If you’re a woodturner and you use scroll saws often, you’ve undoubtedly used some form of adornment to help yourself preserve your tools. Whether it’s a small metal spike attached to the end of the saw blade, or a brightly colored cord attached to the side of the saw, it’s meant to make working with your scroll saw more efficient. But did you know that there are different kinds of lights for scroll saws? And do those added accessories actually improve your saw’s performance?
The truth is that adding any type of extra lighting to your scroll saw will not only help you see what you’re doing, but will also greatly improve it’s overall appearance. In addition, there are several different kinds of LED lights that can be added to scroll saws as well. So, how exactly do you add them?
One of the most popular types of LED lights for scroll saws are the “indirect” lights. These are strips of LED lights that are attached behind the cutting wheel (or ahead of it, if you prefer). They provide you with just enough light to see the work, but no extra light that will cast shadows or glare on the work. Indirect lights are perfect if you don’t need to see in front of the work and don’t want to cast a shadow across the face of the scroll saw.
Another option is a “forward facing” strip light. These are typically attached on the underside of the scroll saw. By providing light right behind the wheel, they allow you to have much better visibility into the material and cut it with better precision. While they do cost more than other types of lights for scroll saws, many turners find that this added visual aid improves the quality of their cutting.
There are also lights that are mounted onto the scroll saw itself. These are typically mounted just above or behind the wheel and provide more light than an indirect strip. Because they are mounted, however, they also block the view of the operator. Some experienced cutters like to keep a pair of lights on while they’re working in the dark. Others like to keep both strips and the lights on their scroll saw at all times to improve their visibility.
If you’re looking for lights for scroll saws, it’s important to get ones that not only make your saw easier to see in the dark, but also are energy efficient. LED lights are a great choice for this, since their low-energy output enables them to be put into high demand by saws that use small laser CNC controls. In general, you should look for lights that have a maximum output of around 5 watts. You’ll find that the majority of scroll saws can handle this kind of power, as they are designed to cut material with minimal effort.
One of the best lights for scroll saws is the kind that clips to the scroll saw itself. These can either be concealed within the body itself or attached separately from the saw. The advantage of these kinds of lights is that they provide a steady source of illumination and are highly adjustable. You can get brighter or darker levels, and they can even make the scroll saw brighter at certain times, such as when making a long cut near the end of the scroll.
Of course, many scroll saws are sold with traditional lights attached to them. These lights are often called “extras” and are available in a wide range of sizes, styles, and colors. Because there’s such a variety, you may prefer to replace your existing lights with something different. It’s certainly worth bearing in mind the possible drawbacks of upgrading to new lights, but in the long run it may be a worthwhile investment.