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Bright idea

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Last Friday I told you about my experience of using the table saw when the power blacked out. Well, it happened again, although I wasn’t using a machine at the time. I also wasn’t in the dark this time.

I was just doing some general cleaning up last night when the power went out briefly, so there was no danger like last week when it went out while ripping a board. The power came back on after a few minutes, but a cheap solution kept me from stumbling around the shop till it did.

Right after posting last Friday’s blog I went straight out to the local Wal-Mart and bought a rechargeable flashlight. Made by Energizer, this particular flashlight is marketed as a “weather-ready” emergency flashlight. You plug it into an unused outlet, then just leave it there and forget about it. If electricity to that outlet is interrupted, as during a general power outage, for your convenience the flashlight turns itself on automatically.

And what a convenience it is. This flashlight isn’t very bright, but in a totally dark shop it provides enough light so you can get your bearings and find your way to the outlet, where you can remove the flashlight and use it as you normally would. If I would have had one of those last week, that terrifying moment at the table saw would have been a lot less so.

I’ve bought a lot of things for the shop, many of which were quite expensive. And there are expensive emergency lights available – you’ve probably seen these large boxes with a pair of big floodlights mounted on the walls at stores, offices and other buildings. But this easy means of preventing me from being in the dark cost me all of $8.88; with tax, say around $9.00 even.

In retrospect, it’s the best nine bucks I’ve ever spent on my shop.

Till next time,


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