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new workshop questions

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by ack, Sep 17, 2008.


  1. ack

    ack Why Can't We All Get Along?

    Nov 19, 2006
    Somewhere near Raleigh
    Hello.
    I'm getting power run to my new workshop this morning, and I've got a question about lighting.

    Not sure which type of lights to put in.

    The bench is roughly 9' x 3' and I put a skylight right over the middle of it. The rafters are approx. 7-7.5 ft. high (sloping up to 10 ft) in that area over the workbench.

    I've done a search, and someone in another thread mentioned "TL Lighting" for the workshop. Not sure what TL means...(a quick google of TL + Lighting = TableLamp, which I hope is wrong).

    I'm thinking about a large (3-5 ft.) fluorescant fixture, but I don't know if it's the best (or most affordable) choice.

    I've got lots of questions, and I've been reading through this Forum, but the electrician is coming very soon, so I'm gonna see if someone with some experience with guitar workshops will give me a clue.

    Thanks in advance,
     
  2. Hey Ack,

    Ive heard that florescent bulbs are not good near power tools, as they flicker. Its possible that the power tool is rotating at the same frequency as the light flickers, which makes it look stationary - dangerous!

    I cant remember where I read it, halogen bulbs are supposed to be a better bet.


    Could someone else check this for me?
     
  3. ack

    ack Why Can't We All Get Along?

    Nov 19, 2006
    Somewhere near Raleigh
    Mikey,
    Thanks! I just read some articles about the fluoro-flicker - there are suggestions that some well placed incandescent bulbs help eliminate the filcker.

    The halogen is a good choice, although it throws some heat, and the fixture will probably be right above my head.

    Again, thanks for the quick and helpful response (still waiting on the Electrician to arrive...of course)
     
  4. renniw

    renniw

    Nov 30, 2004
    Lévis (Québec)
    I have neons and florescent bulbs in my workshop and I never had any problems with tools moving or not...

    Take great care where you locate your lights as if they are behind you, the shadows will be a nuisance....
     
  5. +1 on watching out for shadows.

    TL probably means track lighting - so you have a choice of fixtures as well as the ability to move them around.
     
  6. Stu L.

    Stu L.

    Nov 27, 2001
    Corsicana, Texas
    When I helped my father in law with our shop, he wanted to skrimp on the lighting. I however, went overkill. We used florescent 4 bulb fixtures. There is one over basically every main tool, and I think one directly over the bench and one right behind too. The only flicker issue we have is when they are cold, or when we run too many devices at once (too little electrical service coming in). That's just IME, etc.
     
  7. scottbass

    scottbass Bass lines like a big, funky giant

    Jul 13, 2004
    Southern MN
    Fluorescent tube lighting is the way to go, IME. 2-bulb, 4-foot fixtures generically known as "shop lights" are very inexpensive at any building supplies store. Hang one from chains above each work area and stationary power tool location, maybe two end-to-end above your work bench (because the skylight won't help you at night) and you are good to go. The electrician will be able to install the correct boxes, conduit, etc. as appropriate.
     
  8. Make sure the lights are not on the same circuit as any tools. If a tool trips the breaker while running, and the lights go out at the same time... :eek:
     
  9. scottbass

    scottbass Bass lines like a big, funky giant

    Jul 13, 2004
    Southern MN
    ...all you have to do is NOT MOVE for a couple of seconds until the tool you were using spins down. :)

    (Nevertheless, it is a good idea to have the lights on a separate circuit.)
     
  10. ack

    ack Why Can't We All Get Along?

    Nov 19, 2006
    Somewhere near Raleigh
    Thanks for the replies.
    I'm going to have him run the power and install the recepticles & switches and only the boxes for the lights. I'll make a decision based upon what I read here - I think the end-to-end fluorescent fixtures are a good idea, as they will easily cover the length of the workbench and will be somewhat in front of me, so shadows won't be an issue.

    Great stuff guys, thx.
     
  11. Bofee

    Bofee

    Aug 19, 2005
    Grass Valley, CA
    I use fluorescent for general lighting with a swing arm 300W halogen over my table saw and assembly bench. I then use small magnetic bass incandescents on my drill press, bandsaw, etc. I also have a small Ott light (full spectrum) on the bench for true color viewing and matching. Having the bright halogen directly over the table saw is a really good safety addition IMHO. Plus, I'm old(er) and it makes detail work like binding, inlay, and fretwork much easier.
     
  12. Stu L.

    Stu L.

    Nov 27, 2001
    Corsicana, Texas
    I forgot that I also have a swing arm light/magnifying lens combo next to the drill press. I usually only use the light when I drill enclosures and things for effects, but it's there if I need it.
     
  13. Probably not relevant to this discussion (sorry) - but my portable halogen work lamp is a very welcome friend in my mostly cool to cold garage (which is my "shop")!

    And that baby puts out some light! - I also use it to keep my instrument warm when drying.

    I am envious that you have a shop - with a skylight - and are having power run to it... lucky dog... I'd LOVE to have a real shop!
     
  14. Bofee

    Bofee

    Aug 19, 2005
    Grass Valley, CA
    My "shop" is also part of a garage and unheated. I too like the warmth from the halogen and use it to keep parts warm for finishing and gluing in Winter. The Winters here aren't too cold, just really wet! I'm planning to insulate after I make a few repairs and seal the place up a bit better. Then maybe some heat.
     
  15. Stu L.

    Stu L.

    Nov 27, 2001
    Corsicana, Texas
    I took these the other night after working on my ash/redwood Jazz. I thought some might find it funny. I intentionally left it dirty, it does get better than this, sometimes :D

    And notice how bright it is? Those were taken about 11PM, with the doors open.
    Guitar013.
    Guitar010.
    Guitar009.
     
  16. Stu - NICE shop! Bright, lots of tools...

    But dude... you need a maid! :D



    Still better'n my shop!!
     
  17. Stu L.

    Stu L.

    Nov 27, 2001
    Corsicana, Texas
    Notice the back of the dust collector in pic 1? :smug:

    I usually don't let it get this bad. My father-in-law on the other hand does. But he hasn't been out there in a while :eek:
     
  18. I'm just feeling high and mighty because I took the day off last Friday and totally emptied and reorganized my garage/shop and it's looking all kinds of neat and organized!

    But I HAD to take an entire day - a full 8 hours of back breaking labor to get it that way due to how sloppy I got while working on my first build! I am definitely not one to talk!

    But I did take apart two old vacuum cleaners and stole their motors with the full intent to make some dust-removal system of some sort. Dust removal = JOY!

    Sorry, OP... now back to your regularly scheduled topic.
     
  19. eleonn

    eleonn

    Aug 24, 2006
    Lima - Perú
    Saw 4 bodies and 3 necks (nt counting the redwood one). Whats up with all that?
     
  20. Stu L.

    Stu L.

    Nov 27, 2001
    Corsicana, Texas
    I had another neck, but I sold it last weekend. My ratio is off :D
     

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