Shunning the dark side

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I’ve decided that the biggest factor in working off-site isn’t tools, materials or something you forgot. It’s inadequate lighting.

As I recently learned, working away from my shop (which isn’t something I normally do) isn’t easy. Transporting equipment and materials, and running out for things you didn’t think to bring, eats up time quickly. But the thing that slowed me down the most was the lack of proper working light.

On my recent away-from-the-shop project, I was limited to a few windows, a kitchen ceiling light, and a few table lamps – every single one of which had a low-light energy-efficient bulb of some sort. Working conditions were dim in general, especially when two days were very cloudy, but applying laminate adhesive and a polyurethane topcoat was problematic without reflective light to gauge proper coverage.

I give a lot of thought and consideration to my shop lighting, and since I need lots of it for shop photography, my day-to-day working light is probably brighter than most shops. Believe me, you get really used to that and miss it when working off-site. If I ever have to work off-site again, I’ll worry less about taking the right supplies and make plenty of room for some work lights instead.

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