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Low angle light

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Forum topic by DaveV posted 02-06-2018 04:54 AM 580 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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DaveV

4 posts in 1729 days


02-06-2018 04:54 AM

I see that it is often recommended that a low angled light be used to inspect a wood surface before finishing it. But no one ever says what angle should be used. Anyone have recommendations?

Thanks

Dave VAn Ess


5 replies so far

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Rich

4555 posts in 1008 days


#1 posted 02-06-2018 05:35 AM

Hard to be specific about it. Low enough to get a clean reflection off the surface. You’ll know when you get it right.

-- Knowledge is not skill. Knowledge plus ten thousand times is skill. -- Shinichi Suzuki

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Woodknack

12842 posts in 2799 days


#2 posted 02-06-2018 07:08 AM

Kidding aside, the low angle is to produce shadows in the imperfections making them easier to see. A handheld light is easiest since you can change the angle up and down and left and right to get the best view depending on ambient light.

-- Rick M, http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

View oldnovice's profile

oldnovice

7487 posts in 3786 days


#3 posted 02-06-2018 08:02 AM

You can also use trace coatings as shown by Charles Neil’s video.

-- "I never met a board I didn't like!"

View Breeze73's profile

Breeze73

102 posts in 1100 days


#4 posted 02-06-2018 09:33 AM

This is typically called a Raking Light. If you have a workbench, you can fabricate an adjustable arm worklamp to fit the dog holes on your bench. This works very well, and it also helps to have the direct light available when doing fine chisel work too. Here is a method to convert a standard base lamp to a 3/4” dog hole.

http://madebyjohn.blogspot.com/2011/11/desk-light-for-workbench.html

-- Breeze

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OSU55

2357 posts in 2408 days


#5 posted 02-06-2018 01:24 PM

Get a flashlight and play around holding it across a surface from you, at various angles. The glossier a surface is the better it works. For a sanded surface try it dry then wet it down with ms.

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