Drill Press Task Light

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Forum topic by Robert Tutsky posted 04-07-2013 10:11 AM 8344 views 9 times favorited 24 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Robert Tutsky

58 posts in 2044 days

04-07-2013 10:11 AM

Topic tags/keywords: drill press light task light swivel task light shop lighting

My drill press is situated in a corner of my small shop and that area is poorly lit so I decided to add some kind of lighting for drilling. At first I thought that a swing arm, boom type light might work but after looking at the offers available they were either expensive or had poor reviews. One idea I had was to buy a goose neck desk lamp and make a magnetic base for it but realized my drill press didn’t have an open metal space big enough to attach it like it had on my small band saw. Here is how that idea worked out for the band saw:
Purchased this desk lamp I off of ebay:

The underside of the base showing the magnets also purchased off of ebay:

Here’s the light being used. It works great and am pleased with it:

Since I couldn’t do the same set-up on the drill press I went a different route for the DP. For the shroud I used a tomato juice can trimmed down a bit and sanded edge smooth. Surprisingly, after rummaging through a box of electrical stuff I found a ceramic light bulb fixture with chord and switch ready to go (remembering back I got this fixture canablizing a table lamp someone threw out… yep, I’m a dumpster diver!)

I made a template using Illustrator for drilling the holes for the fixture and heat dissipating:

Holes drilled and counter sunk a bit. The counter sinking bit took off the burr left by drilling but bent the metal down somewhat and thought it was a welcomed design feature:

I measured the DP column’s diameter and made a template for the initial clamp/boom for the column. All of the light’s pieces were cut out of 1/2” plywood:

All of the knobs were cut out on the band saw. A few of the parts were smallish so I used locking pliers to hold them while cutting:

Next I chiseled out a mortise to accept 1/4” x 20 nuts epoxied into place in each one:

Here are all of the pieces cut out and sanded prior to painting:

Completed light put together and ready for mounting on the DP:

The light mounted on the DP and in use. The light swivels to most any position that I feel that would be needed. The light bulb is 60 watt but probably could use a 100 watt one if I feel I need more light but for now this suffices nicely:


24 replies so far

View JoeinGa's profile


7736 posts in 2001 days

#1 posted 04-07-2013 12:15 PM

Nice job! Get one of those CFL (pigtail) bulbs. You can have 100watts of light for only 23watts usage. And the best part is they put out almost no heat. I use ‘em all over my shop.

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

View Robert Tutsky's profile

Robert Tutsky

58 posts in 2044 days

#2 posted 04-07-2013 12:23 PM

Joe, thanks for the comment. I have some of those CFLs in other lights that I use and I will have to pick up more. I have a few boxes of regular incandescent bulbs and for now using those.


View kizerpea's profile


774 posts in 2361 days

#3 posted 04-07-2013 12:34 PM

thats good thinking!!!!!an a good shop tip.


View The Box Whisperer's profile

The Box Whisperer

678 posts in 2064 days

#4 posted 04-07-2013 12:37 PM

That is very sweet, Im thinking with a small modification it coudl also be used to light up a photo area for your work…

-- "despite you best efforts and your confidence that your smarter and faster than a saw blade at 10k rpm…. your not …." - Charles Neil

View NiteWalker's profile


2737 posts in 2571 days

#5 posted 04-07-2013 12:59 PM

Nice job!
A bit more involved for me personally, but it came out great.
And +1 on the cfl bulbs. Get the daylight ones.

-- He who dies with the most tools... dies with the emptiest wallet.

View bondogaposis's profile (online now)


4718 posts in 2345 days

#6 posted 04-07-2013 01:54 PM

That is really nice, I like it.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View jimmyb's profile


185 posts in 1886 days

#7 posted 04-07-2013 02:05 PM

On the CFL suggestion, be sure and get Brilliant White or Bright White. They are closest to sunlight in the spectrum. I use them in my photo shoots for ebay products and no flash is needed. Also now use them in all my shop lights.

I hated the “yellow tinge” that the CFL gave off but was tipped off about the Bright White. You can check the Kelvin rating on the box. Here is a quick explanation from a site:

“Don’t confuse brightness with color
The yellowness, blueness, or whiteness of a bulb’s light is measured by its temperature, in kelvins. CFLs with a 2700 K are closest to the yellowish light of a soft-white incandescent. Those at 3000 K are similar to the whiter light of halogen bulbs. At 3500 K to 4100 K, bulbs emit a cool, bright white that works well in kitchens and work spaces; 5000 K to 6500 K CFLs mimic daylight and are good for reading. If you’re using CFLs and incandescent lights in one room, or even CFLs from different brands, stay within 200 K to minimize noticeable color differences among bulbs. “

-- Jim, Tinley Park, IL

View woodbutcherbynight's profile


4515 posts in 2403 days

#8 posted 04-07-2013 02:06 PM

Very creative project looks great. Thanks for the detailed explanation and pictures as you went along.

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

View Lee Barker's profile

Lee Barker

2170 posts in 2844 days

#9 posted 04-07-2013 02:11 PM

This is more like a blog post than a forum question, Robert. Excellent work As we age those little rods and cones in our orbs crave more lumens. You’ve got a knack for delivering!



-- " his brain, which is as dry as the remainder biscuit after a voyage, he hath strange places cramm'd with observation, the which he vents in mangled forms." --Shakespeare, "As You Like It"

View Robert Tutsky's profile

Robert Tutsky

58 posts in 2044 days

#10 posted 04-07-2013 02:12 PM

Thank you all for the kind comments.

Jimmy thanks for the CFL info. Definitely will get some of those that emit the white light. I know I will like that.


View lew's profile


12052 posts in 3749 days

#11 posted 04-07-2013 04:35 PM

COOL! I can see this is going to replace the old fixture over my lathe- Thanks!!

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View dhazelton's profile


2766 posts in 2291 days

#12 posted 04-07-2013 05:44 PM

I was thinking ‘man, a lot of work’ but it was free and looks great! I would caution that the florescent bulbs don’t like vibration (I have them in a ceiling fan and they blow like crazy). A real letdown after the hype and expense of them.

View Robert Tutsky's profile

Robert Tutsky

58 posts in 2044 days

#13 posted 04-07-2013 06:32 PM

dhazelton, yeah it seems like a lot of work but I like doing stuff like that, the satisfaction of completing the project and turning it on was well worth it.

I will make a mental note of the caution you mention concerning the CFLs. Once the light is set in the most used position I don’t think I will be moving it all that much. Plus the DP doesn’t have much vibration.


View SCOTSMAN's profile


5849 posts in 3579 days

#14 posted 04-07-2013 07:01 PM

You have done a remarkably good job on this though I personally don’t like the tin can shade and would have just bought a lamp myself I do admire your endeavours ,Perhaps I am a little too old or lazy LOL Alistair

-- excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

View MrRon's profile


4758 posts in 3237 days

#15 posted 04-07-2013 07:26 PM

I like the job you did on that lamp. I use el cheapo LED flashlights I get from HF to use for task lights. They are light enough to be held in place easily with rare earth magnets. The batteries last a long time. I use one on my lathe and milling machine.

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