Simple DIY project

34 posts / 0 new
Last post

Pages

Lancman
Lancman's picture
Offline
Last seen: 4 years 4 days ago
Joined: 11/26/2014 - 15:35
Posts: 352
Location: UK
Simple DIY project

I was inspired by Match’s excellent thread to have a bash at making my own simple torch using some 22mm (3/4”) copper tube I had in the garage. It was intended to be a toolbox light for work so I wanted to keep it as cheap and simple as possible. I priced up the parts at FastTech and they came to around £7 ($10). Then I realised that I had a complete kit of parts right under my nose in the form of a cheap and cheerful ‘S5’ light I had bought for around £2 ($3) on Ebay. The lights are discussed in depth here. and I got mine from the seller ‘altnux’, but there are many others. To my delight, (almost) all the parts were an exact fit in the copper tube so very little had to be done. It was more a case of assembling than constructing and was an easy afternoons’ work. The only parts I had to file down a fraction were the pill and the switch housing. Here is the result:

 

I didn’t like the look of the lime green switch cover against the copper and whilst looking around for an alternative I found that a penny coin was a perfect colour and size match. It was even made this year so now my creation is date stamped. Smile I think this is about as easy and cheap as it gets as far as making your own torch. If you have ever toyed with the idea, just go for it, the sense of satisfaction is immense. This is now my favourite torch even though it is not the best performing and it still brings a smile to my face every time I switch it on and it still works! If anybody wants any more details on the assembly, just let me know.

Edited by: Lancman on 12/24/2014 - 06:21
Lancman
Lancman's picture
Offline
Last seen: 4 years 4 days ago
Joined: 11/26/2014 - 15:35
Posts: 352
Location: UK

Ok, I’m new to all this. How do I get the pictures to show up? I thought I’d followed the instructions to the letter.

raccoon city
raccoon city's picture
Offline
Last seen: 28 min 55 sec ago
Joined: 10/06/2010 - 02:35
Posts: 17291
Location: रॅकून सिटी Palm Desert CA USA

Lancman wrote:
Pictures?

Ok, I’m new to all this. How do I get the pictures to show up? I thought I’d followed the instructions to the letter.

I see your pictures.   Wink

EDIT:  I like to make my pics 100% wide.  Check out the following thread.

http://budgetlightforum.com/node/18059

IN Caver
IN Caver's picture
Offline
Last seen: 9 months 1 week ago
Joined: 05/05/2013 - 19:09
Posts: 141
Location: Indiana

Great job Lancman! Your light looks awesome!

Lancman
Lancman's picture
Offline
Last seen: 4 years 4 days ago
Joined: 11/26/2014 - 15:35
Posts: 352
Location: UK

Well, I’ve tried several times but just can’t figure out how to resize the images, sorry.
I’m following the instructions in the link but it’s just not happening. I’m probably missing something obvious but can’t figure out what.

Images

ImA4Wheelr
Offline
Last seen: 2 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: 02/03/2013 - 14:51
Posts: 7935
Location: SC

Nice work Lancman.   Looks great.  

I find that using the Advanced Post Editor option when building a thread or post the easiest for changing setting on my pictures.  Just create a pictue with it and try different settings on the second tab titled "Appearance".

Lancman
Lancman's picture
Offline
Last seen: 4 years 4 days ago
Joined: 11/26/2014 - 15:35
Posts: 352
Location: UK

Yay! I sorta got there in the end in a roundabout way. Just linked to smaller versions of the images. Could not get the ‘Advanced’ editor route to work at all.

MRsDNF
MRsDNF's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: 12/22/2011 - 21:18
Posts: 13473
Location: A light beam away from the missus in the land of Aus.

Thanks for sharing Lancman and what a terrific build. Do you have any other pictures showing what you did to hold the lens in and the switch etc?

 

djozz quotes, "it came with chinese lettering that is chinese to me".

                      "My man mousehole needs one too"

old4570 said "I'm not an expert , so don't suffer from any such technical restrictions".

Old-Lumens. Highly admired and cherished member of Budget Light Forum. 11.5.2011 - 20.12.16. RIP.

 

bawilson2
Offline
Last seen: 9 months 1 week ago
Joined: 07/09/2013 - 19:35
Posts: 61
Location: Seattle, WA
MRsDNF wrote:

Thanks for sharing Lancman and what a terrific build. Do you have any other pictures showing what you did to hold the lens in and the switch etc?

I’d like to see that too. Looks like a fun project!

Ledsmoke
Ledsmoke's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 5 months ago
Joined: 08/08/2011 - 16:05
Posts: 1995
Location: Denmark

Smooth operator! Smile I always had a soft spot for copper smoothies in the morning Smile Well done. And do please share any more info.

~ Ledsmoke ~

Dutch humor:

[quote=djozz]

 I do not think that the BLF-community ben

Lancman
Lancman's picture
Offline
Last seen: 4 years 4 days ago
Joined: 11/26/2014 - 15:35
Posts: 352
Location: UK

No problem. It went together so quick I didn’t take any photos during the build, but I will do a quick tear-down and take some. They probably wont be up until tomorrow though. Trust me, it’s VERY simple.

WWW
Offline
Last seen: 4 months 4 days ago
Joined: 03/26/2014 - 15:37
Posts: 239

Congrats sir, what a fantastic job!!! I really like the coin at the tail end, it gives a lot of character. Looking forward for the tear-down!!! Thanks for sharing!!!

Itinifni
Itinifni's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 month 1 week ago
Joined: 11/03/2011 - 20:45
Posts: 792
Location: The Great Northeast, USA

Very nice work! Looking forward to the details.

I remember a time, when I searched for lights to fit my needs. Now I search for needs to fit my lights.

8steve88
8steve88's picture
Offline
Last seen: 4 years 7 months ago
Joined: 07/08/2013 - 11:22
Posts: 1828
Location: Cleveland U.K.

Nice one Lancman.
I’d buy one of those in a split second. Great looking build.

Lancman
Lancman's picture
Offline
Last seen: 4 years 4 days ago
Joined: 11/26/2014 - 15:35
Posts: 352
Location: UK

This is my first attempt at a ‘how to’ thread, so bear with me.
My daughter fell in love with my original so I have to make another one anyway. Smile

First up you need a 6” length of 3/4” copper tube. I use a pipe cutter to get clean, square cuts.

Now the fiddly bit. Cut about 2-3mm off the end of the tube. This will become the bezel.

Now cut a section out of the ring.

Clean up the inside of the pipe to remove burrs and fit the ring into the end of the pipe.

It’s trial and error how much you have to cut the bezel to get a nice tight fit. I’d guess about 4mm.

Now solder the bezel in or glue with epoxy.
Remove all the innards from the donor torch. The great thing about this particular one is that everything is held in with threaded retaining rings so is easy to remove.
Next up, the pill. This needs to be filed down slightly to fit. Easiest way I found was like this:

No need to remove the driver or emitter. The trick is to take off only just enough for the pill to slide down the tube. Take off too much and you will have poor electrical and thermal conductivity. If you are going to be fitting a high power emitter I would suggest putting a screw through the side of the tube to clamp the pill to the inside wall.
(Unless, of course anyone can come up with a better idea….)

Next, the switch assembly. This needs filing down as per the pill.

Note the screw head under the green cap. There is one either side of the switch to hold the switch in the housing. See post 40 in this thread for a picture of the switch assembly as it comes out of the torch. The screws go in the two square holes either side of the switch.
The rubber cap is then simply superglued to the top of the switch and the coin superglued to that.
Tip: Do the gluing with the switch inside the pipe (or a piece of scrap) to ensure everything lines up properly.
You are now ready to start assembly. This is what you should have:

Note the O-ring in the middle is optional. It’s there to hold the head assembly in place when removing the battery. It’s 21mm OD and need to be quite stiff. The one shown is probably a bit OTT but is all I had to hand.
Slide the head assembly (O-ring, lens, reflector, pill) and battery into place and mark where the back of the battery is.

Use this mark to position the switch and mark the position of the hole for the retaining screw. Don’t forget to allow for some spring compression so the battery is a nice tight fit between the springs. Slide the switch into position and hold it down against the springs. Drill a pilot hole through the tube into the switch housing. Insert a small screw, press the button and cross your fingers!
If all is well you now have to decide how much overhang you want at the tail. Allow enough to fit a lanyard, if required, and cut the tube to length. Drill the holes for the lanyard and you’re done. All that remains is to disassemble and get polishing! I went for a satin finish ‘cos I’m lazy but see Match’s thread for what’s possible with some patience an a lot of elbow grease.

So there you have it. Job done. Easy peasy. I had the copper tube already so the total cost for me was £2.20 ($3.30). If you don’t have the tube, try a plumber – he/she is bound to have an offcut in the back of the van.
I hope someone is inspired to have a go and if you do, please post pictures here. I’d love to see them!
Thanks for watching.

WWW
Offline
Last seen: 4 months 4 days ago
Joined: 03/26/2014 - 15:37
Posts: 239

I will most definitely have to give this a try, thanks for sharing and great pics by the way!!!

DavidEF
DavidEF's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 week 20 hours ago
Joined: 06/05/2014 - 06:00
Posts: 7699
Location: Salisbury, North Carolina, USA

I’m looking forward to seeing how this turns out (the build itself).
Edit: That looks good! I may try something like this some day.

The Cycle of Goodness: “No one prospers without rendering benefit to others”
- The YKK Philosophy

Mike C
Mike C's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 week 2 days ago
Joined: 01/22/2014 - 08:03
Posts: 2585
Location: Sweden

Inspirational indeed! I might give something like this a go. A few questions on your particular build though:

That nice thick o-ring in the middle of your last photo, was that from the donor light? It looks pretty thick to me, I have not seen one like that in any of my lights.
Also, getting the tailcap off for cell removal, when you unscrew the retaining screw does the switch fall out easily or do you knock it out? I know it can be filed down to personal preference, I’m just asking what you did.

Lancman
Lancman's picture
Offline
Last seen: 4 years 4 days ago
Joined: 11/26/2014 - 15:35
Posts: 352
Location: UK

That o-ring was not in the donor torch, it’s just one I had in my box-o-bits. The thin, floppy O-rings that you find in most torches simply aren’t beefy enough for this purpose. It’s not strictly necessary, it just makes life a bit easier when taking the battery out for charging as it stops the head assembly sliding back up the tube.
When you remove the retaining screw, the switch unit pops out part way due to the spring pressure. You can then pull it out the rest of the way or use the weight of the battery to push it out.

sinner
sinner's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 day 3 hours ago
Joined: 05/14/2013 - 18:33
Posts: 329
Location: UAE

You made it look so easy , when in fact it takes a true genius or a flashaholic of the top tier (or both) to make this happen this smooth..
Excellent work!

contact(at)sinnercustoms.com

MRsDNF
MRsDNF's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: 12/22/2011 - 21:18
Posts: 13473
Location: A light beam away from the missus in the land of Aus.

Thanks for the update pictures. You have explained it perfectly. I reckon you will have inspired dozens to try their first build.Smile

 

djozz quotes, "it came with chinese lettering that is chinese to me".

                      "My man mousehole needs one too"

old4570 said "I'm not an expert , so don't suffer from any such technical restrictions".

Old-Lumens. Highly admired and cherished member of Budget Light Forum. 11.5.2011 - 20.12.16. RIP.

 

Old-Lumens
Old-Lumens's picture
Offline
Last seen: 4 years 11 months ago
Joined: 11/04/2011 - 11:39
Posts: 7478
Location: Tyler, TX, USA

Excellent job!

 

 If you are going to be fitting a high power emitter I would suggest putting a screw through the side of the tube to clamp the pill to the inside wall.
(Unless, of course anyone can come up with a better idea….)

You could use a small pointed punch, like a nail set punch and make a couple of dimples in the copper, where the pill is, to tighten it in place. Easier than a screw and keeps the surface looking smoother.

You could also use another piece of copper, like you used for the bezel, behind the penny and make it fit like you did on the front one, then take it out, solder it and slide it in to keep the penny in. Then you could drill through the body and that ring and use a small key chain style split ring, to keep it from shifting, while using the key chain ring to hook the lanyard to. Of course you would have to remove that ring, to access the battery, but you have to with the screw anyhow. Sealed

Sorry, when I get going, I don't know when to shut up.



My PayPal address: oldlumens (insert the @ sign here) gmail.com

My YouTube Flashlight Video Channel

The BLF Modding Links Thread 

http://imageshack.com/a/img922/1374/jQ2wdL.jpg

 

Lancman
Lancman's picture
Offline
Last seen: 4 years 4 days ago
Joined: 11/26/2014 - 15:35
Posts: 352
Location: UK
sinner wrote:
You made it look so easy , when in fact it takes a true genius or a flashaholic of the top tier (or both) to make this happen this smooth.. Excellent work!

Flashaholic? Probably – thanks entirely to this forum! This is where I got MY inspiration.
Genius? No way (that made my wife laugh ‘till she cried) – it looks easy because it IS easy.
But thanks for the ego boost anyway. :bigsmile:

lekvar
Offline
Last seen: 9 months 1 week ago
Joined: 03/13/2014 - 01:29
Posts: 123
Location: Left Coast

That’s really nice!

Lancman
Lancman's picture
Offline
Last seen: 4 years 4 days ago
Joined: 11/26/2014 - 15:35
Posts: 352
Location: UK
Old-Lumens wrote:
Sorry, when I get going, I don’t know when to shut up.



Don’t apologise, that’s just what I wanted to hear: fresh ideas. Thanks for sharing.
The only problem with the punch idea for retaining the pill is it would be permanent. No way to get the pill out if the driver or emitter gave up the ghost.
I like your second idea, probably the best solution if you just wanted to stick with the original rubber tail cap.
Keep ‘em coming!

CRX
CRX's picture
Offline
Last seen: 7 months 1 week ago
Joined: 04/02/2013 - 15:27
Posts: 4231
Location: Scotland

Best use of a penny i’ve ever seen.

Lancman
Lancman's picture
Offline
Last seen: 4 years 4 days ago
Joined: 11/26/2014 - 15:35
Posts: 352
Location: UK
:bigsmile: They’re certainly not much use for anything else these days.

I remember a time when…………never mind Smile

DavidEF
DavidEF's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 week 20 hours ago
Joined: 06/05/2014 - 06:00
Posts: 7699
Location: Salisbury, North Carolina, USA

Lancman wrote:
:bigsmile: They’re certainly not much use for anything else these days.

I remember a time when…………never mind Smile


They cost more than their value to make. :~ Maybe it’s time we retire them (and nickels, for the same reason)?

The Cycle of Goodness: “No one prospers without rendering benefit to others”
- The YKK Philosophy

Lancman
Lancman's picture
Offline
Last seen: 4 years 4 days ago
Joined: 11/26/2014 - 15:35
Posts: 352
Location: UK
I decided that the Lancman PipeLight Mark II would be bit more DIY than the Mark I so as a start I made my own copper pill using yet another penny. It was only after I had soldered it all together and started grinding the Queen’s head off (sorry Ma’am) that I found out something else about UK pennies. Up to 1992 they were made of bronze (97% copper so good enough) but since then they have been made of copper plated steel! :Sp |(

So now I have to check the date on every penny I find or test it with a magnet. I am now hoarding all pre ’92 pennies I come across and have been officially classified barking mad by my wife. Smile

sinner
sinner's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 day 3 hours ago
Joined: 05/14/2013 - 18:33
Posts: 329
Location: UAE

I’m sure most of us can relate to that Silly

contact(at)sinnercustoms.com

Rufusbduck
Rufusbduck's picture
Offline
Last seen: 7 months 2 weeks ago
Joined: 04/04/2012 - 15:34
Posts: 10389
Location: Golden state

Woof, woof, (welcome to DIY). Now you see lights as we do, or actually, now you see the world as we do: parts that we can turn into lights.

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

Scott

Pages