Boring a Maglite D body for 4AA - with a home made drill press and a bi-metal hole saw.

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Old-Lumens
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Boring a Maglite D body for 4AA - with a home made drill press and a bi-metal hole saw.

Guys, this IS a first for me. I never thought I would be able to bore out a D Maglite to use a 4AA holder in it. If you remember, I just finished making a wooden drill press. This was the biggest reason for attempting a drill press. I use 3AA holders all the time, but only because I could not afford to buy expensive equipment or buy pre-bored Maglites.

I did a lot of reading and found that, (I was surprised), a Bi-Metal hole saw will work for Aluminum and mild steel, as well as wood. I now know they will for sure.

bore1

This is what I would call a "generic" saw. I bought it for a specific reason and I will explain in the next photo. Oh, by the way, the body is my wife's (the one I just made for her)Surprised. It is a 1-3/8" hole saw. That is about the perfect size for these Maglites, unless you have a lathe and can go 1.400" instead of 1.375" (1-3/8).

 

bored2

These hole saws are made for a certain maximum depth. Usually the thickness of a 2x4. I knew I had to bore deeper than that and I saw that many of these hole saws are welded in a way that prevents the user to go farther than the top of the saw, since the weld extends out at the top and acts as a stopper. This particular hole saw is not made that way and the 3/8" drive end is already welded on (one piece), so I didn't have to buy any mandrel for it. Also this saw went for $7 on ebay (normally $15), so I bought two!

 

bore3

I also found out that the paint will gum up the inside of the hole you are cutting, so I sanded most of it off the saw. You can clearly see the weld is done so that the top of the saw does not have a larger ring around it, which would prevent the saw from going deeper than it's top.

 

bored3

I put the body in my small vise and tried to get it level. I found out later that it was a mistake, as the drill press isn't perfectly level! Hey, this is an experiment right?

 

bored4

If I had looked closer, I would have seen (as in this photo), that the drill press is off compared to the body. Anyhow, here I am getting set up to try this thing. I am nervous at this point (I always am).

 

bored5

OH, I almost forgot the WD-40. Yes it works well for cutting fluid on Aluminum. It worked great for this! Here we go!

 

bore4

This cut like BUTTER! It took all of 2 minutes to cut about 2" deep! I didn't have to use hardly any downward pressure either. I found that running the drill at about 1/3 max speed, cut the best. Here I am about ready to go see how the cut is doing inside the body. What I found was that the cut was not running true. It was going off to one side, as I was afraid of. I simple rotated the body 180 degrees around and continued to finish the cut, which helped to straighten the whole bore.

 

TA DA!Laughing

bore5

It is not perfectly centered, but for a Hack Job, it really surprised me! Since this is my first try, I feel it will only get better! I'm happy about the result and I will be looking forward to doing some 4AA mods in the fall and winter.

 

rod stock

OH, I have some 1-3/8" Nylatron rod stock for making battery holders, but I've never used it, because I couldn't bore the bodies. It fits right in this body now, so it's time to work on refining a battery holder!

 

Carry on...

 

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NightCrawl
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No you didnt!

Thats like "Home Improvement" without explosions.. Big Smile

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Hope I do not spoil anything by asking about dimensions? Your saw says 1 3/8”. My Maglite is bigger inside than that,about 34mm. Do Maglites differ in dimensions? What size do you aim for?
(Saw is also marked 35mm to ad to my confusion)

Thanks for sharing your work with us. Lennart

Lennart

Loris
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Great idea, I’ve got a couple of quad bored Mags, also 1 FM 4xAA holder (unfortunately 200 miles from me!), just upgraded one of them from a P4 to an XML-U2. I’m thinking of a multi LED set up for the other and also am going to have a go at making a holder, already have a drill press, still in the design / thinking mode tho’.

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Lennart wrote:
Hope I do not spoil anything by asking about dimensions? Your saw says 1 3/8". My Maglite is bigger inside than that,about 34mm. Do Maglites differ in dimensions? What size do you aim for? (Saw is also marked 35mm to ad to my confusion)

1 3/8" = 1.375" = 34.925mm = ~35mm

So O-L is making the tube about 1mm wider.

 

Nice mod O-L! Thanks for sharing!

=the=

 

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Nice job, O-L!

Ledsmoke
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Well done! That is not easy to do at all. I must say that I am surprised at how nice it looks on the inside. I would have thought it would come out with a more rough surface. This is a sweet idea you just passed on. TY Justin.

~ Ledsmoke ~

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Lennart
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the wrote:

Lennart wrote:
Hope I do not spoil anything by asking about dimensions? Your saw says 1 3/8”. My Maglite is bigger inside than that,about 34mm. Do Maglites differ in dimensions? What size do you aim for? (Saw is also marked 35mm to ad to my confusion)

1 3/8” = 1.375” = 34.925mm = ~35mm

So O-L is making the tube about 1mm wider.

 

Nice mod O-L! Thanks for sharing!

Ohh,,,Hard for me to make such a simple mistake.Have worked on British 1960s cars as a hobby for 40 years Sad

Lennart Wink

Lennart

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Lennart wrote:
the wrote:

Lennart wrote:
Hope I do not spoil anything by asking about dimensions? Your saw says 1 3/8”. My Maglite is bigger inside than that,about 34mm. Do Maglites differ in dimensions? What size do you aim for? (Saw is also marked 35mm to ad to my confusion)

1 3/8” = 1.375” = 34.925mm = ~35mm

So O-L is making the tube about 1mm wider.

 

Nice mod O-L! Thanks for sharing!

Ohh,,,Hard for me to make such a simple mistake.Have worked on British 1960s cars as a hobby for 40 years Sad

Lennart Wink


It’s Ok, I make them all the time. I have never “gotten” the metric system and I still have to use a conversion chart every time I measure something with these flashlights.

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Old-Lumens
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Ledsmoke wrote:
Well done! That is not easy to do at all. I must say that I am surprised at how nice it looks on the inside. I would have thought it would come out with a more rough surface. This is a sweet idea you just passed on. TY Justin.

Yes, passed it on is correct.
I am hoping others, who have access to a drill press, will try this themselves!
One note; If you try anything like a 2D, you will need one of those extensions to add to the hole saw, to be able to reach the depth. This one barely did the 1D and that’s with just grabbing on to the very end of the 3/8” spindle. I actually need to have a short extension piece myself and I will be making one for it.

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Yes I thought as much OL. I wonder if a hex ratchet top could grap it well enough if you wrapped the shank in a bit of tape? Probably not – I’m just spitballing here Wink

~ Ledsmoke ~

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jacktheclipper
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I am impressed .

Bravo !

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Once again an innovator in the DIY Maglite modifications – I love it!

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You can buy extension bars, we get ours from a building supplier.

There’s two sizes in the UK (dont ask what they are, possibly 3/8” hex and, well, littler) take yours along to a decent commercial hardware suppliers and they should be able to sort you out, the extensions are 10” or so long and may not be suitable for your drill press.

I have turned them up before, just bored to suit the diameter across the points and tapped for a grub screw, but this would be best done in a lathe.

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Found this on Ebay.

-Garry

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ma_sha1
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Quote:
This particular hole saw is not made that way and the 3/8” drive end is already welded on (one piece), so I didn’t h

Nice job , I need a hole saw like that, can you point a link to ebay?

Thanks

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Here's one for $10.99 (but doesn't say shank size). 

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ma_sha1 wrote:
Quote:
This particular hole saw is not made that way and the 3/8" drive end is already welded on (one piece), so I didn't h
Nice job , I need a hole saw like that, can you point a link to ebay? Thanks

IVY Classic 27022 I bought the only two I saw, but there were several other manufacturers that I saw there. The reason I bought these was the price and the fact that the weld wasn't larger than the body OD. Here's a search for them

Just make sure it's bi-metal. Diamond or full carbide ones will not work well and make sure it is Not for wood only. It should state for metal, wood, etc. I just went by the photos, to see if there was a weld ring sticking above the rest of the body, as you will see in some of them. Some don't come with arbors and you have to buy the arbor too. This one might work

 

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Hex drive to square drive to 3/8” socket to bit? Likely too much wobble.

Three Tanna leaves to give him life, nine to give him movement. But what if he eats the whole bag?

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Nice job!

The correct tools really make modding a lot easier, don’t they? (Wish I had a lathe….)

I recall boring my first 2Dmag to fit an 8AA holder using a drum sanding wheel on my drill – what a pain, and it took FOREVER. I did finally manage to get it done, but getting it complete in 2 minutes would have made my day.

Looking forward to many more mods using your new toy!

My lights here and here

 

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[quote=Hill]

The correct tools really make modding a lot easier, don’t they? (Wish I had a lathe….)
[quote]
Ya, I wish I had one too. A lathe and an End Mill. Chop saw, band saw, buffer, sander, welder………..

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