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  • Mill Lamp(s)

    4 of my 5 CNC mills have lights inside the enclosure. They were made that way. 3 have halogen lamps and one has 5 light bulb sockets for 110V screw in lamps. Talk about lit up. The PM1440 lathe also has its own halogen lamp and for a little better light I have a 4 foot florescent can hanging over the bed. Anyway, since starting to use the new manual knee mill in the back shop I've butted up against lighting issues a couple times. The 8' florescent cans 16+ feet above hanging from the purlins light up the general area pretty well, but it would be nice to have something right on the machine. Everything I have found seems really expensive for a lamp, or really crappy. I think a good lamp with a strong magnetic base would be the best option. A ring light around the spindle might be ok, but I think something brighter I can point where I want it would be better. What do you use?
    *** I always wanted a welding stinger that looked like the north end of a south bound chicken. Often my welds look like somebody pointed the wrong end of a chicken at the joint and squeezed until something came out. Might as well look the part.

  • #2
    Not a mill but this lathe is well lit inside, it is like sunlight.
    I believe the strip light is LED and the spot is halogen.
    Last edited by Bented; 07-06-2021, 09:14 PM.

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    • #3
      Same idea for lighting on manual lathe...

      4' fl can. Halogen spot.
      Click image for larger version

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      ​​​​
      *** I always wanted a welding stinger that looked like the north end of a south bound chicken. Often my welds look like somebody pointed the wrong end of a chicken at the joint and squeezed until something came out. Might as well look the part.

      Comment


      • #4
        Years ago I bought one of these when they went on sale at Princess Auto. I removed the screws and bolted on steel L brackets and I attach it to my BP clone mill with magnets.

        It's "ok" but on the bulky side and a lot of the time when I don't need the extra lighting I don't have it installed.

        Location: Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada

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        • #5
          I like a three lamp arrangement on a vertical spindle machine, drill press or mill. And I like LED lamps. When installed just a foot or so from the work area, they are more than bright enough.

          Here is my floor stand drill press. It has three lamps, the built in one behind the spindle and two inexpensive, clamp-on style, goose neck, LED lamps. The light is excellent and my hands on the controls do not block it because it is coming from three directions and my hand/arm can only be in one place at a time. They are clamped on a pair of wood brackets that I made: these brackets are attached to the underside of the belt cover. I added screws through the clamps to keep them from moving and I kept the in-line switches so I could control them individually if needed.

          Click image for larger version

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          The third lamp is inside the head casting, behind the quill. I also have a screw-in LED bulb there. It does not show in this photo, but there is a standard, single gang electric box on that wood shelf, just behind the column. It gets it's power from the same switch on the face of the head that controls the bulb in the head. The two LED lamps are plugged into that box so normally all the lights are turned on with that one switch.

          On my mill, which has a dovetail column design, I also have three LED lamps. I did a bit more work on this installation, but the lamps were also fairly inexpensive. This is not the best photo: I wanted one that showed the mounts as well. I may take some more and post them.

          Click image for larger version

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          I removed the original goose neck OEM light which was attached on the left side of the head, towards the rear. I used the same mounting holes to attach a single gang electric box which has a combination switch and single outlet. That switch controls all three lamps and the three lamps are plugged into a three way socket adapter in the switched, single outlet on that box. A new, 115V cord and plug was added because the OEM lamp used a different Voltage.

          The goose neck, LED lamps on the sides of the head are also attached to single gang electric boxes. Those boxes are attached to the head casting with neo magnets and each has a switch to allow those lamps to be individually controlled. They were originally goose neck desk lamps. I removed their bases and the toggle switches in them. Those toggle switches were installed on those electric boxes: this allow those lamps to be individually controlled if ever needed. And the goose necks were attached via a hole drilled in the boxes.

          The third light is behind the spindle, as on the drill press. But there was no built in lamp there so I purchased a small (12"?) LED, under-cabinet style light. That under-cabinet light had an in-line switch which I retained when I shortened the power cord so I would not have a large bundle of wire hanging between it and the switched outlet. I added some neo magnets to the mounting clips for that lamp and used them to attach it to the bottom of the head, behind the spindle.

          Now the light is excellent and two of the lights can be positioned as needed, while staying out of the way of the cutting operations and my line of sight.

          One thing you may want to pay attention to is the color temperature of the lights. Some LEDs have a more red color which some people like. Others are described as daylight or as having a 5000K color temperature: their light is more like outdoor light. I find these daylight lamps a lot easier to work with. They seem to allow me to see the smaller details better.

          Two more photos of the sides:

          Click image for larger version

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          In the last photo you see the left side before I added the three way adapter plug and plugged the three lamps into it.

          All three electric boxes had a cover installed on them for the obvious safety concern, but also to provide a flat surface for attaching them. The switch/outlet box has a larger cover to allow attachment to all three screw holes in the head. The other two boxes have the neo magnets attached to those covers with epoxy. Three neo magnets on each of them provide a very firm attachment while still allowing them to be moved if that is ever needed.

          I have found that this triangular arrangement of three lights provides absolutely excellent illumination on my vertical spindle machines. I have a smaller, bench top drill press with a single light. I hope to install three, LED lights on it soon.

          All the lamps on both the drill press and mill were purchased at WalMart. IIRC, none of them cost over $20.
          Paul A.
          SE Texas

          And if you look REAL close at an analog signal,
          You will find that it has discrete steps.

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          • #6
            Not to be nit-picking and those lights are impressive.

            But I notice that the front surfaces of the chuck and tool holder are somewhat darker. And those are the sides that face the operator. I am sure that any work in the chuck or between centers will have the same problem. This is why I like having two lights in front of the work area, on the two sides. Even one side is not enough as it can leave shadows. And you really need to bring those lights out, in front of the work area.



            Originally posted by Bented View Post
            Not a mill but this lathe is well lit inside, it is like sunlight.
            I believe the strip light is LED and the spot is halogen.
            Paul A.
            SE Texas

            And if you look REAL close at an analog signal,
            You will find that it has discrete steps.

            Comment


            • #7
              Put an old lamp on the old Benchmaster. Works very well, and I do not feel the need for one on the other side.

              A ring type lamp would take up too much room under the head.

              Pics would be better if I had turned off the flash.... it overpowers the light from the lamp.



              CNC machines only go through the motions

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              • #8
                Bob I have one of these on my knee mill and although the lighting is okay the mag base sucks big time. Very low holding power. I got it on Amazon and would have provided a photo but couldn't get it to paste. My plan is to unscrew the neck from the base and provide fix a solid mount to the machine column.
                VOLREX 5W COB LED lamp - Machine Work Light Heavy Duty Adjustable Magnetic Base Flexible Gooseneck Arm Spot Light Model Number [RGFC6151105]


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                • #9
                  I find that a light like this works quite well and the magnetic base is quite strong. They are cheap enough that you can have 2 or more if you need more light and are easy to reposition.

                  https://www.ebay.com/itm/31341515820...QAAOSwh61fiSji

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by RMinMN View Post
                    I find that a light like this works quite well and the magnetic base is quite strong. They are cheap enough that you can have 2 or more if you need more light and are easy to reposition.

                    https://www.ebay.com/itm/31341515820...QAAOSwh61fiSji
                    How long have you had it?
                    *** I always wanted a welding stinger that looked like the north end of a south bound chicken. Often my welds look like somebody pointed the wrong end of a chicken at the joint and squeezed until something came out. Might as well look the part.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Bob La Londe View Post
                      but it would be nice to have something right on the machine. Everything I have found seems really expensive for a lamp, or really crappy. I think a good lamp with a strong magnetic base would be the best option. A ring light around the spindle might be ok, but I think something brighter I can point where I want it would be better. What do you use?
                      What I use is one of those articulating, round magnifying lamps. You know, the kind that has a round fluorescent bulb with the magnifying glass in the middle. This one:
                      https://www.harborfreight.com/fluore...amp-60643.html

                      My "shop" already has like 400 watts of lighting with white painted walls, but when I need to really see what I'm doing, the magnifying lamp is the way to go. Mounted it behind my lathe. $40 at Harbor Freight, much as I hate to shop there. It's actually a pretty good piece for that price. The lamp was made to be clamped onto the edge of a desk or bench, I tossed out their mount and simply mounted direct on the lathe bench. Maybe you can come up with a decent mount for the mill? All it needs is a 1/2" hole about 2" deep to swing in any direction you want.
                      Last edited by nickel-city-fab; 07-07-2021, 06:27 PM.
                      25 miles north of Buffalo NY, USA

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                      • #12
                        I'm with nc5a - the mag base on standard mill lamps suck. I'm quite interested however in the eBay lamp link that RMinMN posted - might have to get a couple. The normal machine LED lamps I've seen are battery operated, and I don't need any more battery stuff.
                        Johnny

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                        • #13
                          When my employer first saw this lathe installed he said WTF, they put the spotlight on the outside of the enclosure, I paid extra for that light (-:

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Bented View Post
                            When my employer first saw this lathe installed he said WTF, they put the spotlight on the outside of the enclosure, I paid extra for that light (-:
                            I must have missed it in your picture. That being said the halogen spot on my 14x40 lathe is mounted on the back of the carriage. Oh there it is. WAAAAAY up top. Yeah that seems silly at first glance, but it is out of the way.

                            Originally posted by nickel-city-fab View Post

                            What I use is one of those articulating, round magnifying lamps. You know, the kind that has a round fluorescent bulb with the magnifying glass in the middle. This one:
                            https://www.harborfreight.com/fluore...amp-60643.html

                            My "shop" already has like 400 watts of lighting with white painted walls, but when I need to really see what I'm doing, the magnifying lamp is the way to go. Mounted it behind my lathe. $40 at Harbor Freight, much as I hate to shop there. It's actually a pretty good piece for that price. The lamp was made to be clamped onto the edge of a desk or bench, I tossed out their mount and simply mounted direct on the lathe bench. Maybe you can come up with a decent mount for the mill? All it needs is a 1/2" hole about 2" deep to swing in any direction you want.
                            I have two magnifier lamps actually. One very old one on my back work bench that I swing out over the bench grinders when I am free handing a drill bit or lathe bit. The other is the Harbor Freight one you linked in my front office in my front office on the assembly bench. I had not thought of putting one on the lathe or mill in the back, but that might be a good idea. The lathe would be pretty easy. The mill might take a little more effort.
                            *** I always wanted a welding stinger that looked like the north end of a south bound chicken. Often my welds look like somebody pointed the wrong end of a chicken at the joint and squeezed until something came out. Might as well look the part.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Bob La Londe View Post

                              I have two magnifier lamps actually. One very old one on my back work bench that I swing out over the bench grinders when I am free handing a drill bit or lathe bit. The other is the Harbor Freight one you linked in my front office in my front office on the assembly bench. I had not thought of putting one on the lathe or mill in the back, but that might be a good idea. The lathe would be pretty easy. The mill might take a little more effort.
                              If you have an old spare magnetic base, you could just use that -- thread a rod into it that slides into the stem of the lamp. You would want a pretty strong magnet tho. Or even just a c-clamp type of arrangement. I've been very happy with the setup.
                              25 miles north of Buffalo NY, USA

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