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Monday, March 7, 2011

Smackdown Test #3: Magnetic Lights

If you are over the age of 50, you probably already know that you need more illumination on your work than you used to need. One of the great things about vintage machines is that you can attach magnetic lights to them.

The oval light in the photo will fit in the curve where the needle arm meets the top of the machine.  It was originally on a headband and came from Harbor Freight.  I'll call this one the head lamp.

The cylindrical light has two small magnets on it.  The top magnet is on a ring that spins around, which gives some flexibility in positioning it.  I'll call this one the flashlight.  I don't remember where I bought it.



SINGER 99

Both lights do attach to the 99.  The flashlight lower edge rests on the face plate lower attachment screw, which gives it some security (not as likely to slide down during sewing).  It touches the thread guide but does not interfere with the thread path.  You do have to move it to the side to thread or re-thread the machine


 
DRESSMAKER 132

The head lamp works fine in the curve of the machine.  The face plate is aluminum, however, and the magnetic flashlight will not attach to it.




SINGER 15-91

The head lamp works fine.
The flashlight is a bit trickier because the tension discs and thread path are on the face plate.  The bottom of the flashlight will rest against the top of the thread guide.  On this quick trial it seems not to interfere with the thread path, but I will have to check this out in a longer sewing session.


 
MODERN AGE 250

 The head lamp works fine.  The face plate on this machine is also aluminum, so the flashlight does not attach to it.




No deal breakers here.  On every machine the head lamp adds a nice bit of very targeted light right at the needle area.  On the Singers you have the option of another flashlight.  The more light the better.

I use rechargeable batteries in them.  They both take 3 AAAs.  One charge lasts through a sewing session (2-3 hours), then I recharge them before the next session.

I haven't included the treadle (Singer 66) or handcrank (Singer 128) machines in this smackdown because I am not considering thinning them from the herd.  These are the machines that REALLY benefit from the magnetic lights because there are no electric lights on them.

I've finished the stitching trials so that post is coming soon.  I really mean it this time!

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