July 14, 2012

LED Lighting for Saw Filers and the Workshop

LED light bulbs are now developed enough to use them in machine lights for saw filers and other task lighting in the workshop.  The advantages of LED bulbs are low electricity consumption, long life, durability, and the ability to be turned on and off many times without shortening their lives.  In addition, LEDs are directional lights, which is what you want for a machine light.  This is why LEDs were used first in flashlights and then in floodlights.
The machine lights that Foley sold as accessories include these:
Fixed light (socket and shade) for the Model 61 and earlier filers
Gooseneck light with Bakelite-type shade 4-3/8” I.D. for earlier Model 387 filers
Gooseneck light with metal shade 3-1/2” I.D. for later Model 387 and SF1000 filers
Many newer houses have recessed lights that use incandescent or halogen floodlight bulbs.  LED bulbs designed for these fixtures are now widely available, and these are ideal for workshop task lighting.  The PAR style bulbs have flat ends, and BR style bulbs have curved ends with a wider beam spread (about 120 degrees).  Both styles come in several diameters, as follows:
PAR16 and BR16 2” diameter
PAR20 and BR20 2-1/2” diameter
PAR30 and BR30 3-3/4” diameter
PAR38 and BR38 4-3/4” diameter (probably too large and heavy for this use)

In addition, LED bulbs that give omnidirectional lighting like the conventional incandescent bulb are now available in wattages equivalent to 60 watts and higher.  This is the A19 style bulb.

Amazon.com’s LED bulbs category  has 11,500 items, making selecting LED bulbs very challenging.  To make the job easier, I bought these 2 Ecosmart bulbs at Home Depot and 2 Feit Electric bulbs at Costco.  I looked for the highest wattages and lumens for the lowest price, and also read reviews:
Ecosmart PAR20 daylight (cool color), 8 watts, 50 watt equivalent,  420 lumens, no. ECS 20 CW FL 120, $21.97
Feit Electric BR30 soft white (warm color), 13 watts, 65 watt equivalent, 750 lumens, no. BPCEBR30/DM/LED, $17.89
Ecosmart A19 brilliant white (less warm), 13 watts, 60 watt equivalent, 850 lumens, no. ECS A19 V2 WW 120, $23.97
Feit Electric A19 soft white (warm), 13.5 watts, 60 watt replacement, 850 lumens, no. BPCEA19/OM800/LED, $15.99
My conclusions are that the PAR20 and BR30 bulbs can be used with the Foley machine lights.  The PAR20 I bought is lower wattage, but the bulb’s focused beam makes up for that.  The BR30 provides sufficient light with good distribution of the beam.  I prefer the soft/warm color over the daylight/cool color.  It’s easier to make a cool colored LED, but LED bulbs are now available in a range of colors.
Both A19 bulbs give sufficient light for workshop or home, and the color is a pleasant warm, what we think of as “natural” from an incandescent bulb.  Because they are designed to give light in all directions, I don’t recommend them for fixtures where floodlights could be substituted.  At $15.99 the Feit bulb is a bargain at Costco (I am not a member but went with a friend).  I will probably buy more of these soon.
All these bulbs get hot in operation, and have plastic fins which act as heat sinks.     

Light from PAR20 LED
Light from BR30 LED

Replacement Flywheel Handle for F-61 Saw Filer

The original handle on the Model 61 saw filer is a small steel one that can be uncomfortable to use frequently.  When I cleaned up a filer whose handle was damaged, I searched for a plastic substitute, ideally with a sturdy 3/8 inch stud and an internal bearing or bushing.  Grainger’s does not have one.  Carr Lane makes what they call a revolving handle that looked ideal, but I found something else I could order from Amazon. It’s Custom Accessories’ Heavy Duty Steering Wheel Spinner.  The wheel spinner has a 9mm socket screw that goes through the handle to attach it to a clamp.  The screw head is hidden by a threaded plastic cap.
After removing the flywheel, I drilled out the original handle from the back with a 3/8 inch bit.  I swapped the metric bolt for a 3/8-24 x 2 inch hex bolt.  There is enough room in the handle’s recess for a deep thinwall socket.  I installed the handle with a nut on each side of the flywheel.  Use a good lock washer, Loctite, or locking nut to keep the handle from coming loose.