Sieg SX2.7 Angel Eyes is all about giving this machine a light source that wraps around the tool and fully illuminates the workpiece. I’ve been using the Sieg SX2.7 for some time on a range of projects and it is working really well. However, as I get older I struggle to get really good light on the working area and hence really accurately align it. Hence I thought I would try angel eyes. These are a circular LED array used around car headlights to provide daylight running lights. In the previous article I sourced some of these LED arrays and tried them on a power supply.
Looking at the two sizes of ring that I bought, 80mm and 100mm. The best fit is the 100mm as this is then completely outside any rotating parts. Plus this gives a better illumination of the workpiece.
With the Sieg SX2.7 the lower part of the spindle rotates and this is quite a large diameter. Hence the 100mm outer diameter of the large angel eyes gave a better clearance.
This light ring is superb, but needs something to fix it to the spindle and a shade down the side so I don’t end up staring at it. There is a bracket on the moving part of the spindle attached to one end of the digital measurement system.
Light Holder and Shade
The main ring is fixed to the spindle side of the measurement bracket. I used an M6 bolt, basically because the bolt has a large head and so can be fixed securely to the wooden ring.
In the final fixing I pulled the wooden ring up tight to the underside of the bracket. This meant I had to relieve an area of the wood to clear the bolt head of the linear measurement system. This gave me more clearance to get a spanner in to work the collet.
Three layers of 9mm MDF were used to created the light holder. The two rings that form the angled shade were glued together before they were cutout. These were cutout using a fretsaw and for the inner angled ring the table was tilted at 10°. All of the rings were glued together and sanded before being sprayed in a light cellulose varnish.
The following is a rough sketch of the section through the MDF “lamp-shade”. The dotted lines represent the boundary between the 3 layers of MDF. The bolt was captured in the first layer of MDF and there is a slight bulge in the MDF at this points to help strengthen it.
Once the varnish was dry I again sanded the MDF before again spraying with grey undercoat.
I lined the inner surface with aluminium foil fixed with spray mount. The intention was that the 10 degree angle and the foil would reflect light back towards the spindle.
I used an old 12V mains transformer from a defunct piece of IT, it’s really worth keeping these as they often come in handy. This is rated at 1A and so can easily supply the 0.3A that the lights require.
I think the Sieg SX2.7 Angel Eyes transform the amount of light on the workpiece. As the light moves up and down with the spindle I always get great light on the milling bit. This MDF version has worked rather well, but I wonder how much smaller, lighter and better I could make it in aluminium? At some point I will do this, my only reservation is that it might suffer from vibration on the machine.