Improved Lighting For My Scroll Saw - Router Forums
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post #1 of 33 (permalink) Old 12-02-2015, 05:47 PM Thread Starter
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Default Improved Lighting For My Scroll Saw

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.

Shop Style Selections 15-in Adjustable Brushed Steel LED Clip-On Desk Lamp with Metal Shade at

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 itís 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.

Iíve 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. Iíll be buying more for my drill press, band saw, etc.

Be careful not to buy the weighted desk top version of these lights. The base of the flexible shaft is different than the one with the spring clamp shown above. If you buy one of these it will be much harder to modify.

Attached are photos of this installation on my DeWalt 788.

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post #2 of 33 (permalink) Old 12-02-2015, 07:55 PM
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I like it...
well done...

This would have been the week that I'd have finished chewing thru the restraints...
If only new layers hadn't been added....

Forget the primal scream, just ROAR!!!
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post #3 of 33 (permalink) Old 12-02-2015, 08:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Stick486 View Post
I like it...
well done...
Me too.

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Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication. ~ Leonardo da Vinci

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post #4 of 33 (permalink) Old 12-02-2015, 08:36 PM
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Hi Charley
your idea of LED's sure got me thinking..
my shop has some dark corners
most of the time I use a LED headlight
maybe I could fix your idea on some of my gear
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post #5 of 33 (permalink) Old 12-02-2015, 10:27 PM
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Hey! I got the same ones at lowes! They work great, and were darn cheap as well. I have lost one row of LEDs, but still plenty bright. Better still, they are cool to the touch and don't give too much glare off of the table.

Really like your base. I just use the clip on mine

1 John 1:9
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post #6 of 33 (permalink) Old 12-03-2015, 07:27 AM
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great idea
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post #7 of 33 (permalink) Old 12-03-2015, 07:31 AM
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Nice. I just finished putting LEDs in my shop to raise the overrall light level so it is really bright, and used the 2600 lumen bulbs above my table saw, workbench and sliding miter. Used under counter strip lights in several otherr areas so there are no dark corners any more. But still need a couple of lights on severral tools, band saw and routerr tables in particular. Your idea is great and the reflectors keep the glare cown and the LEDs run cool so no burning your fingers or worrying about fragile currly bulbs. I also finished a honey do by putting 6 high powered LEDs in the garage. It iis now brignt in there. Have the jointer and planer in the garage so they now are brightly lit. Oh, and so is the laundry area in there, which is what my honey wanted in the first place. I got the warmer color because it is more comfortable to me. The blue light models have proven to keep you awake. The warmer ones dont interrferre with sleep.
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post #8 of 33 (permalink) Old 12-03-2015, 08:33 AM
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Just right for a problem I've been thinking about. Thanks.

It seems I never finish what I
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post #9 of 33 (permalink) Old 12-03-2015, 10:22 AM Thread Starter
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Wow! I thought my idea was good, but I didn't expect so many "likes" in 24 hours.

Now I've got to take some more pictures to show why I've been improving my scroll saw.
I've been spending a lot of time in front of it since early August. A new post with pictures coming soon.

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post #10 of 33 (permalink) Old 12-03-2015, 12:05 PM
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Thanks for the idea. I'm headed to Lowes today.
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