This post will document one of the easiest projects that can make a huge difference in your enjoyment of the craft as well as improve the accuracy and safety. My eyesight is deterioration with age so good lighting makes a significant difference when doing precise work. For this reason I decided to build an arm that can swing across my assembly table with a spot light and a power point.
I took some scrap angle iron and one of those hinges used in metal work. From this I welded a short arm and a part of the hinge became a hook that can be bolted to the wall to make the arm easy to remove.
A quick coat of anti-rust paint and BYU (Bob’s your Uncle).
In order to give the arm some more reach, I laminate some pieces of plywood as it is strong yet lightweight.
Prior to shaping this part of the arm on the tablesaw I screwed another thin strip of plywood to it’s top section. This was meant to become the removable lid covering the electrical wires running inside.
After the shaping process I cut the dado meant to house the wires. In the picture below you can see it with the lid unscrewed.
Next I fitted a multi-plug to the side of the arm with it’s wire running in the dado as shown above.
The multi-plug wire was connected with an extension inside the arm as shown.
The extension was fitted with a plug at the hinge end of the arm. This design feature was again aimed at making it easy to remove the whole arm if I need to work on it or for some reason have to get it out of the way.
Next I added a desk lamp to act as a spotlight on the extreme front of the arm. It is one of those that clamp (with an integral spring clamp) to the side of a desk or table. I screwed it on to keep the clamp available for another task. As you can see from the pictures it has it’s own switch and is plugged into the multi-plug.
If one would to be able to look at this setup from the ceiling, the arm swings across the table with an arc similar to the crude drawing below. Therefore covering any particular area that is in need of enhanced lighting.
Then I added a small but bright fluorescent light to the bottom of the arm. Together with the spot light it really improves the lighting of a particular part of the assembly table by swinging it there. In the pictures below you can also see another function of the arm as provided by the spring clamp of the desk lamp. I took one of my Festool power-cords, plugged it in at the multi-plug and clamped it in the mentioned clamp. This way it is always in easy reach, yet completely out of the way.
Finally, a few pictures to show how the Festool cord and multi-plug adds value. The nice thing about the Festool cord is that it fits all the Festool appliances. In my case a router, a Domino and a circular saw (as pictured).