Simple Jigs and Techniques #8: Chevalight

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Blog entry by shipwright posted 09-27-2014 12:17 AM 2150 reads 1 time favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 7: Veneer Matching Mirrors Part 8 of Simple Jigs and Techniques series Part 9: Table Saw Sled Mod for ShopSmith »

As I get older my eyes seem to require more and more light to see fine detail. That is a problem when cutting on the chevalet, especially when cutting piece by piece (classic) style where line following is critical. After trying all sorts of floor mounted lamp solutions I finally decided to put a little thought into a chevalet mounted light source that would
1) give good illumination from the left side of the blade,
2) not interfere with my left hand manipulating the packet,
3) not interfere with the packet rotating around the blade and
4) adjust to allow the largest packet my saw frame will (18”).

Here’s what I came up with this afternoon. I haven’t used it a lot but I think it will be fine. it certainly adds a lot of light right where I need it. The light is a cheap incandescent spot (~$10).

Hope this will be of interest to some of you with old eyes and chevalets. :-)

Thanks for looking.

-- Paul M ..............If God wanted us to have fiberglass boats he would have given us fibreglass trees.

14 comments so far

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

20599 posts in 3133 days

#1 posted 09-27-2014 12:35 AM

Very ingenious, Paul. Necessity is the mother of invention and pulled this one off real well!!
Cheers, Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View DocSavage45's profile


8603 posts in 2870 days

#2 posted 09-27-2014 01:10 AM



-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View sandhill's profile


2128 posts in 3951 days

#3 posted 09-27-2014 01:25 AM

There you go.

View longgone's profile


5688 posts in 3336 days

#4 posted 09-27-2014 03:31 AM

Paul…That is a simple but creative idea to create a solution for your lighting. NICE…

View Druid's profile


1769 posts in 2823 days

#5 posted 09-27-2014 05:13 AM

Great idea Paul. Now I’m wondering where your Logo will go?
Should be a good addition to many Chevalets out there.

-- John, British Columbia, Canada

View stefang's profile


15881 posts in 3362 days

#6 posted 09-27-2014 09:04 AM

That looks like a very good lighting solution Paul. I have something similar, an adjustable arm light mounted on a shelf in front of my chevy, but I also have pretty good lighting in my shop. That helps, but what I really need the most is magnification. I have tried using my magnifying light on the chevy, but it can’t be positioned in a way where it doesn’t interfere with saw. I use it a lot on my scroll saw to cut half the line, or at least right next to the line, and it works great there.

Having to face reality and knowing that there is no way that I will ever be able to cut classic style on my chevy, I’ve come to the conclusion that if I want to do classic style cutting I will have to use my scroll saw for that.

The need for turning tight corners, etc. is no problem with the scroll saw. If you are cutting out the background it is easy enough to cut a big hole in the middle of the cutout and then you have easy access with your blade from any direction to cut the details. The same applies for the insert piece cutting from the outside perimeter where you can make a cut towards the middle, back the blade out, turn in the waste area and cut back towards the middle from a new position on cuts that have very sharp points and/or difficult turns. Another advantage is that a larger blade size can be used since the turns are no longer a big issue. So I think I can produce as good a result as somebody using a chevy. Of course that remains to be seen.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Sodabowski's profile


2374 posts in 2860 days

#7 posted 09-27-2014 09:12 AM

Picky eyes need blatant evidence :)

-- Thomas - Pondering the inclusion of woodworking into physics and chemistry classes...

View kiefer's profile


5619 posts in 2694 days

#8 posted 09-27-2014 03:49 PM

Great solution and I know the issue all too well and lighting in the right place sure helps .
I have made a couple lights using LED lights for my bandsaw and table saw sled for the same reason and they also work well for me .


-- Kiefer

View peteg's profile


4299 posts in 2850 days

#9 posted 09-28-2014 12:51 AM

Great answer to your problem of lighting Paul, you’re not on your own with the eyesight thing my friend :)

-- Pete G: If you always do what you always did you'll always get what you always got

View rance's profile


4258 posts in 3188 days

#10 posted 09-29-2014 05:43 AM

That looks a little Frank Lloyd Wright-ish. I’m sure you’ll be putting a finish on it soon. Nice solution Paul.

-- Backer boards, stop blocks, build oversized, and never buy a hand plane--

View Philip's profile


1277 posts in 2566 days

#11 posted 09-29-2014 05:38 PM

Nice work Paul

-- I never finish anyth

View Patricelejeune's profile


375 posts in 1948 days

#12 posted 09-29-2014 07:58 PM

Good system, I understand the feeling. I am slowly feeling it more difficult to see clear details and light is not the only problem, closer to 40 ( I was 20 only yesterday, what happened!) now I wish I could still look and see closer. Do you have found the best optivisor yet?

-- Patrice lejeune

View shipwright's profile


7992 posts in 2825 days

#13 posted 09-29-2014 11:07 PM

I don’t like optivisors much. I’ve been using strong reading glasses, one grade stronger than I use for reading.
I have used this for a few days now and aside from some minor jiggling as I saw, it works really well.

-- Paul M ..............If God wanted us to have fiberglass boats he would have given us fibreglass trees.

View Roger's profile


20929 posts in 2831 days

#14 posted 10-01-2014 12:43 PM

Ahh, let there be light. I like your logo on the knob that holds it in position.

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed.

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