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Thread: Little Lighting Suggestions

  1. #1
    Super Member Rose_P's Avatar
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    Little Lighting Suggestions

    Today I got in the mail a walking foot for my vintage super high shank Kenmore - yay! It sits in a wonderful cabinet in a not-so-wonderful spot without a window or adequate light. The new attachment was an incentive to open up the cabinet and play around with this machine after many months of disuse. I just needed to see what I was doing.

    I have a handy architect's or swing-arm lamp that I use with my main machine, but it is designed to clamp onto a table. You can also get some Ott lights and similar ones that have the clamp and post arrangement. There's no edge on this cabinet wide enough to attach a clamp, but there's a very simple solution, which I've used in another cabinet, also, and I just thought I'd pass it along in case it might work out for someone else with a similar lamp and cabinet situation. This cabinet has a formica and particle board top. I might hesitate to do this to a good wood cabinet, and wouldn't think of doing it to an antique.

    The base of the lamp is a simple post that goes into a hole in a clamp. I've found over the years that the clamps are sometimes less than stable, and if you over-tighten them, they can cause damage. To avoid that and make the lamp easily removable I gritted my teeth and I drilled a hole through my cabinet. Measure the size of the post (or the hole in the clamp that came with it) and use a drill bit that is just right for your lamp. This is a part of the cabinet that is hidden from view when the top is folded shut, so I have no objection to having a hole there.

    It is not the most ingenious thing you ever saw, but maybe it will motivate someone else to solve a common problem. You have to plan carefully where you're going to drill because the "elbow" on this type of lamp can stick out and hit the wall if it's too close. Also, of course, you'll want to check under the location and make sure you're not going to interfere with a hinge, drawer or wiring or whatever. To help ensure that your drill won't shred the area around the hole, it's a good idea to cover the spot with masking tape before you begin. Also, I started with a small bit to make a starter hole and then used a spade bit to drill this half inch hole. This was a 10-minute project, plus clean-up. It took me longer to type about it. Can't believe I neglected this nice old machine for so long because of the lack of lighting.

    The other idea is somewhat sillier, but since it works, I thought I'd pass it along, too. My ironing board was also in a dimly lit spot. (I really don't know how this happens in a house that seems to have plenty of windows.) Anyway, one day I was trying to see some fabric that was tone on tone, and a little lightbulb came on in my head. I already had the Ott light in arm's reach, and the lovely garage-sale-find handcrafted wall pocket was already hung above the ironing board and was empty, for whatever reason. This is just a drop-in, temporary arrangement as needed, and makes a big difference. Since my wall pocket is probably unique, you may have to find some other sort of container to hold a lamp, but maybe this will inspire you. Just make sure you use something that wouldn't create a fire hazard or allow your lamp to go crashing down on you.
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  2. #2
    Super Member Rose_P's Avatar
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    Sorry. After I posted this I noticed it's full of "Viglinks". I think there must be adware on my computer that is causing that, and I'll try to deal with it in the morning. I did not deliberately add any links to this post, and I know how annoying they can be. Please ignore.
    “You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.” ~Maya Angelou.
    One's mind, once stretched by a new idea, never regains its original dimensions. ~Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

  3. #3
    Super Member DebbieJJ's Avatar
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    Thanks Rose, I also have to have my hinged lights with the posts, to be able to have enough light to see. To let you know how dark it is in my sewing room......I had floor-to-ceiling windows in my sewing room, and nice heavy curtains, but the mid-day and evening sun coming in made the room too hot to be in, even with the air conditioner on. I even had a fan blowing on me but it was still too uncomfortable, so we made the decision to cover the windows on the inside with cardboard, but that wasn't enough, so we covered them on the outside with vinyl siding to match the rest of the house. Now, I can at least be in my sewing room whenever I want to be, which hasn't been much lately, as I have been dealing with health issues.
    A happy person is not a person in a certain set of circumstances, but rather a person with a certain set of attitudes. ~Hugh Downs
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  4. #4
    Super Member EmiliasNana's Avatar
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    Necessity is the mother of invention. Unique and effective. May use the drilled hole idea for my new/used cabinet. It has a heavy base or clamp, but the hole makes is take up less room. Thanks

  5. #5
    Power Poster
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    These are great ideas.

  6. #6
    Super Member QuiltingVagabond's Avatar
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    Thanks for sharing your lights RoseP - btw the links come from QB not your computer.
    QuiltingVagabond aka Kathy

  7. #7
    Super Member liking quilting's Avatar
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    I think you came up with some very clever solutions! Thanks for sharing and for posting the photos.
    Mavis

  8. #8
    Super Member Lyncat's Avatar
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    Those are clever ideas! You can make it even better by switching out the machine's lightbulb for an LED bulb.

  9. #9
    Moderator QuiltnNan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rose_P View Post
    Sorry. After I posted this I noticed it's full of "Viglinks". I think there must be adware on my computer that is causing that, and I'll try to deal with it in the morning. I did not deliberately add any links to this post, and I know how annoying they can be. Please ignore.
    No, youi didn't cause this. just go to vigilinks.com and opt out. then you won't see them.
    Nancy in western NY
    before you speak T.H.I.N.K.
    T – is it True? H – is it Helpful? I – is it Inspiring? N – is it Necessary? K – is it Kind?

    Life may not be the party we hoped for, but while we are here we might as well dance.

  10. #10
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    I would cringe at the thought of drilling holes in a beautiful piece of furniture, sewing cabinet or not.....it works for you.....

  11. #11
    Super Member annette1952's Avatar
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    Great ideas. You are so clever & handy. I do feel a little like Lady Diana but It would depend on the cabinet, like you said. If it is just a cabinet with it's sole purpose was to make your sewing or quilting easier & more enjoyable then I say go for it!

  12. #12
    Super Member b.zang's Avatar
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    Good ideas.

    I thought I was being clever when I bought a super-bright bendable mini-light for my machine. Not so much! Turns out my machine is not magnetic! Still trying to solve this one.
    Barbara

    Samuel Johnson - Few things are impossible to diligence and skill. Great works are performed, not by strength but by perseverance.

  13. #13
    Super Member Rose_P's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lady Diana View Post
    I would cringe at the thought of drilling holes in a beautiful piece of furniture, sewing cabinet or not.....it works for you.....
    In what way would my particle board and formica topped cabinet qualify as a "beautiful piece of furniture"? I think you didn't read all I wrote before typing your reply. This is a purely functional piece, at least 40 years old and rock solid, but not anybody's idea of a precious heirloom.
    “You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.” ~Maya Angelou.
    One's mind, once stretched by a new idea, never regains its original dimensions. ~Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

  14. #14
    Super Member Rose_P's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lyncat View Post
    Those are clever ideas! You can make it even better by switching out the machine's lightbulb for an LED bulb.
    This is a great idea. Thanks, Lyncat. It never occurred to me that they might make LED bulbs for an old model machine like this, which is a Kenmore 18023 from the 1970's. I know I could get a strip light for it, but I'm a little concerned that a bulky quilt would rub against it if it's in the throat area of the machine, and anywhere else it would just add shadows. The bulb that's in it is bright enough, but doesn't provide light in the general area, just around the needle. An LED bulb would be much cooler, and that would be a definite improvement.
    “You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.” ~Maya Angelou.
    One's mind, once stretched by a new idea, never regains its original dimensions. ~Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

  15. #15
    Super Member gramajo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by b.zang View Post
    Good ideas.

    I thought I was being clever when I bought a super-bright bendable mini-light for my machine. Not so much! Turns out my machine is not magnetic! Still trying to solve this one.
    Try the Command Velcro strips to attach it.

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