skin the bottom with decent plywood, and paint or stain to suit. Just need to make sure you have some way to easily detach or open up the disk, for access to the wiring. Some sort of clips on ceiling into joists, with a big screw into shadow space on one side so it doesn't fall off the clips, would work. Wish I could draw you a picture- any good trim carpenter could knock it out in an hour or two. Just run the wires from existing junction box to where you want the lights, and fasten them through plywood with strain reliefs.
aem sends...
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If this is a condo, it's probably new enough to have plasterboard ceilings. It'd be a little work, but you could cut a foot wide by however many feet long piece out of the ceiling, put up the electrical boxes for the hanging lamps and replace the wallboard. Spackle, sand and repaint the ceiling.
It sounds difficult, but it's not really that bad. You could pay a handy- man to do the electrical and wallboard work, and repaint the ceiling yourself.
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Ed, Thanks for faith in my painting skills. It sounds like a good solution. Just have to find the right handyman. Janis
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Bury the track in a cast plaster ornamental "medallion".
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I love that idea! I can picture what you're talking about but can't quite figure out what type of store would sell those. I'm in L.A. though, so it should be easy to track down I guess.
Janis
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