Setting Up Your Wood Lathe: Lighting Makes A Big Difference

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When the wood lathe moves into the woodworking shop or when a new shop is set up around the lathe itself, lighting is a big consideration.
Like most stationary tools, wood lathes are heavy, powerful and dangerous.
This is only aggravated by poor lighting.
With the alternatives offered to day, adequate lighting is inexpensive and easy to acquire.
Good lighting will make a difference to way you turn, sand and finish your woodturnings.
The best is available daylight.
If possible it good to situate the lathe in front of a large, south facing window.
If this is not possible, any other window will do.
Some turners so like the idea that they take their lathe sout on the lawn for the summer.
However, not everyone has a window handy and daylight only helps in the daytime, so artificial light will be needed.
An overhead fluorescent fixture is a good starting place for shop lighting.
If one is not available where it is intended to set up the lathe one can be easily obtained.
Shop light fixtures are easily and inexpensively obtained in styles that either require wiring into the lighting system or may be plugged in.
Both are good.
The plug in style may be more convenient to start with but a wired light is better in the long run, especially if an extension cord needs to be used.
These lights should be shielded from projectiles by a screen.
It is possible to get a catch and launch a piece of wood at one of the bulbs, showering glass in all directions.
Most shop lights have protective covers available.
Incandescent lighting on stands that are fastened to or near by the lathe add a different aspect to the lighting.
This can be especially important when turning small, delicate pieces or when sanding before a finish is applied.
Light from different directions tends to lay shadows that display unseen scratches from tools of sandpaper.
These scratches will show up when the finish goes on.
Good lighting prompts the removal of the defects with the proper sanding.
While the lighting needs to show the work in progress it needs to be set up so as to not glare in the turner's face or distract from the work being produced.
Flexibility in the set up is a good idea as much as is possible.
Good lighting is not only an additional tool for the wood turner, it is also a safety feature allowing more comfortable and safer turning.
In other words it adds to the enjoyment of an already enjoyable craft.
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