In Tools

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No matter how good your shop lights are, there are always areas that will benefit from the extra flow of photons. Like most bandsaws, the Grizzly bandsaw that we have (I mentioned it a few weeks ago when I showed how I replaced its tire) did not arrive with a dedicated lamp. Since I use it quite often I decided to look for a lamp that will allow me to see better when I operate the saw. 

Some aftermarket lamps call for a permanent connection to the tool’s frame. Other lamps have magnetic bases (mostly one or two rear earth magnets). Most of the lamps with magnetic bases will require you to yank them out of their location if you decide to move them to another placement on the tool or relocate them to a different tool altogether. When I searched for lamps I discovered one that has a magnetic base that can be activated or deactivated with a turn of a lever. This LED lamp also had a very long and flexible neck which allows you to easily direct it to shed light on the right spots. I got our lamp on Amazon two years ago and have been using it successfully ever since.

Most of the time the lamp resides on the top of our bandsaw’s frame. The LED bulb is very powerful, even from such a high location.

Lights Off

Lights On.

I love its versatility, articulation, and the fact that I can pull it out from the top of the saw’s frame and migrate it to its cast-iron table to illuminate the blade guides during their adjustment, etc. Highland Woodworking is now offering this work light, which cost us $60 back then, for only $39. I think that this is a great deal.

You can even connect this lamp’s base to vertical surfaces.

One last tip…The lamp’s light switch is on the lamp’s head while the lever that is responsible for the magnetization of the base is on the base block. If you share your shop with other people, label the lever (for clarification’s sake) or staple a sleeve of paper around it to prevent others from mistakingly engaging it – since they might think that it is the light switch. If the magnetic base is deactivated the lamp might fall straight down, so it is better to be safe than sorry. 

To protect the lamp from dropping down to the ground as a result of accidental demagnetization of its base by a student I cover the base with a paper “legwarmer”.

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