Sliding Bench-light Block | Popular Woodworking Magazine

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Having the light exactly where you need it at the counter makes it easier to see what you’re doing, especially for jobs like joinery, dovetail cutting and other detail work. This sliding block holds the stem of my articulated arm lamp and allows me to move the light wherever I need it along my 7 ‘long bench. The device works well with any bench with a recessed tool tray and can be easily modified to accommodate other bench styles if required.

Measure the parts to fit your particular bench and the light you will be using. The vertical lock should be a little longer than the bench back rail for a nice, smooth fit. You can knock the top and bottom blocks on the table saw, using a kick that’s too long for safety. Or, create the lip areas by simply gluing and pinning separate pieces of wood together. I don’t join anything permanently, so I can remove the block when needed, such as when laying a large piece of work (for example, a sheet of plywood) on my countertop. To do this, fix the top block with screws and install 14“-20 suspension bolts in the vertical block and attach the lower block with 14“-20 locking knobs. To quickly remove the device from the bench, simply unscrew the knobs and lift the lock straight up.

To keep your new sliding block moving at lightning speed, apply wax to all bearing surfaces of the block and to the bench rail. If you find the block binds a little, try adding shims of paper or cardboard between the bottom and vertical blocks. – Andy Rae


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