seeing that scribed line...


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Okay, I can't see the scribe mark to saw the dovetails now. I realize this question may not belong here, but bear with me. I had to use the 1.50 diopter reading glasses from the drugstore to saw pins today. There are contacts now that claim to be multi-focal for people my age. Does anyone use contacts in a woodshop? Does the wood dust make this not workable? I would just like to be able to see the line again. The drugstore glasses are very annoying. Just thought others might be able to help me. Maybe this all one can do. I would try to learn to wear contacts if it might work, that is if someone who actually uses a saw chisel could attest.

jim vojcek

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A number of years ago I tried contacts in the shop.  I had one eye infection after another.  I went back to eye glasses and the infections went away.  Soft contacts  might work better.

Jim Vojcek

Tom M

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I tried "mono-vision" contact lenses about 5 years ago (the last time I wore contacts).  They drove me crazy.  One eye is set for distance the other for close-up.

I''ve worn glasses since I was 10, and bi-focals since I was 35.  I can't seem to get bifocals that will allow me to get close enough to see the scribed line accurately, so I spend most of my shot time taking mt glasses off and bending over to get my eyes about 4 inches from the wood.  This does wonders for your back and neck.  So then I raise everything up higher with a bench riser so I don't have to bend ofver as much.  Works better for the back, but then you are sawing at a weird angle.  Which of course means the tendonitis flares up.  It is not too bad for dovetailing but makes carving a real problem. Take glasses off to carve (with face 4" from wood).  THen try and find another gouge.  Too far away to even tell they are tools without my glasses on, so first find the glasses...

My eye doctor told me once I have "sliver vision".  I can see close-up without correction to get slivers out, unfortunately that's about it.

I hope I never have to adjust my thickness planer blades.  I CANNOT function in that range.  Too close for bifocals and too far away for "sliver vision".  It is very frustrating.  And I'm not even 50 yet!


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Use a 0.5mm Pentil pencil to mark the scribed line. 
(I've worn mono-vision contacts for years and they work great for me in my shop).

Dennis Bork
Antiquity Period Designs, Ltd.


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Have you told your optometrist what you want your glasses to do?
It seems to me that you could get a pair of bifocals that focus up close and at the end of your arms for shop use. You don't need to see too far away, have another pair of glasses for driving. If you don't tell them what you need you will end up with glasses for someone that drives a car and works in an office. Figure out what you want decide where you want the line in your bifocal too. Glasses are custom made for each person but you have to tell them what you want. I told them I need to be able to focus on something about 8 inches from my face and out at the ends of my hands because I run a table saw and don't want to cut my fingers off.


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Once you get the right lens, don't overlook the shop lighting. In fact, maybe the shop light should be checked first.

Fluorescent lights that flood the areas make scribe and carving lines less visible or even invisible. I was given a light that is the best "tool" in my shop. The model I have is too expensive since it was designed for the medical industry. If you can, find an affordable version of the Heine HL 1200 Exam Light. Very long gooseneck that stays wherever you angle its direction. It makes lines pop out- defects too. When I'm only using overhead fluoresent tubes, the details are washed out.

Eye hope this adds some insight....


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Good point, John. You know I'm a lighting fanatic, and the worst is overhead flourescent. Daylight is best, but a good single light source is a close second-Al


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Based on some of the suggestions of this thread, I purchased a medical light after looking for one for several months.  Used Burton model 0990020.  This baby lives on a weighted roller base and has a flexy neck.  It's really great.  It set me back $150 to get it to my door, but I'd do it again.  The light doesn't cover a wide area, but the quality is great; it's like having a little mini sunlight source.

I recently replaced some of my incandescents with fluorescent squiggly bulbs.  My basement workshop is brighter for it, but I just can't see some stuff.  They gotta go.

For those of us who work in basements at night, does anyone have any suggestions for quality area lighting, or suggestions for info sources?




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I don't have any problems seeing in my shop daytime or nighttime.  I have 16 fluorescent lights positioned so that there are no shadows or dark spots.  I buy Daylight (blue) bulbs from Home Depot.  It's like having the sunlight inside all day.  Don't but those cheap yellow bulbs for $1. A movable light on rollers would just be in the way.

Dennis Bork
Antiquity Period Designs