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Light & Magnification
Board: Tools of the Trade
Mar 11, 2019 10:41pm
Board
Hi everyone

I attended another event this weekend and as always I walked out blown away with the talent of my fellow letterboxers. I am in awe of your art, and inspired to better myself and skills.

I once used a lamp and magnification glass and I made what I consider my most precise carve. It was an antique and not mine so this is not an obtainable object for me. I have tried an ottlight light and mag combo, as well as a cheap illuminated mag headloupe but I found the focal points to be wrong for me and either myself or the glass was too close to the carving medium for comfortable carving (I am a large man for those who don’t know me).

My question for you out there is what do you like to use for light and magnification? I do not like being hunched over so am looking for something where I can comfortably sit and carve.

Thanks in advance
Dawgdok
Re: Light & Magnification
Board: Tools of the Trade
Reply to: #972585 by Dawgdok
Mar 11, 2019 10:55pm
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The first one I had (bought at Michaels) was marginal and eventually the plastic nut housings broke rendering it useless.

Based on a recommendation on these forums I bought this one:
https://www.amazon.com/d/Desk-Lamps/Brightech-LightView-Pro-Magnifying-Lamp/B016LTTS8S

I can’t say enough good things about it. Magnification is great. The LEDs are bright. The joints in the arms are tight and stable. And it’s got great range.

DZ
Re: Light & Magnification
Board: Tools of the Trade
Reply to: #972585 by Dawgdok
Mar 12, 2019 12:23am
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The most powerful reading glasses you can find, and any good light. Since I need a prescription, I actually asked my eye doctor to write a separate prescription for "work glasses", much stronger than my reading prescription but still having my astigmatism correction.
Re: Light & Magnification
Board: Tools of the Trade
Reply to: #972585 by Dawgdok
Mar 12, 2019 3:35am
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A lot of magnifying lamps seem to be of the clamp on version which I can't use because my desk has no lip to clamp to. Or there are the other lamps which have the magnifier separate from the light itself, which just didn't work for me. And then there are lamps which have incandescent bulbs which got so hot that I couldn't carve for more than a few minutes. Fortunately, I happened on this inexpensive table magnifier which I have used for the past seven years. I use it ALL the time, not just for carving but also for reading fine print or just as a desk lamp and have replaced the bulb twice in that time.
I do not like being hunched over so am looking for something where I can comfortably sit and carve.

I have arthritis in my back so I have found if I use a raised surface to rest my medium on, I only have to bend a little to see through the magnifying lamp. I have a nice sturdy and pretty gift box about the size of a 6 inch piece of 2x4 that works for me. Many carvers can carve while holding the medium which also might prevent hunching. My style is to carve on a flat surface so the box helps.
Re: Light & Magnification
Board: Tools of the Trade
Reply to: #972585 by Dawgdok
Mar 12, 2019 5:27am
Board
I don't like hunching over my work either. I recently purchased a U.S. Art Supply Solid Solana Adjustable Wood Desk Table Easel and no more hunching. I also have table lamp--an Ott Light, over my work area and I use Mag-eyes along with readers, to answer your question.

Happy carving,
Mosaic Butterfly
Re: Light & Magnification
Board: Tools of the Trade
Reply to: #972585 by Dawgdok
Mar 12, 2019 6:30am
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I’ve nearly always used a pair of readers over my RX glasses. Yeah it looks weird but like kirbert says it keeps your prescription needs in addition to stronger lenses. Recently I had my cataracts done. Now I just have different strengths of readers

As for light, always an ottlight.

The light and magnification being separate allows you to choose your carving comfort zone
Re: Light & Magnification
Board: Tools of the Trade
Reply to: #972585 by Dawgdok
Mar 12, 2019 11:37am
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For light I use a rechargeable portable clip on lamp that has a bendable neck. I clip it to a portable lap desk that I sit on the table. For magnification, I found on READERS.COM 7x magnification readers. As an Xacto carver, I found that have glasses that I can wear easier to use than a stationary magnifying glass.
Re: Light & Magnification
Board: Tools of the Trade
Reply to: #972585 by Dawgdok
Mar 13, 2019 11:14am
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A long time ago I read a post about getting a pair of reading glasses that are of a strength such that objects are in focus really close to your face, and that's what I did. It's like wearing magnifying glasses.

For light, I get the best results with a regular desk lamp with the long neck that can be adjusted so the light comes from the side and back rather than overhead. That way I can see the shadows of where I've already cut. If you color your carving block before cutting that maybe doesn't matter, but I just carve the pink stuff and it can be hard to see what's been cut.
Re: Light & Magnification
Board: Tools of the Trade
Reply to: #972585 by Dawgdok
Mar 13, 2019 10:59pm
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I use an OttLite. I have the one that switches between being a floor or tabletop lamp. I usually have it in “floor” mode while I sit on the couch with the glass right up to my face and hold my carves up. Using mustard colored Staz-On also really helps you differentiate what you are and are not carving away.

I also had Advanced Lasik done a year ago, but that may be a little far to go to improve carving. 😜 Before that, I either over-compensated by defocusing my eyes, or I put a fresh pair of contacts in.
Re: Light & Magnification
Board: Tools of the Trade
Reply to: #972585 by Dawgdok
Mar 14, 2019 11:47am
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its a long story, but i have an extra metrication micoscope previously used for engaving that i will sell for $345 if anyone wants to buy it,, contact me at fleetwood7@comcast.net
Re: Light & Magnification
Board: Tools of the Trade
Reply to: #972616 by Phoenix Rizing
Mar 16, 2019 3:38pm
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I didn’t realize reading glasses came that powerful. Think I’ve only seen up 3+ in stores but much more powerful available online. I think I will try this route and since we already have an Ott Light that takes care of that. Thank you everyone for your thoughts!
Re: Light & Magnification
Board: Tools of the Trade
Reply to: #972585 by Dawgdok
Mar 16, 2019 8:43pm
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I've bought an OttLite 2-in-1 LED Magnifier Floor Lamp some time ago. This has greatly helped my carving. We purchased it at JoAnn fabric. It's a bit pricey but if you can catch it on sale or find a coupon it helps. I have large hands it definitely helps for better detailing.

https://www.joann.com/ottlite-2-in-1-led-magnifier-floor-and-table-lamp/12398111.html
Re: Light & Magnification
Board: Tools of the Trade
Reply to: #972587 by Kirbert
Mar 19, 2019 6:26pm
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Since I need a prescription, I actually asked my eye doctor to write a separate prescription for "work glasses", much stronger than my reading prescription but still having my astigmatism correction.

What a great idea! I am going to ask about that.

Thanks,

~Aurora
Re: Light & Magnification
Board: Tools of the Trade
Reply to: #972585 by Dawgdok
Apr 3, 2019 4:39am
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I have a table top OTT light with magnifier, which I got at JoAnn's (it's now falling apart......). Unfortunately, it doesn't light up enough for me, so I use a floor OTT lamp for light.

BB
Re: Light & Magnification
Board: Tools of the Trade
Reply to: #972585 by Dawgdok
Apr 4, 2019 9:03am
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I have been using the Ottlight ( double necked )
Lamp and magnifier and this is what works well for me.
Good luck ..please let us know if you find something that works better for you!
Re: Light & Magnification
Board: Tools of the Trade
Reply to: #972585 by Dawgdok
Apr 5, 2019 6:16am
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I use the Ottlite (the one one that converts between a floor stand and table top. I angle it so my face is only a few cm from the glass. I find there are no focal point issues when I do this as my eyes are already in the center. It is like looking without it, but closer. That clear.