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Good lighting for your cabbing unit and how to fully utilize it

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Author Topic: Good lighting for your cabbing unit and how to fully utilize it  (Read 2945 times)
bobby1
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« on: July 30, 2009, 11:51:11 pm »

Here is information on how I optimized the lighting on my cabbing and polishing unit including the overhead light.
I use a 100 watt clear light bulb in a "gooseneck" fixture for my jewelry work bench, my cabbing machine and my polishing unit. The clear light provides a point source spot similar to the sun. It enhances the surface of the cab and allows you to see imperfections, scratches and mini flat spots better than the frosted bulbs. I also enhance my vision with cheap (Dollar Store) reading glasses with 3.5 diopter power. I prefer these to an optivisor because they are more comfortable and you dont have the top frame of the Optivisor blocking the light that you need to reach the point of contact of your cab with the wheels.
A photo of the clear light bulb.

Photos of the "gooseneck" light fixtures at my cabbing machine and polishing unit. I got them at IKEA for under $10.


A very important light is the one above my cabbing/polishing station. It is a two bulb flourescent fixture on the ceiling mounted parallel to the cabbing/polishing station. It is used to check for mini flat spots on the surface and dome edges
of the cab. It is also used to check for a flat spot on the top, center of the cab.
If you hold the cab away from the "gooseneck" light, but under the flourescent light with the long dimension parallel to the light fixture you will see the reflection of the bulbs as two parallel lines.
Here I'm holding the cab with the reflected lines at the top of the cab.

Here the reflected light is at the center of the cab. Notice that the lines are parallel to each other.

Here I have rotated the cab further away from me and the reflection is still two parallel lines.

This indicates that the cab has no mini flat spots about its surface and no flat spot in the center. An ideal sanding job!
Mini flat spots will be indicated by distortions in the lines as you rock the cab towards or away from you . Unfortunately I don't have a photo to show this.
Here are some photos that will show a flat spot on the center of the cab.
This photo shows the lines are parallel at the top of the cab.

This photo shows that in the center of the cab the lines are not parallel to each other as was shown in the first cab.

As you continue to rotate the top of the cab away from you the lines will again become parallel.

This same effect will occur anywhere on the surface of the cab where a flat spot exists. A wavy, rippley line indicates multiple flat spots.
Here is another before and after  series of photos to indicate the flat spot in the center of the cab.
Parallel lines at the top.

Lines not parallel in the center.

Lines parallel at the bottom.

I went back to the coarse sanding (worn 100 grit S/C belt)  step and sanded above and below the flat spot to gain the rounded contour that I wanted.
A photo of the corrected dome.

I also use the "gooseneck" lamp with the clear bulb to detect ripples in the girdle of the cab. By holding the cab edgewise to the light and watching the reflection of the light as I rotate the cab I can readily see distortions in the girdle surface.

To make this system work best you have to be at the latter stages of the sanding operations so that the surface has started to become a little shiny and they will start to reflect the light better. You can wet the surface and see some of the larger distortions in the surface but not as well as in the later stages of cabbing.
The final step when you are really confident that you have all the scratches out is to hold the cab under the flourescent light and slowly rotate the cab and look for scratches. Maybe they will be gone! Now turn the cab clockwise 90 degrees and look again. OOPS, there they are!!! I always do each sanding step by sanding in the same direction. This way I can readily see the scratches  when I rotate the cab.
I hope this was helpful.  
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stonesthatrock
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« Reply #1 on: July 31, 2009, 11:29:03 am »

thats a wonderful tut and very informative. I can't wait to try that out. Thank you for all the work putting it together.  I am going to keep this and check back to read it over and over.
Thank you again, its just what i needed.
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Bluesssman
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« Reply #2 on: July 31, 2009, 11:37:02 am »

Thanks so much Bob!! I am now going to replace the frosted bulbs with clear ones. These are the kind of tips that are so great to find!!!



Gary
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Taogem
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« Reply #3 on: July 31, 2009, 02:22:34 pm »

Thanks for this Bob !

Great tutorial..

I too am replacing with the clear ones !

The florescent fixture I have above my one cabbing unit has a plastic cover on it.. So am presently not able to get the effect of the twin bulbs.. I think will remove that cover today..

Have been doing what you mentioned about the wet cab.. That helps me see flat spots too.
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theimage1
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« Reply #4 on: August 01, 2009, 10:35:31 am »

Nice demo - good photos - great explanation. About the only thing I don't do is use the clear bulb, while it does produce a nice point source, they are too hot for me. I use a pair of 25-29 watt "sunlight" (5000K or 6500K) fluorescent bulbs on my Genie. They run fairly cool and provide a ton of light.

Genie with two lights - one original (left) Genie light the second was an added Titan Light (slightly longer goose neck)

Two bulbs turned off so see size and shape - left is 25watt ... right is 29 watt - both roughly equal to 100 watt incandescent.

Close-up of reflection in stone




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bobby1
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« Reply #5 on: August 04, 2009, 03:31:41 pm »

Here are some more photos more clearly showing the parallel bulb reflections on a cab that has not been well sanded to remove surface defects or flat spots. The ripply appearance of the reflections is rather obvious.



These photos show what they look like after I have properly sanded the cab. Note the straight lines of reflection.


I would have added these earlier except after I downloaded a new anitvirus software the computer stopped recognizing my camera.
Bob
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Allen
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« Reply #6 on: July 28, 2010, 01:50:29 am »

Great demonstration Bob, you have given me a project to get my lighting up to standard.

Allen
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Freeform
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« Reply #7 on: July 28, 2010, 04:32:19 am »

good tip for sure. Ive only ever used one light source and religiously dried my cabs between sanding to look for defects.
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Rocpup
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« Reply #8 on: October 04, 2011, 09:59:48 am »

Bob you are giving good advise but I have also always dried my cabs between stages to see problems.
Don
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christopherl1234
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« Reply #9 on: October 04, 2011, 07:49:35 pm »

I just read this tutorial today. Thanks a bunch for sharing this Bob. This is some very useful information.
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Roger
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« Reply #10 on: October 17, 2011, 11:58:28 am »

Thanks for the lesson. My lights need some improvement to go to the next level. I have been fighting with flat spots for awhile. Thanks for the enlightenment.
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bgast1
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« Reply #11 on: April 08, 2012, 12:38:10 pm »

Great tutorial.  I have the florescent lights and utilized them as shown in the tutorial all the time. However, I do not have adequate lighting at my cab station. I want to go buy something tomorrow with limited funds. Does anyone have any recommendations of what would do the job say from Walmart, Menards, Home Depot? My Rio Grande catalog has lots of lights in it ranging in price from over a hundred bucks. I don't really want to spend that much. I have a lamp on my desk from Walmart but it will only take one kind of bulb or it won't work.  Would just a set of shop lights work well?

Stupid questions I know but quality cabs are my aim and I want to do everything within my power to put out a perfect as possible cab.
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jackd
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« Reply #12 on: April 20, 2012, 07:13:32 pm »

Very intresting, thanks for the info..
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connieliu2012
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« Reply #13 on: April 20, 2012, 08:08:52 pm »

Very useful, thanks for sharing.
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bobby1
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« Reply #14 on: April 20, 2012, 10:24:02 pm »

Bob,
I get my goose neck lights from IKEA for under $10. They have a long reach and I can swivel them to reach over all the wheels on my cabbing machine. I don't use the mounting clamp that they come with, but instead take a 2" section from a 2x4, drill a hole in it to fit the base stud of the lamp and screw this block down to my workbench top in a position so that it will reach all of the wheels.
Bob
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