Introduction: Heavy-Duty Magnetic Work Light

One thing that you can't do without when working with power tools (or any tools for that matter) is light .... and usually the more light the better. Unfortunately, it seems that no matter how many lights you have in your shop - they tend to be attached to the ceiling - several feet away from where you really need the light to be. It also seems that no matter where you're standing, you're going to cast a shadow across the area you're trying to really be able to see well ... enter the Magnetic Work Light.

While this isn't a unique concept, the execution is a bit different. Most commercial "magnetic work lights" have weak magnets, a limited range, and are kind of flimsy. Additionally, the handful of nice lights that are out there are usually shockingly expensive ... so I decided to build my own ... aaand I had a bunch of magnets lying around begging to be used for something. My goal was a robust light that would "stick" well, have a lot of range, and not be very expensive to build. Total cost for this light (assuming you don't have any of the parts lying around) is about $40 - and excluding time spent waiting for epoxy to cure, maybe 30 minutes for construction.

Parts:
1 Gooseneck Machine Light with switch
2 N40 or stronger 1" X 3/4" Magnets ( I bought mine from SuperMagnetMan)
1 Fiberglass New Work Electrical Box
1 Fiberglass Round Cover
1 Electrical cord (I bought a cheap extension cord)
2 Bugle-head screws that are compatible with your electrical box
Epoxy, drill, bits, etc....


Step 1: Construction

Overall construction is very simple. The fiberglass box and cover are super-rigid and don't require any reinforcement to hold up to the rigors of cranking the light around. I would caution against using a metal box and cover, though: the magnets won't work with a metal cover, or, at least not very well. I originally was going to cut the "ears" of of the electrical box, but then realized that they made a nice "handle" for the base, so I left them on.

Step 2: In-use Shots

I think if I were going to be attaching this to more sheet-metal items I'd add another couple of magnets - but for work where you have a nice, heavy, steel or cast iron surface nearby, the two N40 magnets are more than sufficient.

Here's a few shots of possible uses .....

Thanks for reading :)

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