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Playing Around with Carving #10: Best Lighing for Carving

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Blog entry by WayneC posted 1075 days ago 4131 reads 1 time favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 9: Just Kicking Around today Part 10 of Playing Around with Carving series Part 11: Drawknife and bowl adze recommendations »

So far, I have been carving outside on my patio and the lighting is great. I’m anticipating that I will have to move inside into my garage based shop as the weather turns colder and wetter. The shop has pretty good fluorescent lighting, but I would not say it is the equavilant of natural light.

Does anyone have recommendations for lighting to use for carving. I am thinking that task lighting that could attach to my workbench would be a good option. Any suggestions for how I should approach this?

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov



14 comments so far

View Dick, & Barb Cain's profile

Dick, & Barb Cain

8693 posts in 2925 days


#1 posted 1075 days ago

*Hi Wayne!
I’m sorry I haven’t been doing much on LJs lately, but we’ve been up at the cabin, & don’t use the computer much. It’s a very slow connection. The fastest I can get is 26KB.

A bout the lighting, fluorescents are poor for carving, because they don’t create shadows, and you should have a light that creates shadows, like a clear glass incandescent.

But I just discovered, & bought this new LED lamp that’s great”. Check out my review about it.

-- -** You are never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream ****************** Dick, & Barb Cain, Hibbing, MN. http://www.woodcarvingillustrated.com/gallery/member.php?uid=3627&protype=1

View WayneC's profile

WayneC

12260 posts in 2723 days


#2 posted 1075 days ago

Thanks Dick. That is an interesting light and inexpensive.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View Dick, & Barb Cain's profile

Dick, & Barb Cain

8693 posts in 2925 days


#3 posted 1074 days ago

I forgot to mention, you can even carve in the dark with it, if you can find your tools. LOL

-- -** You are never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream ****************** Dick, & Barb Cain, Hibbing, MN. http://www.woodcarvingillustrated.com/gallery/member.php?uid=3627&protype=1

View WayneC's profile

WayneC

12260 posts in 2723 days


#4 posted 1074 days ago

Lol – No sharp tools in the dark…..

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View Tony's profile

Tony

978 posts in 2656 days


#5 posted 1074 days ago

Hi Wayne, do not just think about the fixture of the lamp you want to use – also think about the color temperature of the lighting.

As we get older the color temperature of the lighting lighting can dramatically increase what you see or do not see, especially when working close up. try the cooler daylight temperature light sources, also use several light from different angle. Diffused lighting is significantly better than spot lighting.

I am not a carving person, so I do not know about shadows (as dick was suggesting), I do not like shadows when I am working close up, they are always in the wrong place at the wrong time.

I used to have to wear reading glasses (although i did not need them for reading) to distinguish the mm marks on my ruler under standard fluorescents, changed to day light fluorescents and the reading glasses are a thing of the past

-- Tony - All things are possible, just some things are more difficult than others! - SKYPE: Heron2005 (http://www.poydatjatuolit.fi)

View Dick, & Barb Cain's profile

Dick, & Barb Cain

8693 posts in 2925 days


#6 posted 1074 days ago

I should have explained the reason for shadows when woodcarving.

Good overhead lighting using fluorescents is good,

but the use of a good adjustable light up close, and off to the side allows you to see the

fine details by creating shadows in your carving, “especially relief carving”.

Moving the light as you work on different areas also helps.

The light from an LED seems very natural.

Also when taking pictures of the carving, don’t use a flash, because it burns away the shadows, which will make your carving look lousy. You should use bright light off to the side, as you would while carving.

-- -** You are never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream ****************** Dick, & Barb Cain, Hibbing, MN. http://www.woodcarvingillustrated.com/gallery/member.php?uid=3627&protype=1

View mafe's profile

mafe

9483 posts in 1715 days


#7 posted 1074 days ago

I will follow the answers, but have no idea.
I would say that you need a good light, warm and not too strong, and that it should be from one side so you can work on the shadows what at the end carving is all about.
Best thoughts,
Mads

-- Mad F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

View Dick, & Barb Cain's profile

Dick, & Barb Cain

8693 posts in 2925 days


#8 posted 1074 days ago

You could relate the lighting of a carving to say sheetrock finishers, & auto body workers.

They use the light to find blemishes, & the carver uses light for seeing detail, also when he wants something smooth.

-- -** You are never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream ****************** Dick, & Barb Cain, Hibbing, MN. http://www.woodcarvingillustrated.com/gallery/member.php?uid=3627&protype=1

View nanowire's profile

nanowire

5 posts in 1074 days


#9 posted 1074 days ago

I would also advice to stay away from florescent lightning.
I hesitated to instal overhead florescent lightning in my small single car garage shop due to the restricted ceiling height. In retrospect I am glad I did.
Now there are two 75 w halogen worklights at each of my two workbenches and one extra gracing worklight to the left of my woodworking bench. This setup, together with a 100 W lightbulb in one corner of the shop and a small window above the bench, gives a very nice warm light for all kinds of benchwork. It does requires that one redirects the lights from time to time though.
I have only done some simple letter carving so my advice should be taken with that in mind :)

View WayneC's profile

WayneC

12260 posts in 2723 days


#10 posted 1074 days ago

I already have a ton of florescent lighting. It is two switches where I have basic lighting with two lights and then a second switch that adds two more lights over my lathe and bench tools area. There is a 3rd switch that has 5 lights on it that is over the main part of the shop. Also in the bench tool and lathe area there is some halogen track lighting on the wall.

I am thinking I can use a subset of this lighting with a light or two attached to the bench similar to what Dick has indicated. I’ve looked on Amazon at lights, but there are so many choices I think I have some more research to do. I may try Dicks lighting suggestion out if I can find one.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View nanowire's profile

nanowire

5 posts in 1074 days


#11 posted 1074 days ago

That sounds like a good idea. Nice to be able to switch the lights on and of according to need (or mood). I like the vintage industrial desklights with a swiveling arms, easy to position at any angle. In these parts of the world they still be found second hand and they are not to expensive.

I also think florescent light is good, eg. when finishing. I have a few in the adjacent room where my oldest daughter has her “creative” bench and I usually do finishing in there partly because of that.

View helluvawreck's profile

helluvawreck

15582 posts in 1492 days


#12 posted 1074 days ago

Wayne, I get by fine with just a plane old machine work light. I just clamp it to my work table. It gives me great light on on my work platform.

-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

View WayneC's profile

WayneC

12260 posts in 2723 days


#13 posted 1074 days ago

Thanks. What kind of bulbs are you all using?

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View nanowire's profile

nanowire

5 posts in 1074 days


#14 posted 1073 days ago

I use some quite strong 75 w halogen bulbs with E27 socket.
I got them from a clothing boutique that closed down. I have a supply of them but I have newer seen them in ordinary grocery stores so I suppose you have to look in specialty stores. In the small light on the left side there is an ordinary reflector light bulb, 40 W I believe.

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