In Tricks of the Trade

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Before the advent of magnetic-based LED lights, many of us used flexible gooseneck lamps with an incandescent bulb as auxiliary lights on our drill presses and band saws. These lamps were usually screwed or clamped onto the machine. I acquired a Craftsman lamp many years ago, but there were many other brands and styles available.

As someone who dislikes wasting useful items, I sought a way to repurpose my old lamp and add light to my bandsaw tabletop. One option was to drill holes in the saw’s steel body and permanently attach the gooseneck’s socket base with machine screws. However, I created a detachable side saddle that mounts over the saw using strong neodymium magnets and connects to the lamp base.

My magnetic plate design is simple but effective. It’s a “T” shaped bracket that embeds ¾” socket magnets such as these into plywood or hardwood. After installing the magnets, I screw the proprietary socket base onto it. If your lamp has a clamp on the base, like an architect’s lamp, size your side saddle to accommodate it. Alternatively, if you have an articulated lamp arm and have lost the base, drill a hole in the saddle to anchor the lamp.

One benefit of this design is that it doesn’t interfere with opening the bandsaw blade door and is effortless to detach or relocate from one side of the saw to another.

In conclusion, a magnetic side saddle base for a bandsaw light repurposes an old lamp and adds extra illumination to your workspace. Using neodymium magnets and a custom wooden bracket, you can create a detachable and adjustable mount that’s easy to install and move around as needed. This practical design reduces waste by using items that might otherwise be discarded.

P.s. Today, you can buy LED bulbs that fit into almost any legacy lamp light bulb socket. The bulb in my old Craftsman lamp is a new LED I bought online.

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