It is darn near impossible to have machine accuracy and speed if you don’t have the necessary light for your projects. Since machining is not a very welcoming environment for many forms of electronics, it is time for us to get creative. Check out this article detailing one incredible example of creative lighting solutions.

I got tired of it being so dark in the enclosure of my Tormach CNC Lathe, so got talking about lighting with my friend John Bower, who is the local Tormach dealer in Northern California.  His store is called Santa Cruz Electronics, and he has all sorts of nifty electronic stuff on hand for projects liked this.  Before I knew it, John had whipped up a neat and inexpensive LED lighting solution to go inside the lathe enclosure.  It works great.  Here’ s few photos that show what he did:


Take 4 LED strips, sandwich them in acrylic with a foam tape barrier, some aluminum channel, and silicone cement to seal it up against coolant.


Bolt to top of enclosure, up out of the way.  Wiring for the LEDs is low voltage, so even if there is a link we won’t have line voltage running around inside the enclosure.


Now we have a nice well-lit lathe: thanks John!

BTW, if you’re wondering why there is an endmill chucked up in the lathe, I was boring another toolholder to take an ER collet chuck.  Only had 1 on the turret and needed a 2nd for a project I’m doing.  One will hold a twist drill and the other a tap.  Boring them this way ensures they’re accurately aligned on the spindle axis.  It’d be even better to ream the hole, but I didn’t want to spend the money for a 3/4? reamer and this will be good enough for my purposes.

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