DIY LED Lights For Woodturning

Uploaded by AsWoodTurns on 04.01.2013

Hi, Alan Stratton from As Wood Turns dot com. If you're like me, you like a lot of light
on your lathe so you can see what you're doing. Sometimes see inside the middle of
a bowl. It always seems like there's a shadow on the lathe.
Last year at the Utah Woodturning Symposium, I saw a lot of little LED lights that they
could put almost anywhere on the lathe: magnetic base, very, very, nice. I thought -- those
must be very expensive but I've got to have one.
Turns out, I was wrong. They are actually lights from Ikea. So, I went a bought two
of these lights from Ikea. They come with a flexible shaft, LED, low voltage, and comes
with this heavy metal base. They intend for you to set this on a counter top but I need
a magnetic mount for mine. So I went to Harbor Freight and bought a two inch magnet.
My plan will be to take a piece of scrap wood and with a 3/8 inch forstner bit drill, I'll
drill down thru most of the thickness of the wood. I'll leave just enough for the little
posts on the bottom of the light. Then I'll drill a quarter inch hole the rest of the
way thru. That will be how I mount the light to the base.
But since I'm a woodturner, the base has to be round. It just would not fit with my
woodturning. So then I'll flip it over and I'll recess the magnet, not all the way,
but most of the way into the base. Then I'll attach that with a screw thru its middle.
So that's the plan. Then I'll have a couple of nice LED lights, magnet mount. I'll be
able to put them anywhere I want on the lathe. So. Let's go.
I drilled the holes to mount the light before I turned the wood base. I tried turning the
base first but could not control the drill very well. Between that and having the base
too tall, that was a flop. So, here we are with another block of wood.
To begin with on each blank, I found the approximate center and marked off the holes for the base
of the lamp from that mark. Then for each blank, I closed the chuck jaws,
placed the wood on the face of the jaws, and held it in place with the tail stock. This
is a pressure mount. It did spin occasionally. When it did spin, I tightened the tail stock
just a little more. With the wood mounted on the face of the chuck
jaws, I rough turned the wood until it was round and would fit inside the jaws. Then
I opened the jaws to receive the wood and tightened it in place.
With the rough turning complete, the next task was to hollow the base where the magnet
would go. This recess served double duty: a place for the magnet and a recess from which
to remount the wood to turn the upper portion. With the magnet recess hollowed out on each,
I swapped the jaws on my chuck to long neck jaws that would fit into the magnet recess.
I remounted each to turn the upper portion that would be most visible. The jaws fit inside
the magnet recess and expanded to hold the work piece.
After remounting, I turned, sanded and finished each. In this case the oil/wax sanding media
was also the final finish. With each base completed, I used the screws
from the Ikea kit to mount the light and another screw to mount the magnet into the base. This
is a shop article -- It did not need to be beautiful or food safe. But they turned out
nice anyway. Now I have plenty of adjustable light on my lathe.
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If you have ideas for projects or tips to share, please comment below. I'll add the
projects to my todo list. Please enjoy and always be safe -- Wear your
full face shield.