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Bringing Light to Aging Eyes (updated 5-22-2007 w/Flashlight Ordering Information)

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Blog entry by Mark A. DeCou posted 05-21-2007 11:48 PM 1027 reads 1 time favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Dimming Eyesight:
A hard topic for some of us, but as we enter our 40-something years, most of us notice some changes in our eyesight. Not the usual stuff we have seen happen in our 20’s and 30’s, that was easily repaired by a little stronger prescription glasses, but some serious changes.

The first signs, are obvious, the inability to see clearly up close. After we deny the problem for several months, we are faced with the reality that we need more light to see, and we need more magnification. I’m still fighting the magnification issue, but I am learning to bring more light into my work, so that I can see better.

To that end, I found a slick little flashlight at Harbor Freight with a long flexible shaft with a single LED bulb in the end. I didn’t know at the time how I would use it, but it was something I knew that I would find a use for, so I bought it.

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Updated Information 5-22-2007

Hey folks, the item number from www.harborfreight.com
Item #92506-0VGA

The light is made by “Gordon” and is a flexible flashlight with magnetic pickup tool. I took off the magnetic clip, and just used the flashlight. The current cost is $6.99, plus shipping of course. I found the flashlight in the Wichita, KS Harbor Freight store, so if you have one of those in your area, you can probably find it.

Here is another Gordon flexible shaft flashlight from Harbor Frieght that is $9.99.
Item #95414-0VGA

That’s about $35 in Canadian I think. Ha Debbie!

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A few weeks later, as I was routering a mortise for a flush door handle while working on the Church Lectern (http://lumberjocks.com/projects/1428). I was having a hard time seeing my line, and so, I found a use for the light, and started scrambling to find where I stashed it safely (actually took longer than making the plywood holder). Once I found the flashlight, I quickly rigged up a system to hold it and bring more light under the router, where I am watching the bit turn.
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This added light has helped my eyesight a lot, by increasing the clarity that I can see a pencil line that I am freehand routering against. In this particular case, I am using a small Ryobi laminate trimming router (I didn't have my new Bosch Colt router at this time).
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To fit the light, I held the router upside down on a piece of scrap plywood, and drew a line around it with a pencil. This gave me a profile to bandsaw that would fit around the outside of the router motor. I then drilled a 3/4" hole which fit the barrel of the flashlight well, and then just stuck the light into the hole.
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I simply twisted the long flexible shaft around the router motor, and pointed it right at the side of the router bit that I was straining to see. I can move the light source easily as I change the location I want to route.

This process worked great, so great in fact, that I thought I would share this idea with my other jock friends.

Until I break down and get bifocal glasses, I will be reading with my papers held at arm's length, and routering with my little LED flashlight. My wife says that this LED light idea hasn't helped my hearing one bit (ssssh...it is selective hearing loss!), but at least I can see what I route now.

I realize that this solution doesn't require much brain-science, or rocket-surgery, but it might be something that one of my fellow lumberjocks is needing right now.

still stubborn and squinting in Kansas,
Mark DeCou
www.decoustudio.com

all text, photos, and design is protected by copyright M.A. DeCou 5-21-2007

-- Mark DeCou - American Contemporary Craft Artisan - www.decoustudio.com



13 comments so far

View Karson's profile

Karson

34884 posts in 3085 days


#1 posted 05-22-2007 12:27 AM

Great idea Mark. I have nearsightedness. So I can see up close, so I take the glasses off to see the lines. Not the best or safest way.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware karson_morrison@bigfoot.com †

View Dick, & Barb Cain's profile

Dick, & Barb Cain

8693 posts in 2984 days


#2 posted 05-22-2007 12:31 AM

I guess I’ll have to rig up a light onto my carving chisels. LOL, No fooling. Thanks Mark

-- -** 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 Roger Strautman's profile

Roger Strautman

649 posts in 2818 days


#3 posted 05-22-2007 04:30 AM

Mark, when I carve sometimes I use a magnifying head visor with a light attached to it. This seams to work well because the light goes where my head goes even if I don’t use the magnifying part. It will run 8-10 hr. on a set of batteries.

-- " All Things At First Appear Difficult"

View David's profile

David

1970 posts in 2824 days


#4 posted 05-22-2007 04:44 AM

Mark -

Great idea! I can see a lot of applications for this. My eyes are getting dim and I need all the light I can get!

-- http://foldingrule.blogspot.com

View Don's profile

Don

2600 posts in 2862 days


#5 posted 05-22-2007 04:48 AM

Mark, perhaps you need one of these. LOL

or these

I use the latter and find them invaluable.

-- CanuckDon "I just love small wooden boxes!" http://www.dpb-photos.com/

View oscorner's profile

oscorner

4564 posts in 2996 days


#6 posted 05-22-2007 05:08 AM

Great solution. I got the bifocals and still find that I can focus better without them on, especially if I’m looking for that splinter I just felt go into my finger.

-- Jesus is Lord!

View David's profile

David

1970 posts in 2824 days


#7 posted 05-22-2007 05:18 AM

Mark -

Great idea! I can see a lot of applications for this. My eyes are getting dim and I need all the light I can get!

-- http://foldingrule.blogspot.com

View Tony's profile

Tony

978 posts in 2715 days


#8 posted 05-23-2007 12:53 AM

Strangely – I was with the optician last week getting my check-up and I was complaining about not being able to read my ruler clearly.

So she checked my reading vision (as opposed to driving) and it checked out A1. But some of the other tests she did support that as we get older we need more and better light. She suggested changing the fluorescent lighting (which the standard yellow/white light 3500k) to the blue/white tubes 6000k.
I wonder if anybody else out there has heard about this or made the change, or even is using the 6000K tubes from the outset.

Marc where did you get the endoscope/light thingy – it beats the hell out of my torch taped to my laminate trimmer

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

View Mark A. DeCou's profile

Mark A. DeCou

1996 posts in 3090 days


#9 posted 05-23-2007 01:22 AM

Hey folks, here is an item number from www.harborfreight.com
Item #92506-0VGA

The light is made by “Gordon” and is a flexible flashlight with magnetic pickup tool. I took off the magnetic clip, and just used the flashlight. The current cost is $6.99, plus shipping of course. I found the flashlight in the Wichita, KS Harbor Freight store, so if you have one of those in your area, you can probably find it.

Here is another Gordon flexible shaft flashlight from Harbor Frieght that is $9.99.
Item #95414-0VGA

That’s about $35 in Canadian I think. Ha Debbie!

thanks for asking,
Mark

-- Mark DeCou - American Contemporary Craft Artisan - www.decoustudio.com

View Mark A. DeCou's profile

Mark A. DeCou

1996 posts in 3090 days


#10 posted 05-23-2007 02:02 AM

Don, you crack me up. Can you imagine me working with one of those contraptions! ha ha. That telescope thing might work better if it was attached to Dick’s carving gouges.

-- Mark DeCou - American Contemporary Craft Artisan - www.decoustudio.com

View Aubster's profile

Aubster

131 posts in 2713 days


#11 posted 05-23-2007 02:06 AM

The fourteen years I have been with my wife she has always had bad vision. Then two years ago when she was taking a photogrphy class she kept seeing a big blob in the grain scope. She would get fusterated at me and everybody else because we did not see this blob. Luckly our eye doctor was a photographer, and when she told him about this blob he took a closer look in her eyes and found that she cataract in both eyes. She was 36 and had the eyes of a 90 year old.
She got a lense replacement put in her eyes and all of her vision problem are gone. She only has 2 complaints. 1. Because of the power of lenses she can not read anyting unless she is were prescription reading glass, or it’s 5 feet in front of her. 2. The lense are designed to only work for 10 years because they are normally used on much older patients.

-- A man who moves mountains starts one stone at a time.

View Sawhorse's profile

Sawhorse

281 posts in 3125 days


#12 posted 05-23-2007 02:54 AM

Great Idea….nice bit of form fitting, too!!!

-- Sawhorse - Sulphur Springs, TX - www.sawhorseworkshop.com

View MsDebbieP's profile

MsDebbieP

18615 posts in 2845 days


#13 posted 05-26-2007 11:31 AM

these are great ideas—not that I need them… no… not me!!

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (https://www.facebook.com/DebbiePribeleENJOConsultant)

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