Scissors extending work light

This article contributed by Ron Walters

Make all the slats you will need for the project plus a few extra in case of breakage or warping. The slats in this project are 15-1/2" long x 1-1/2" wide x 3/8" thick cut from a piece of 2x4. I used 5/8" dowel.

Construct a simple two-pin drilling jig, which will allow you to drill all of the holes with one setup.







Round the ends on the disc sander with a circle-sanding jig, then round over the edges.

Cut the pins a little long. They will be sanded flush later on.

Make sure the holes in the moving slats are smooth and all slats move smoothly on the pins when assembled. Completely assemble the scissors and test for freedom and range of movement. Occasionally a slat will bow or warp and will not work in the assembly.


Glue all three pins on one outside slat at a time, making sure not to get any glue on internal pieces, Check for freedom of movement before moving on to the next slat.
Sand pins flush with outside slats.

A bolt and star knob is used to squeeze a C-shaped link at the end of the scissors, allowing the angle of the light to be adjusted.




Threaded metal insert in the next clamp, allows for side to side swiveling and locking. See my videos about Installing Metal Threaded Inserts and Star Knobs - Homemade

The light fixture I originally intended to use did not have one of these ball joints. The ball joint makes the indicated pieces unnecessary.


Metal fender washers and screws are used to retain and center the guiding dowels at the ends of the scissors and allow for disassembly. To eliminate the fender washers, the dowels can be selectively glued to one of the scissors slats being careful not to glue everything rigid. Alternatively, the washers could be made of matching wood.

The elongated slot at the front is cut parallel to the adjacent scissors member (parallel when scissors is closed - see video).


The wall mount is made using wooden spacer washers at the top and bottom of the scissors connections. The elongated slot in the wall mount is made long enough to provide full range of motion while not allowing the scissors to open too far. Over extending the scissors makes them quite weak and easily broken.


The wall mount pivots on wood dowels at the top and bottom allowing the scissors to swing left and right.



Other projects by Ronald Walters:


See also:

Simple light stands
from discarded lamps

More projects by Ron Walters

More reader projects on woodgears.ca