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Lamphead - great call on the feeler gauge for trying to free the Imperial globe from the lower cone. Not only did you point me in the right direction for a tool, but also pointed me to the exact store to get it. Now that's what I call service! Wish I had the feeler gauge on the last Imperial as freeing the globe is a pain in the ass. I don't care what anyone says about you, you're alright.
I've done some preliminary runs at the junction with the feeler gauge and I can get it all the way down unimpeded on the majority of the globe circumference. There are a few areas that will require some work, but the feeler gauge beats to hell any suggestions that numbskull Critter gave me. He may think he knows lava lamps, but he ain't no Lamphead.