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Is this a dumb idea

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mickri

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#1
My 12x36 lathe sits in front of a window in my garage. The only place where I could put it. I thought that this would be good lighting. It turns out that the light from the window is always too bright and the front side of the lathe is always dark. Hard to read the dials I have very high ceilings in my garage so hanging a light from the ceiling doesn't work. The original owner had mounted a light with a long flexible neck on the table that the lathe sits on. This light always seemed to be in the way for me and I have removed it. Lately I have been sitting a small reading lamp on the cover over the drive belts. This seems to work fairly well but you have to hang on to it at times.
Over the weekend I picked up a reading light that I could easily permanently mount on this cover by drilling 3 holes in the cover. It has a very small base.

IMG_3548.JPG
This is the lamp.

IMG_3550.JPG
Here it is with the base removed.

IMG_3551.JPG
This is where I am thinking about mount the light.

I have not seen this before and am wondering if this is a dumb idea that I will later regret.
 

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Tony Wells

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#2
One downside to that is its inability to shine down in a bore. Many lights are mounted on the carriage so they travel with the tool, more or less. But if it's the dials you are concerned about that should help.
 

Tozguy

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#4
Have you considered installing a horizontal blind so that you can modulate the light coming through the window?
Natural light is the best of all but you have to regulate the intensity. Without it you will need very powerful lights to illuminate the dark side of your lathe when the sun is shining in! Your eyes will water!
Is it possible to add reflective surfaces over, behind or beside the lathe so that the natural light is diffused to surround the lathe a bit better? I use bubble insulation with foil on one side to brighten some dark spots around my lathe.
Or can you turn the lathe sideways or 180 deg. so the window is illuminating the front of the lathe?
All this to say that fixing lights to my lathe might not be the way I would go in your situation. It would be a last resort.

If you must attach a lamp use magnets as mentioned above at least until you are sure of the location(s) before drilling and tapping the lathe. Be prepared to see the magnets accumulate chips and swarf forever after.
 
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Tozguy

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#6
Maybe a light on a floor stand that can be moved around easily like photographers use?
 
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dlane

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#7
I’ed go with blinds on the window maybe vertical so the oil stripe is easy to clean .
The cover is probably cast aluminum so magnet won’t work there but I wouldn’t drill holes in it.
I think i’ed hang a led shop light with chains or cable above you , it would be out of your way .
 
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cathead

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#8
In addition to whatever you decide to do for shop lighting, a small LED flashlight is really handy for those dark nooks
and crannies. I have several in the shop and keep a small one in my pocket most of the time. A small mirror along
with an LED flashlight allow one to see places otherwise impossible to see (like looking behind your lathe carriage for example).
 

The_Apprentice

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#11
Hang a 4ft LED shop light from chains over your lathe at the height and location that works best for you.
This is something I have been debating on myself recently, and some other re-wiring issues in my basement shop. At the moment, I am pulling out my iPhone at times to use the built in flashlight feature, but there should be a better way. LOL
 

RJSakowski

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#12
I use an articulated arm lighted magnifier on each of my lathes. https://www.ebay.com/itm/Clamp-on-S...662536?hash=item284e7f60c8:g:fxMAAOSw7rdaY24F
I replaced the incandescent bulbs with A19 LED's . Plenty of light, no heat, and relatively immune to breakage.
I made my own socket from 1/4" black pipe. The lamp is mounted at the right rear of the lathe and will swing to cover the entire working envelope of the lathe.
The magnification is great for detail work and the lamp easily swings out of the way.
 

mickri

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#13
Magnets won't work. The cover is aluminum.
I have a headlamp that I have used when crawling into dark places on my boat and at other times. The problem that I have found with led headlamps is that the light beam is very directional and has to be pointed directly at what you want illuminated.
The lathe has to stay where it is. My garage is not large and like every garage is filled with stuff. My metal working stuff is in the back left corner of my garage and the woodworking stuff is in the right front corner All of the rest of the wall space has either has builtin shelving or work benches. My MG Midget, currently under going a resurrection, and it's stuff takes up most of the floor space. And even the back left corner has issues. The builder of the home for some unknown dumb reason brought the waterline for the house up through the garage floor roughly 2' from the side wall and 4' from the back wall. The lathe barely has room to fit between this pipe and a side door and my mill/drill barely fits along the back wall between the pipe and the door to the house.
I like the idea of the articulated light because it would be easy to move around to where it is needed. But I wonder if it would be long enough. It is 3 1/2' to 4' from the back right corner of the lathe to the chuck area where the light is needed the most.
I will try placing a piece of plywood to cover the bottom half of the window and see if that helps. I will also try mounting the light that came with the lathe on the left front corner of the bench and see how that works out.

I appreciate everyone's suggestions. Thanks
 

mickri

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#16
I mounted the light that came with the lathe in the left front corner of the bench and I think that it will work. Seems to be out of the way and lights up the front of the lathe where I need light. Even with full sun coming in the window this morning. The window faces east.

Thanks again for all of the suggestions.
 

markba633csi

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#17
Personally I'm not real fond of mounting things on the machine itself-switches or lights- the bench mount light sounds good
Mark
 

pdentrem

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#18
I am still experimenting with how I like this lamp and will likely put in a couple more holes in the shelf as required.

A5009ED6-A134-4960-90D8-666DEE2F7FA2.jpeg
 

NortonDommi

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#19
I've just replaced the 50W Halogen bulb in the lathe machine light with a 5W COBB L.E.D. 6500K and the light is soooo much better! I still have the problem with reading the dials so use a small L.E.D. torch. When I get around to it I want to make some small hoods to mount L.E.D.'s in to shine directly onto the dials. I was thinking a piece of perspex with a hood. The light spill fromm the edge would be fine and directional plus it could be curved very easily for mounting.
 

PHPaul

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#20
It seems like the OP has solved his problem to his satisfaction, but I just wanted to jump in with a "Me Too" post :beguiled:

A friend pointed me at 4 foot hanging LED fixtures from WalMart for <$20. So far I've bought 6. Four in the garage, one over my model building bench and one over my lathe. Excellent light!

I also keep a small, inexpensive single A-cell LED flashlight by the lathe. As others have posted, it's just the ticket for peeking up bores or spotlighting hard to read dials. My eyes haven't gotten older, they're just making the print smaller...:rolleyes:
 

mickri

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#21
Mounting the light on the front left corner of the bench seems to be working. Last week I finished making a spacer for the spindle on a trailer I have. Today I went to mount the hub and discovered the race for the grease seal needed some clean up. Chucked the hub up in the lathe and had it fixed in no time. The light worked good. Only negative so far is the heat from the old style bulb. Will replace it with a LED.
And I do have a small LED flashlight that I use to see inside of bores.
 

whitmore

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#23
I'm uncomfortable with '4 foot' and '8 foot' LED fixtures. If they don't have a ballast, they'll flicker, and
the long series string of LEDs, like a string of Xmas lights, is only as good as its weakest element.
Flicker, with moving machinery, scares me; electronic-ballast (over a few kHz) fluorescents don't flicker.
After a few years, the LEDs will get dim, or die entirely, and some such fixtures aren't relampable. You'd buy and install
a new fixture. Changing fluorescent lampss is awkward, but easier than changing fixtures.

Also, an accidental break of a fluorescent tube puts some glass onto the floor, but a broken
LED 'tube' could dangle a live wire.

For me, the solution today is to update a ballast and stick with fluorescents for big fixtures,
and low-voltage LED lamps for bright up-close lighting.
 

Nogoingback

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#24
I'm uncomfortable with '4 foot' and '8 foot' LED fixtures. If they don't have a ballast, they'll flicker, and
the long series string of LEDs, like a string of Xmas lights, is only as good as its weakest element.
Flicker, with moving machinery, scares me; electronic-ballast (over a few kHz) fluorescents don't flicker.
After a few years, the LEDs will get dim, or die entirely, and some such fixtures aren't relampable. You'd buy and install
a new fixture. Changing fluorescent lampss is awkward, but easier than changing fixtures.

Also, an accidental break of a fluorescent tube puts some glass onto the floor, but a broken
LED 'tube' could dangle a live wire.

For me, the solution today is to update a ballast and stick with fluorescents for big fixtures,
and low-voltage LED lamps for bright up-close lighting.
I've replaced some of the fluorescents in my garage with LED's. The ones I bought are direct wired to 110V and the "tubes" can
be replaced. They were installed in the old fixtures after removing the ballasts and changing out the holders, which came with the
LEDs. I've had them for over a year and have noticed no flicker at all: just bright light better than the old tubes. Mine came from
Home Depot. As for price, I bought them when the ballasts started to go, so the cost was a wash.
 

Tozguy

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#25
Now that LED lights are getting less and less expensive, we have the whole house almost completely converted away from fluorescent bulbs of all types to LEDs. Around here you can't give fluorescent bulbs or fixtures away. There is nothing a flour. can do that a LED can't do better it seems.
 

Cheeseking

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#26
I'm uncomfortable with '4 foot' and '8 foot' LED fixtures. If they don't have a ballast, they'll flicker, and
the long series string of LEDs, like a string of Xmas lights, is only as good as its weakest element.
Flicker, with moving machinery, scares me; electronic-ballast (over a few kHz) fluorescents don't flicker.
After a few years, the LEDs will get dim, or die entirely, and some such fixtures aren't relampable. You'd buy and install
a new fixture. Changing fluorescent lampss is awkward, but easier than changing fixtures.

Also, an accidental break of a fluorescent tube puts some glass onto the floor, but a broken
LED 'tube' could dangle a live wire.

For me, the solution today is to update a ballast and stick with fluorescents for big fixtures,
and low-voltage LED lamps for bright up-close lighting.
I've replaced some of the fluorescents in my garage with LED's. The ones I bought are direct wired to 110V and the "tubes" can
be replaced. They were installed in the old fixtures after removing the ballasts and changing out the holders, which came with the
LEDs. I've had them for over a year and have noticed no flicker at all: just bright light better than the old tubes. Mine came from
Home Depot. As for price, I bought them when the ballasts started to go, so the cost was a wash.
Same here! Just posted this in another thread here. Cost $15/bulb $30 per fixture so it didn't make sense to toss fixtures. These are also replaceable when they burn out. No glass or mercury. The tube is plastic so over a lathe no worries of shattering.
 

RJSakowski

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#27
I have converted house, shop, barn, and outdoor lighting to LED for the most part. The remaining lighting is either something used like ten minutes a month or in torchieres having built-in dimmers not compatible with LED's, I have been using LED area lighting for more than ten years and have yet to have one fail. As my remaining incandescent and fluorescent lights fail, they will be replaced with LED equivalents wherever possible.

About the only place that I would use an incandescent bulb would be in the oven. I find that the LED's work well at -10ºF, the coldest temperature experienced last winter, even though they weren't rated for cold weather use.
 

Round in circles

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#28
I’ed go with blinds on the window maybe vertical so the oil stripe is easy to clean .
The cover is probably cast aluminum so magnet won’t work there but I wouldn’t drill holes in it.
I think i’ed hang a led shop light with chains or cable above you , it would be out of your way .
I'd paint the window out with a white wash style emulsion paint , to diffuse strong day light & stop nosey people looking in . It will also act as a light reflector surface if you are working at night in your " Man Cupboard " .

Then when it's dry :eek: , go hang a four foot LED strip tube light "Middle for Diddle " ( centrally along the bed length ) above the lathe about an inch forward from the centre line so the centre line is an inch in front of the front of the bed ways & then put a small deflector lip ( say card boars , thin strip of plastic or wood etc. up in front of the light so you are not blinded by the fantastic light they produce whilst you stand at the lathe .

I didn't have the opportunity to use an LED strip so I used a 20 watt LED flood at each end of the whole lathe , set some two feet above the head stock height on a specifically place length of 2x 2 " timber . The lights being angles as ...... RH light on to the chuck area , LH light angled about five inches to the right of the chuck .. it gives a good spread of clean white light and they tend to stay free of any lathe thrown up oil splashes, chippings etc.

For some jobs , such as parting off I found I needed a magnifying glass to set the alignment of the cutting tool edge height to the chuck's centre height with me using the point of a sewing needle ( eye cut off ) . The needle being held & tested for being central in the chuck by spinning the lathe under power for a few seconds ) . For this I ended up buying a brand new angle poise magnifying lamp with a five inch dia x 5 mag lens ... that I mounted on the lathe stand on the RHR edge. It's also a good light 7 method for getting any offset close to what's needed before the final testing cuts or setting the lathe back to near true once you remove an offset & then do the final true turning check.


If you need an extra bright white light to bathe the work area , I found that having both the LED floods & the angle poise light on then carefully angling the lens of the angle poise with the poise light switched on , I was able to get a five inch dia beam or more , of bright pure white shadow less light beam on to the work area .
 
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Round in circles

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#29
Now that LED lights are getting less and less expensive, we have the whole house almost completely converted away from fluorescent bulbs of all types to LEDs. Around here you can't give fluorescent bulbs or fixtures away. There is nothing a flour. can do that a LED can't do better it seems.
Look on eBay there are so may LED light units now available that you rarely ever have to throw or give an older fitting away . That also applies to LED strip light replacements ,.
Some of the later LED strips lights have a starter unit to plug on the end of an LED strip light tube. Others are actually built in the end of the strip tube , some need a different starter unit that plugs in the side of the light fittings housing just like the fluorescent strip did & some apparently .... like mine don't have any visible ones of any sort on view .

Though buying a new unit specially made for LED strip light is a sounder option if you can afford to , for eventually the adaptors & adaptations will no longer be made or more likely allowed to be imported / used in you country .
 
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