Mill Light Bar
© Frank Ford, 2006; Photos by FF

I had this piece of 1x2 aluminum with a notch cut in the center, so I enlarged the notch a bit and added dovetail cuts at the ends so I could clamp it to the dovetail on my milling machine. I drilled a 5/8" hole at each end and a setscrew for each hole.
Now I have two outboard holders that I can use for a variety of purposes, the most important of which is lighting.
This is the 24 volt machine light I have mounted on the left side, and it's become pretty much a permanent fixture there.
The mounting is plain and simple, and a piece of hardwood makes a fine little arm to hold the light.
I have a big swing arm magnetic light I can plug into the right side for a closeup view and even better lighting. When it's in use I hold an acrylic shield to its front with a pair of lightweight bungees to keep off oil splatters and chips.
The lamp base plugs right into the hole and can be secured with the big set screw. I usually leave it loose to make it easy to swing the lamp aside.
While I was at it, I made a wall bracket and mounted it behind my lathe so I could use the magnifier light there, too.
This item is the real hero of this story. It's a Bogen Magic Arm by Manfrotto, and I found it in the pro lighting department of my local camera store.
It works just like those Noga adjustable indicator holders. The central hand screw loosens and tightens all three joints at once.
It has a quick release fitting on the end - the same one I use for my cameras. They wanted a small fortune for extra dovetail plates so I made a bunch from aluminum and a few from UHMW polyethylene so I could attach a variety of things to the arm.
I use this one a lot. It's a section of PVC pipe with the inside turned to fit the end of my shop vac hose.
It's great for sucking up aluminum, plastic and wood chips! By the way, that tape and stretch wrap on the hose is just strain relief - the hose is starting to develop cracks - time for a new one.
My little camera in use. I like this one for odd angle shots because it has a swivel mounted viewing screen.
The arm is stout enough to handle my big camera with the heavy zoom lens.
And, like the light fixture, the arm plugs right into the wall bracket behind my lathe.

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