Woodworking with Old Eyes

A few years ago, I joined that club where I had to start holding things farther away in order to see them, or had to peer over my distance glasses in order to read something.  I have also noticed I need more light, there just never seems to be enough light.  Where I really noticed it was in the workshop.  I had a harder time seeing my lines or reading 16ths on a ruler.  No matter how I positioned the overhead lights, I always seemed to be working in my own shadow.

bifocals and headlight

See what you need to by putting the focus and the light just where you need it.

Fortunately I have found some assistance in two super and simple products.

  • Bifocal safety glasses – I don’t need glasses to read, but I picked up a pair of Fastcap safety glasses with 1.5 diopter bifocals.  At first it took a little getting used to using them, but after a day or two, I got used to them and now I wear them as my standard safety glasses in the shop.  They make it easier to read the fine marks on the ruler, easier to see the edge on a chisel and yet provide very clear vision for seeing things that are farther away.  They are comfortable, stay put, and rarely fog up.
  • Headlamp –  I found some inexpensive Energizer headlamps that have two white LED’s and one Red (to keep from ruining your night vision) The white LED’s produce a nice amount of light for working on anything.  So I routinely have my headlamp on while dovetailing or sharpening or otherwise working in my shop on something that needs just a little bit more light.  The headlamp comes with three batteries (AAA) and it just goes and goes and goes.  I’ve been using it for a few years now and I think I changed the batteries once.  I have a few headlamps that I picked up for camping that were more expensive and are larger, but they don’t work as well as these little Energizers.  They are bigger, heavier and too bright for this kind of work.  The Energizers are much better suited for the job.

The combination of the bifocal safety glasses and a headlamp are just a nice combination to let me see what I need to see when I need to see it.