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Improved Lighting for Scroll Saws And Other Tools

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Forum topic by CharleyL posted 12-01-2015 11:03 PM 680 views 1 time favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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CharleyL

197 posts in 2832 days


12-01-2015 11:03 PM

Topic tags/keywords: scroll saw tip

Some time ago I had replaced the original DeWalt light with two halogen drafting board lights, on each side of the saw table to get rid of the blade shadow and moving mechanism shadows that existed around the point where the blade enters the wood. I did this to improve my accuracy, and they did a great job of removing these shadows and improving the illumination of the work area, but I found that I was frequently bumping my head into the lights and getting burns from them.

I recently found and purchased two of these LED lights to mount on my Dewalt 788 scroll saw in place of the halogen drafting board lights.

http://www.lowes.com/pd_352725-47842-17783-003_0__?productId=3394398

I designed and built a bracket to mount these lights to the upper arm of the saw after my initial plan of clipping the lights to the rear of the saw table failed because I kept bumping into the clamps with my work. The new bracket that I made wraps around the upper arm of the saw just ahead of the DeWalt label and extends out from both sides of the saw arm. Each side extension of this bracket has a hole where I attached one of the lights after removing it from it’s original clamp. This required dis-assembly of the lamp head and unsoldering the wires in the lamp head, then removing the wires from the flex tube, and then removing the original clamp. After installing the base of the flex tube on my new bracket I then re-threaded the wires up through the flex tube into the lamp head, re-soldered the wires, and then re-assembled the lamp. The same was done with the second lamp. I routed the wires back along the left side of the upper saw arm and fixed them in place with tie-wraps. The switches for the two lights ended up along side of the rear frame casting of the saw, so I attached them to this casting, one above the other, with double sided carpet tape. Between the switches and the power supply/plugs there are several feet of additional wire that would easily reach a wall outlet if one was directly behind the scroll saw, but I have mounted a power strip to the left side of the rear leg of the saw stand, so I loosely twisted the wires together and then plugged the lights in to this power strip. The saw and foot switch to run the saw are also plugged into this power strip.

I’ve now been using these LED lights for almost 2 months and find them ideal for my purpose. They are very bright and emit a very white, non-flickering light that is perfect for scroll sawing. Being able to easily position them on each side and slightly forward of the blade and shining down at about a 45 deg angle at the blade eliminates all of the blade shadows and makes it very easy to follow the lines of my patterns. Running all day long the lamp housings never heat up to much over 80 or so degrees, so I never burn my head on them either.

These lights would make great auxiliary lighting for most any shop tool, either mounted on their original clamps or specially made brackets. I’ll be buying more for my drill press, band saw, etc.

Attached are photos of this installation on my DeWalt 788.

Charley


6 replies so far

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woodbutcherbynight

2465 posts in 1876 days


#1 posted 12-02-2015 03:58 AM

Nice work, very creative. I have been playing with LED strip lights to use on a couple pieces of equipment. Nothing finished but you gave me some ideas, thanks!

-- Live to tell the stories, they sound better that way.

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tomsteve

394 posts in 686 days


#2 posted 12-02-2015 12:32 PM

ive been lookin for a way to add light to my excaliber that didnt require the spring clamp and ya gave me some ideas.
very ingenious and thanks!

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WoodNSawdust

1417 posts in 644 days


#3 posted 12-02-2015 01:45 PM

I have the same saw. I plan to add the lights to it. Thanks you saved me the time to design something myself.

-- "I love it when a plan comes together" John "Hannibal" Smith

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HillbillyShooter

5811 posts in 1760 days


#4 posted 12-02-2015 01:56 PM

Great idea, nicely implemented—thanks for sharing.

-- John C. -- "Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty's teeth." George Washington

View CharleyL's profile

CharleyL

197 posts in 2832 days


#5 posted 12-02-2015 04:26 PM

These LED lights are also available from Lowes with a weighted base instead of the spring clamp base. If you are going to use your lights on a home made bracket like I did you SHOULD NOT BUY the lights with the weighted base – they are not the same. The base end of the flexible arm is made differently. You should only buy the one with the spring clamp since it is easy to bolt to your home made bracket. DAMHIKT.

Charley

View helluvawreck's profile

helluvawreck

23214 posts in 2334 days


#6 posted 12-02-2015 04:55 PM

These look like just what I need in a spot or two. Thanks for the post.

helluvawreck aka Charles
http://woodworkingexpo.wordpress.com

-- 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

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