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Everything’s fuzzy,

I’m going blind. mmmmmmm.

I can’t see how beautiful you look today.

After a few rustlings of the newspaper it eventually was lowered into her lap. Can you see the look on my face now she asked? It’s a bit blurred, but I’m getting the jist of it I answered.

Is it something for the workshop again she asked, emphasis on again. It might be, or might not be, but could be, I wasn’t quite sure how I was going to finish the sentence, but didn't matter as I was cut off with the words. What is it this time, with the emphasis on this time.

I have very dangerous machines in the workshop I explained, and although their primary function is to cut etc, their secondary function is to kill or main me. And lately I am having to get a lot closer to the cutty end to see properly. So, I thought why not throw a bit of extra light at the blade.

What’s likely to happen she enquired. Worst case scenario I could lose a hand and wouldn’t be able to help you about the house.

At this point I had to step back a little to let the fit run its course. Took a couple of minutes, but standing there if felt a little longer. As she composed herself I noticed there wasn’t much left of her newspaper. Thankfully it had taken the brunt of the seizure

You better go and get your lights, she said, don’t want you losing both hands, then how would I manage about the house.

My thoughts as well

So, lads here we go again.

Now my first thoughts were to go down the route of led on a roll. Cut them to length fit a transformer and away you go, but on a little investigation found you only get one transformer with each roll and extra transformers needed. So Finally decided on a small Led flood and as luck has it I was in B&Q equivalent of Home Depot and there they were £8 each. Bought 4 and trialled it by fitting one in my new router cabinet. (Previous post) As far as I can see they only have one drawback. You will see from the photos it’s the shortest cable in the universe.

I opened one up and was initially going to desolder the phase and neutral from the board, but decided against it as didn’t know what the heat factor might do. So, cut, soldered and shrink sleeved them.

Decided on one for the band saw, mitre saw and lastly the radial arm saw. I wanted to wire each one to light up not manually, but with a switch wire linked to start-up of each machine. On single phase this is fairly easy but in my case all of my machines are 3 phase.

So, let’s start with the bandsaw. I wired a temp plug to the light and tried every way but which. Finally decided that a stationery option didn’t cut it, so my inner plumber came to the rescue. And as you can see from the pics I fitted a 15mm chrome plated pipe down the length of the upper carriage and ran the cable up and over using 9mm cable connectors and terminated with a plug into the bandsaw vacuum that comes on when the saw is switched. I just swapped out the single gang for a double. I made the light so it can travel about 12 inches vertically and full swivel with a handle fitted to the chrome pipe. I used chrome because it slides so much better in the Teflon pipe clips. And I set stops to inhibit travel.

So was it a success. oh yes, works a dream with full travel and axis in both directions I actually worked out better than expected, absolutely delighted.

I was so excited when it worked I got my wife out to see it in action....... that’s nice dear.

Now it’s the Radial arm saw. Now you might say why bother as they have kinda gone out of fashion with the advances in mitre saws, but my mitre saw is over 20 years old an Elu, but still performs like the day I bought it and the smaller blade makes an excellent accurate cut but doesn’t trench and this saw cuts a sheet 620mm wide and it can swivel to cut longitudinal and you can fit a router to it. I use it mostly for trenching.

No while the bandsaw was fairly straight forward in that the cutting surface is stationary, my first problem was the blade on the radial has a 2 ft travel and no matter where I placed the light at some point there was shadow. I therefore decided to fit it on the traveling carriage in order to follow the blade.

After a fair bit blinding myself I fitted it without too much bother, my problems started when I started to wire. Now most of my machines are 3 phase 415volts and If you have some knowledge of the wiring process you will be aware some machines have phase, phase, phase, neutral and earth, but many omit the neutral and on the Dewalt there is no neutral only earth, and because it didn’t need one I terminated in the isolator. So, had to run a neutral all the way from the isolator to the switch box on the cradle. Wired it so light comes on when I pull the trigger to start blade. Took a couple of hours, and you might be tempted at this point to say why bother, and the answers is simple, retired 24/7 and it’s a challenge that keeps the juices flowing.

So lastly my old faithful mitre saw. It’s been a loyal tool, only attempting to remove my digits on half a dozen occasions, which over 20 years is not so bad. Again, couldn’t install light stationery as when I tilted to 45 degrees I had serious shadow, so again used the cover and wired into vacuum circuit that comes on with saw.

So that’s it lad. Total cost £32 not bad and a good couple of days speaking to myself.

Colin
Scotland
 

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Nicely done Colin,
but you really MUST connect that chrome tube to earth. Teflon clips have isolated it from the machine body. Not good if a fault develops and that becomes live without tripping the mcb untill AFTER you touch it.
solder an earth wire to the top and connect it to the machine.
 

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Well done Colin and an impressive shop. I did it differently in my 20' x 15' shed, I hung four twin four foot fluorescent lights using N.E.C. tri-phospher tubes and it is like bright daylight with no shadows. No flash was used taking these shots, the first one was near the open door.
There have been a number of changes since this photoshoot. The only additional lighting was for each lathe.
 

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I'm with Harry on the shadow-free lighting provided by fluorescent tubes...the more the better!
Point source lighting is great for some applications but shop lighting isn't one of them.
Having said that, once again, Colin, you demonstrate for us your absolute dedication to craftsmanship.
I can only dream about having a shop that well organized and maintained...never gonna happen at Fort DaninVan :(
 

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Let there be Colin! I've been adding light as my vision changed, so everything's LED now. Five in my garage shop overhead bring it to near daylight bright. Something on the order of 5,000 lumens. In the shed shop, two 2,500 lumen bulbs with reflectors light up the table saw and bench area and a number of under counter LED strips fill in all the dark corner spaces. Wired the garage so the lights come on with a wall switch. There's an LED mini spot on each of my band saws. Pix. And a very bright light set behind my sliding miter floods the table with light. There's at least 7,000 lumens in the shed shop, which is 12x24.

It all started with my wife's kitchen remodel. The contractor installed 7 LED cans, plus under counter strips. Liked it so much we had him install 6 more in the living room. Wish I'd had another four installed. 3 light up the wall where Jean's art gets displayed. 3 more on the bookshelves and art above the fireplace. The entry way could use some cans to light the way and the neat stuff on the wall there.

I realized recently that there are indoor and water proof outdoor models. My wife likes all the light as well.

I like the low Kelvin lights for comfort so all are 4K or lower on the color scale. The blue/white is just too intense to suit me.
 

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Colin,

Love the back story. Scheming is a specialty that seems to be a dying trend but I try to keep it alive here in the states. But I surrender to your elegant skills, must have been professionally trained :) I learned on basic survival needs.....but it helps having a wife very supportive of my interests if truth be told but I enjoy the chase.

Early on I got rid of my florescent lighting as it was less efficient, more costly, and just didn't have the same output. I has 8' fixtures that could not compete with the 4' replacement LEDs. That said there are various types and I have two of such. The first were bought at Costco (FEIT) at very reasonable prices and the I bought 2 from Sam's Club (Honeywell) that I really don't like. You can see that the Honeywell have visible the individual LEDs showing in the 4' fixture where the FEIT are a single tube like design where the LEDs aren't seen. The difference is when looking up directly at the lights which I try not to do, at least on the Honeywell ones. Those are harsh on my eyes but illuminate well. The FEIT can be looked at comfortably, at least for me. That said they do an excellent job illuminating the shop. I have 8 more which I had bought for the 2 car garage that will eventually be installed when the low temperature 8' fluorescents die. Those fixtures needed to be high output low temperature fixtures due to the cold winters we get in Virginia and they won't flicker when cold. The LEDs seem to have no temperature restrictions that I've seen. At least none that will affect my usage of them.

I did put a magnetic base lamp on my Laguna Fourteen-12 bandsaw but need to get a LED bulb for it. For me, LED is the way to go just be careful of the fixtures you get and make sure the light doesn't bother you. They aren't all the same it appears.

-Steve
 

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This would drive me crazy... (the shadows)
Dan, Same for me, so both my band saw lights can swing around to the front of the table so the shadows fall directly to the rear. Both saws have a lot of surrounding light to fill in the shadows.

Color temperature is measured in Kelvin, 2,800 is very warm, like an old incandescent bulb. 5,000 to 6,000 K is quite blue to extremely blue daylight. If shooting video, you must have all lights be the same color as the sunlight or you don't get a match or the shadows seem oddly tinted. There are a lot of LEDs in the 4,000 K range which is like one of the intense incandescent soft lights, that seem a little cold to most peoples' vision.

I have mostly LEDs on the lower end of the scale, they feel more comfortable to me. I spent a number of years in my youth doing photography and 16mm non theatrical films (no, not that kind), and matching color temperature was handled with gels or filters on the lens. The filters also cut film speeds and you had to calculate the effect carefully. I had a number of 1,000 watt lights that with gels or a filter forced you to cut film speed by half or more. For major productions, you had a color temperature meter to make sure the light was balanced. It was common to have to use a 5,000 watt bulb and larger. Cost more for a bulb than a modern LED unit of the same brightness.

Today all video and most film lighting is done with LEDs and everything is in the 5,000 6,000 range. Easy pezzy.
 

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Colin, you over thought this problem. All you actually needed was one flashlight, with a mobile holder.
 

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