Light Your Drill / Mill

Good lighting is important to doing good work. This is a simple project to help get your drill press or milling machine out of the dark. You will be installing an led ring around your spindle. I used an "Angel Eye" intended for use on a car. That was a mistake, you should use an LED ring. My Angel Eye only has two LEDs which are used to illuminate a plastic ring. Even with my poor ring choice this modification helps.

Step 1: Parts

Light Your Drill / Mill

All you need is an LED ring, some wire, some double sided tape and a power source. You can try to find the right voltage in your machine in which case you will need a volt meter. Otherwise any external power source rated for your LED ring will be fine.

Step 2: Install the ring

Light Your Drill / Mill
Light Your Drill / Mill

Take your double sided tape and cut it into one inch sections. If the tape is too wide, cut it in half. Stick the tape to the back side of your LED ring. Before installing the ring, clean the machine with alcohol where you are going to stick it. Stick your ring in place. Don't worry about wiring anything up yet. Once the ring is installed, you will know exactly how much wire you need.

Step 3: Route your wire

Light Your Drill / Mill
Light Your Drill / Mill
Light Your Drill / Mill

Depending on where you found your power source, you will need to run wire from the power source to the spindle. I found a twelve volt transformer in my machine so tapped into the power there. You can absolutely use an external power source as well. From the transformer I ran the wire through a conduit to the mill head. It was a lot more involved than I had anticipated, but it kept the wire routing super clean. Keep in mind that when you run your wire, make sure its clear of any moving parts. Also make sure your wires have a little slack. Once your wire is in place, connect your wires and test to be sure the ring lights up.

Step 4: Thats it!

Light Your Drill / Mill
Light Your Drill / Mill
Light Your Drill / Mill

In addition to the ring, I added a switch so I can turn the light on and off. Above are my before and after images. As I said before you should use an LED ring that has LEDs the whole way around. You should get way more light than I did.

 
 

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