The Blog for GW Pens

A peek at what we make

A Shot in the Dark

I was recently accepted to be an artist for the juried art show First Friday in Haddonfield, NJ. I was pretty excited after all of the great things I had heard about the event, but I did have 1 major concern. The show ran from 5-9pm, outdoors. Translation- I needed to figure out a way to get some light shining on my pens!

Fellow woodworker Tom Iovino (Tom’s Workbench) wrote a blog post not long ago about customizing your tools. Things like making marks on a table saw for cuts that you repeatedly make in your line of work. Things that, for most woodworkers, we tend to shy away from doing. Tom probably never thought I would take his post and relate it to a plastic folding table, but that’s exactly what I did.

I came up with the idea of mounting some lights at the front end of my table to shine on my pens. The problem I envisioned would be keeping them in place. The front of the table really gets a lot of attention. Children walking by, shoppers leaning over the table, customers trying out their new pen on my pad. I needed a way to keep those lights in place throughout the night. A trip to Lowes later and I had my solution.

Metal strip attached to the table for lights

I bought this 36″ strip of metal for around $2. I used my hacksaw to cut it in the middle where the table folds, then used some epoxy to attach it to the front of the table.

Next I picked up some LED battery operated lights and epoxied a couple of rare earth magnets to the underside.

I thought I was ready, but after an in-house test, I realized the lights did a nice job of making the hardware sparkle, but didn’t give quite enough light to really illuminate the entire pen display. I grabbed the 2 little spotlights I use for taking pictures of my pens for my website and sat them at either end of the table, and BAM! I had a winner…..I think.

Craft table with night display. Front LED's held in place magnetically.

Here you can see a test run in my house. 10pm, all house lights turned off.

I was pretty happy with how it looked (though not very happy at all with my photographs LOL!). Below is a close-up of the pens in the light. I didn’t get any shots at the show itself, but did get compliments from other artists and even had 1 person ask to borrow a set of my LED’s to see how they looked at their table.

In the end I had some good sales despite the bone chilling wind and darkness. If only there was a way I could have gotten rid of the wind!

Close-up of pens in the dark being lit by front LED's and side mini spot lights equipped with true-color bulbs.


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This entry was posted on April 7, 2012 by and tagged , , , .
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