Bring It a Little Closer

In a comment on the post about refurbishing the Disston saw, Ralph mentioned he had trouble focusing on things that small. I’m not sure whether “focus” meant a real vision problem, or interest that wanders away. If a vision problem, this might help…

photo of block and lampI’m shamelessly stealing the idea from Megan Fitzpatrick who recently wrote about updating her bench. She included pictures of how a ubiquitous magnifying lamp was adapted for use on the workbench. The lamp stands on a column 1/2 inch in diameter. My bench as a whole bunch of 3/4 inch holes for holdfasts. I took a block of scrap 2 by something. drilled a 1/2″ hole all the way through, flipped it over and drilled a 3/4″ hole most of the way through, and glued a 3/4″ piece of dowel in that hole. Now, I can locate that magnifying lamp almost anywhere.

5 Responses to “Bring It a Little Closer”

  1. Mark Dorman Says:

    I have a light like that on my sharpening station. Helps with seeing the teeth on a fine tooth saw. I also have some 3 x glasses that make a saw tooth jump out at you. There not So good for layout because when you look up there so strong you about fall over.
    I also have some short 1 x 2s screwed to the bottom of my bench that pivot out from under to expose the hole for my light. Works good and the light dosn’t take any bench room.

  2. Bob Says:

    Thanks for the suggestions Mark!
    The pivoting arms sound like a great idea.

  3. ralph boumenot Says:

    I tried using a magnifying visor and a lighted magnifying light similar to what Megan put on her bench. With both systems I got a headache focusing on the teeth as I tried to sharpen them. My annual eyeball check up is due, I’ll ask the doc if there is anything he can do. Sharpening my own saws is something I would like to learn how to do.

  4. Larry Jackson Says:

    I use the same kind of mounting solution with my square bench dog holes…instead of using a 3/4 inch dowel into which to drill your 1/2″ hole, you simply cut a dog sized tenon to glue into a corresponding mortise cut into the center of the underside of the 2×2 plate, and drill your1/2″ post hole through the top of the plate into the tenon. In addition to magnifying lights, you will find that almost any make of the old crane type architects’ lamps invariably have standard 1/2″ posts for mounting as well. I have several of them positioned all over my shop for task lighting. (Ralph, using one of these as a supplement to the magnifier’s fluorescent source really brightens up the saw plate, making it easier to visualize.) These old lamps can be still be found for 2-5 bucks a pop at flea markets and thrift stores everywhere.

  5. LA-C Says:

    I would like to ask permission to use one of your pictures for the cover of an e-book. How should I contact you?