On the Workbench #3: Porter Cable Bandsaw Modification - Adding a Work Light

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Blog entry by ontheworkbench posted 11-09-2014 05:36 AM 2820 reads 0 times favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 2: Jig for Batch Cutting Mortises Part 3 of On the Workbench series Part 4: Adventures with a Craftsman Midi Lathe »

I posted a while back about my 14” bandsaw from Porter Cable. It has been a great addition to the shop, but I just could not stop wondering why there was not a work light built into the saw. Other band saws have them, and other Porter Cable products have a work light, so they clearly have the parts available to make it happen. So I decided to resolve this once and for all, and ordered a replacement lamp fixture for a PC bench grinder and then wire it into my my band saw so it would not look like an after market modification. I thought I would share the video of how I did it, since several other LJs have the same saw. If you own a different band saw you can probably do something similar.

2 comments so far

View Bigrock's profile


292 posts in 3107 days

#1 posted 11-09-2014 05:14 PM

The answer I got when talked to Delta was that the Band Saw motor used to much current when starting that with the light on it could cause the motor to fail and void the warranty.
I have a 14” Band Saw, I guess like yours, and I notice that with a 1/2” resaw blade that the motor on mine has all that it wants to start. Mine is also 110 volts.
I did add a work light to mine, but I make sure that the light is off when I start the saw. It has tripped a 20 Amp circuit breaker.
Have Fun with your saw, but be safe

View ontheworkbench's profile


55 posts in 1710 days

#2 posted 11-10-2014 12:19 AM

@bigrock I wondered about the same thing, so I am using only an LED bulb so that it draws fewer watts of power. Since my entire garage is on a single 20 amp circuit (I wish I had more circuits, and a 220v branch too, but an detached garage makes this much more difficult to change). I wired the light on the input side of on/off switch which is no different than plugging in a lamp to a different outlet. If the motor needs to draw more current, it could cause lights to dim, and trip the breaker. Occasionally my table saw will do this when I am ripping 2x or thicker red oak stock.

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