Asian8640's Entry to the BLF Old Lumens Scratch Build Contest in the Hand Made Category (COMPLETED 2/22/2020)

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Asian8640
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Asian8640's Entry to the BLF Old Lumens Scratch Build Contest in the Hand Made Category (COMPLETED 2/22/2020)

Hi! Welcome to my entry in the BLF Old-Lumens Scratch Build Contest. I’ve been enjoying flashlights for a long time, but only really got into this community roughly nine and a half months ago, basically the age of my account as of this post. My niche in this already tiny niche would be high CRI, output be damned. In fact, I prefer lower outputs in general, or just concentrated enough to render colors accurately at the given color temperature. Tint is also important to me, but I don’t mind slightly above BBL. This year, life threw a curve ball at me, and as such I won’t have much time to build. I also don’t have that many tools at my disposal and intend to use the following:

  • Simple 25 watt soldering iron sans tip temperature feedback control system.
  • 60/40 Leaded solder from 1985
  • Coping saw with multi-directional blade.
  • Hacksaw with angle cutting jig.
  • Metal File (unknown grade)
  • Wood Rasps
  • Sandpaper 80 – 320 grit
  • Buffing Rag
  • C-Clamp (I only have one)
  • 1-inch plastic clamps.
  • Phillips Screwdriver.
  • Manual Hand Drill

The foundational ideas for the electrical part of the build are as follows:

  1. It needs to be high CRI with the lowest color temperature possible to mimic low power incandescent.
  2. It needs to be as efficient as possible given my limited knowledge of electronics.
  3. It needs to use NiMH AA because I don’t feel like dealing with Lithium Ion.
  4. It should be a battery vampire so you’re never left out in the dark.
  5. Cell count should be flexible.

The foundational ideas for the physical aspects of the build are as follows:

  1. It needs to be a small lantern, preferably no larger than a grapefruit.
  2. Color scheme needs to include the following:
    • Dark Stained Wood.
    • Brass
    • Copper
    • Dark Red
  3. Possible Steam-Punk styling?

Part 1: Electrical Schematic
(Feel free to tell me if/where I screwed up)

Old Lumens Contest Entries: "7th 5mm LED Lantern":https://budgetlightforum.com/node/70438 and "9th Copper Pipe Triple":https://budgetlightforum.com/node/79484

Edited by: Asian8640 on 02/22/2020 - 10:56
Asian8640
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Reserved for potential future use

Old Lumens Contest Entries: "7th 5mm LED Lantern":https://budgetlightforum.com/node/70438 and "9th Copper Pipe Triple":https://budgetlightforum.com/node/79484

Kame Sennin
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Welcome into the "small driver builder's den" and good luck to you Smile

 

Just a few notes in case it might help :

I don't know what led you'll be using but there's a chance that if it's 2.9V @20ma then i'll be lower @5mA, maybe around 2.7V. (as an exemple you may have a look at the table i wrote for a 5mm 3400K 95CRI i got from user rngwn)

If you run the converter at 3.3V with 80 ohms the current should be at maxximum (3.3-2.7)/80=7.5mA wich is not so far from 5mA but with the converter at 3V and a 20 ohms resistor the resulting current will be more on the 12mA side.

All of this is not a real problem as you will be able to adjust the current later if you want to, but don't be surprised if it's not exactly what you expected Smile

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You got nearly the same tools as me Big Smile

Welcome to the contest Thumbs Up

MRsDNF
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All the best Asian8640. Good to see you here. Thumbs Up

 

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.

 

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Nice to see your entry. Wish you fun with your build. Smile

Asian8640
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Kame Sennin wrote:


I don’t know what led you’ll be using but there’s a chance that if it’s 2.9V 20ma then i'll be lower 5mA, maybe around 2.7V. (as an exemple you may have a look at the table i wrote for a 5mm 3400K 95CRI i got from user rngwn)

Welp. You caught me. I’m either using the 3400k or 2300k from rngwn. I purchased a 50 pack of each. It was too good an offer to refuse. Thanks for the tables by the way! They’re sure to be useful. My old reliable regulated HP bench supply bought the farm and I’m going to need it repaired, so there was no way I’d be able to get those number on my own for now.

Old Lumens Contest Entries: "7th 5mm LED Lantern":https://budgetlightforum.com/node/70438 and "9th Copper Pipe Triple":https://budgetlightforum.com/node/79484

Asian8640
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CRX wrote:
You got nearly the same tools as me Big Smile

Welcome to the contest Thumbs Up

Thanks for the warm welcome. It’s daunting coming from you though Big Smile

Old Lumens Contest Entries: "7th 5mm LED Lantern":https://budgetlightforum.com/node/70438 and "9th Copper Pipe Triple":https://budgetlightforum.com/node/79484

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1. Try to simplify your circuit as much as possible. Just include a 1,2V source.

2. Putting 3 cells in parallel isn’t good for balancing, unlike with lithium-ion cells.

My very own high current Beryllium Copper springs Gen 3:
http://budgetlightforum.com/node/67401
Liitokala Aliexpress Stores Battery Fraud: http://budgetlightforum.com/node/60547

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BlueSwordM wrote:
1. Try to simplify your circuit as much as possible. Just include a 1,2V source.

2. Putting 3 cells in parallel isn’t good for balancing, unlike with lithium-ion cells.

I mean, I’ve run NiMH in parallel before just fine. In parallel, the voltage will be the same 1.2V with just a larger capacity. The only thing you don’t want to do is charge NiMH in parallel due to the way voltage peak detection on NiMH chargers work. Charging in parallel is a good way to kill a whole bunch of cells at once, but I’ve never heard of draining them in parallel being an issue.

Old Lumens Contest Entries: "7th 5mm LED Lantern":https://budgetlightforum.com/node/70438 and "9th Copper Pipe Triple":https://budgetlightforum.com/node/79484

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Part 2: Driver “Prototyping” (12/21/2019)
Sorry chaps! I haven’t had that much time on my hands as I’ve been waiting for parts.

I’ve come to the decision that since my circuit outlined above was basically a slight modification of a manufacturer’s recommended setup for their 2218 3v voltage regulator chip, I’d just buy one of those tiny factory implemented 3v boost circuits and go from there, as buying the parts to make the boost section would have cost me $25+shipping with a ton of capacitors and resistors left over since you can’t really buy what you need in small quantities, and if you did, shipping wouldn’t really be worth it. All I needed to do now was throw a resistor on the end of the circuit to regulate the current as voltage would be constant until battery voltage dropped too low. Also, this factory implementation is fairly efficient, so I wouldn’t have to go mucking around improving efficiency. I intended this light to be relatively practical, not just an exercise in manufacturing via blood (I’m clumsy).

Here’s my trusty old bread board testing out a 5v boost driver and 100 ohm resistor on one of rngwn’s 2300k 5mm LED’s This limits the current to 21.9 mA +/- 0.1mA with the resistor dissipating 38 mW.

You might be wondering why the hell I’m using a 5V boost circuit after saying I was going to use 3V? Wouldn’t that mess with my efficiency? Answer: Yes, it would definitely decrease efficiency as the resistor would need to dissipate more energy. However, when my LED’s arrived, I didn’t yet have a 3V boost driver, and as of this point, still do not although a pack of 8 is on the way. I still wanted to test the LED’s and didn’t have anything else. After trying both the 3400k and 2300k 95+ CRI LED’s, I found the 3400k to be too cool a color temperature for the lantern’s intended use and settled on the beautiful 2300k. Honestly, I might just buy a huge pack from rngwn because I love these little warm LED’s so much. I need to get more so that I’ll never run out and stuff them into everything. :D.

Part 3.1: Wood Selection and Layering

Tools to be used

Work area

After mulling over it for a bit, I decided to settle on poplar for my wood of choice for this build. If you’re wondering if that is a bit at odds with my intent to use a darker wood, you’d be correct. There were a few things that factored into this choice.

  1. If I wanted the wood to be darker, I could just stain it before finishing
  2. I’m particularly cheap and this 3.5” × 48” × 0.25” piece only cost me $3 from the local Home Depot.
  3. Poplar is in that happy medium between hardwoods and softwoods. Although it is classified as a hard wood, it is much easier to work with than say something like Maple. As a hardwood, it has a very fine grain which would make for a nice smooth finish.

I took the board and cut six pieces of 3.5” × 1.5” × 0.25” to glue together in order to make a layered stock. Titebond Original Wood Glue was used as it is one of my two personal preference for wood glues, the other one being Elmer’s wood glue which I didn’t have on hand at the time.

Clamped together using 1.5” Hazard Fraught (Harbor Freight) plastic clamps.

It was as even as I could get it, but it looked like it could use quite a bit of sanding

Here we go with the sanding. 80 Grit 3M Sandblaster Pro! That sandpaper is great. It’s well worth the extra buck or two for a much better sanding experience compared to every other sandpaper I’ve ever used.

… Three Hours Later

Time to square off those ends with a Stanley saw and a cutting jig. You’ll also see the diffuser I intend to use, although in its base state. It’s a high quality Carlisle 1.5 oz. plastic shot glass that I’m going to chemically “frost” with paint thinner. Cheap and durable, though I had to buy it it in a pack of 24. Good thing I don’t intend for this lantern to be a one-off.

That’s all for now folks! I intend to round out the square body and make the fittings to hold the light diffuser/shot glass to the body. Also, a flared base might be in order! It might be a while before I find more time to work on this, but I promise I’ll update as soon as the next phase is complete.

Old Lumens Contest Entries: "7th 5mm LED Lantern":https://budgetlightforum.com/node/70438 and "9th Copper Pipe Triple":https://budgetlightforum.com/node/79484

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Quote:
… Three Hours Later

I know that one Big Smile
Good to see you making progress Thumbs Up
MRsDNF
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The plan is taking shape. Smile Beer

 

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.

 

pinkpanda3310
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Welcome to the challenge Asian8640 Smile I’m liking the look of this – “Dark Stained Wood, Brass, Copper, Dark Red”

Good luck, mate Beer

  

Kame Sennin
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I am eager to see what's next low lumen mate !  http://budgetlightforum.com/sites/all/modules/smiley/packs/Roving/thumbsup.png

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It is good to see the progress you are making.

I still have a pile of parts and an idea.

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Looks like you have a good start Asian8640! I like your design of a “high CRI with the lowest color temperature possible to mimic low power incandescent.” Looking forward to seeing it all come together.

I’d rather use my flashlight around the house than turn on the lights.

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Part 3.2 Stock Removal

It’s time to remove the stock for a nice round base!


Wait a second….

  1. None of my drill bits are long enough to drill all the way through the stock.
  2. My chisels are rusted and chipped.
  3. I don’t have a working drill press.
  4. I can’t drill straight with a hand drill.

CRAP…. I didn’t think this far ahead.

Not to mention I can’t saw straight down over long distances very well with the tools and skills I have.

This step is a FAILURE

BACK TO THE DRAWING BOARD!

Part 3.3 Lantern Battery Compartment 2nd Try

Let’s build this one from the ground up using the same construction methods, but in parts.
Note: Length width and height are with the chamber on its side as that is how I am building it.

First, the base and cover for the AA Battery. It should have been a 55.4mm length x 14.6mm width x 14.6mm height chamber but I decided to give myself a little wiggle room. It ended up being within .1mm of 15.5 for both width and height as far as chamber width is concerned.

Then the top and the bottom. Top: 15.5mm length x 15.5mm width x 16.1 mm height. The bottom 18mm length x 15.5mm width x 16.1 mm height

Those parts are finished!

Time to make the sides in the same manner. 88.9mm length x 12.7mm width x 40mm height.

A little clamping

A little sanding

A little test fitting

And a little gluing

Part 3.21 Interlude: Paint test, light diffuser frosting preview, and potential dimensions for the top of the lantern.

I decided that staining the wood might not be the best idea in winter weather. I don’t have an area that is both dry, warm, and contains sufficient ventilation (no fume hood anymore) As such, I decided acrylic paint with clear lacquer over it might be a better fit. Here is a test piece using left-over wood. The center is FolkArt Imperial Red, the right is FolkArt Real Brown, and the left is Nicole’s Craft Studio Dark Chocolate. I’ve already decided to use Imperial red due to how saturated it is, but I’m leaning toward the Real brown versus the Dark Chocolate. What do you think?

I got a little lazy and forgot to document the process of testing out different ways to get even diffusion. While I do have each of the failed finished products, I don’t have as many photos of the in-between steps. Here’s a preview of one I tried with varying grits of sandpaper from R80 to R600 grit sandpaper.

EDIT: UNCLE SAYS ONE MORE THING! I might not be able to implement copper in this build. I think I’m going to stick to brass as most of the washers, screws, and nuts I have purchased are brass.

Old Lumens Contest Entries: "7th 5mm LED Lantern":https://budgetlightforum.com/node/70438 and "9th Copper Pipe Triple":https://budgetlightforum.com/node/79484

MRsDNF
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Nice comeback Asian8640. Its coming along nicely. Thumbs Up

 

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.

 

Asian8640
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rngwn wrote:
Shipped:

Phlogiston – (1× 2300k / 1× 5800k)
aswang – (1× 2300k / 1× 3400k / 1× 3400k)

Reshipped:

iamlucky13 – (1× 2300k / 1× 3400k)

Hey mate! Thanks for the visit! However, this isn’t your 5mm LED sale thread. It’s my BLF contest thread. I’m honored that you’re following it, but you probably should re-post in your sale thread.

Old Lumens Contest Entries: "7th 5mm LED Lantern":https://budgetlightforum.com/node/70438 and "9th Copper Pipe Triple":https://budgetlightforum.com/node/79484

gchart
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Looks like you’re making good progress!

One thought if you still want to have variable output is to use a potentiometer (perhaps one with an off position) to vary your resistance. Cheap and simple.

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gchart wrote:
Looks like you’re making good progress!

One thought if you still want to have variable output is to use a potentiometer (perhaps one with an off position) to vary your resistance. Cheap and simple.

Thanks for the thought! However there were a few reasons I ruled out a potentiometer. The first would be repeatability of run times. All I want is 2 modes, low and high with predictable battery life. Second, audio taper pots, which is what I need as the way we interpret magnitudes of light and the loudness of sound are both logarithmic functions, may not always be available in a replacement size. Mechanical switches will be around in their current form for a very long time.

Old Lumens Contest Entries: "7th 5mm LED Lantern":https://budgetlightforum.com/node/70438 and "9th Copper Pipe Triple":https://budgetlightforum.com/node/79484

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Thumbs Up
pinkpanda3310
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Nice progress Asian8640 Thumbs Up

  

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Part 3.3 Diffuser Tests

I previously mentioned that I would use Carlisle shot glasses made of plastic for the diffuser.
My first try was using sandpaper of different grits to frost the surface. While it produced a very even distribution of light, the frosting wasn’t as even no matter how I tried.

Next, I tried using lacquer thinner. That turned out to be a disaster. I didn’t have the correct ventilation and I couldn’t get an even frosting. Not to mention the light was horribly distributed.

I tried the old reliable Testors DullCote. Not so reliable this time. It pooled on the plastic making spots on the light even after 2 coats. It also was rather fragile as it didn’t stick to the shot glass.

I finally decided to return to the first method as it gave the most even light, except this time I used a scotch-brite pad for nice even frosting. You could still see streaks, but they were small and relatively uniform. Success!

*Part 4.1: Gluing the Top Cover

This is two layers of poplar cut to 60mm with a coping saw and held together with two 4 inch squeeze clamps and ye olde reliable 6 inches I “C” says the Clamp.

Part 4.2: Drilling the Center Hole

This is where I learn that I can’t drill a hole straight enough with a hand drill. That drill is about 70 years old. It belonged to my grandfather from before my father was born.

Part 4.3: Rounding the Edges of the Lantern Body

Reminder: The following was done with 80 grit sandpaper, 2 hours of elbow grease, and 2 hand cramps.

Part 5.1 INTERMISSION: Free Drill Press Restoration

Due to the kindness of a family friend, they gave me a drill press that was ancient when they received it in 1980. It had been sitting around doing nothing, so if I could clean it up, it was mine. I didn’t take many photos of the process as I was so happy to have one, despite its shortcomings. These are the photos I was able to take. If anyone can tell me how old it is, I’d be really happy. The family friend thought it was from somewhere around the 1930s or ’40s.

When the drill came to me, it was absolutely covered in layers of grease. It took about 2 hours of crud cutter to remove it all. The rust was subjected to a brass wire brush and vinegar bath with ultrasonic cleaning where possible.

Lucas Oil Xtra Heavy Duty Grease was used to re-lubricate everything. The green stuff does its job well and doesn’t wear away even under high temperatures and fast-moving parts, neither of which apply to this drill press. It’s still a fantastic grease though Big Smile

All Done!

Part 5.1: Attaching the Tee Nut

I decided that I would attach the diffuser to the body using a Tee Nut and a #10-32 Stainless Steel screw.
Here is the first time I used the drill press. I drilled a 6mm hole and tapped it in with a small mallet.


Part 5.2: Drilling the Hole for the Switch

I decided to go with an SPDT 3 position sliding switch. The center is off, the top is high, the bottom is low. I used a 5.2mm drill bit and filed the rest. I did clean it up but forgot to take a picture of it. The lighting isn’t good in the work area and while I would use my flashlights, diffuse daylight makes for better pictures with a crappy smartphone camera.


Part 5.3: Drilling and Dremeling out a space for the boost driver

The main cuts were done using a 4.8mm drill bit and the drill was stopped at the correct depth using masking tape around the main pole of the drill press. The Dremel was used to smooth things out and widen the space for the two resistors that would be above the driver. That little extra depth is to fit the inductor, which is higher than the rest of the parts.

Part 5.4: Removing the Test Paint and smoothing out the Top

I had tested the red and brown acrylic on the failed top but decided not to waste all the work. The top could always be centered by the acrylic which would hold in the LEDs. I also used the drill press and 80 grit sandpaper to even out the circumference of the top relative to the location of the center hole. It also had the benefit of decreasing the overall diameter so as to interfere less with light from the diffuser.

Part 5.5: Test Fit

Now it’s starting to look like a lantern! I’ve decided to stain it with Old Master’s Burgundy Wipe Stain and Minwax water-based polyacrylic for a much more even finish. It will take more coats but I’ve gotten better results compared to oil-based polyurethane. I still need to drill the guide rods that will prevent the diffuser and top from moving, install said guide rods, create the LED board, wire the LEDs, install the contacts for the battery, and drill the hole out to install the magnets that hold the battery cover. We’re getting close and I’m happy.

Of note, I found that this process is taking WAY too long to make more than one. After this one is done, it’s back to the drawing board as I’ve got eight more of these suckers to make and place around the house. I can’t be taking this long. Guess we live and learn :D.

Old Lumens Contest Entries: "7th 5mm LED Lantern":https://budgetlightforum.com/node/70438 and "9th Copper Pipe Triple":https://budgetlightforum.com/node/79484

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A beautiful looking lantern Asian8640! Can’t wait to see how it gets completed.

I’d rather use my flashlight around the house than turn on the lights.

MtnDon
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Hey! That looks very nice!

I use nothing but Minwax polycrylic for clear coats. I especially love the fact that it adds no color of its own, unlike the oil based products.

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Looking nice!
Actually I intend to do add some diffusion to a certain TIR lens in a couple of weeks, it’s nice to see your experiments. Smile

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Looks great so far! well done!

MRsDNF
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That is looking real nice after all the set backs. Thumbs Up

 

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.

 

Asian8640
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Part 6.1 Cutting Lucite Centering Ring

This part ended up unused in the final project, but I thought I’d put it here for reference so I remember that I can’t cut a perfect disc with a Dremel and cutting tool. Don’t try. Bits of acrylic don’t taste good.

Part 6.2: Cutting the Tee Nut

The Dremel tool from the previous section was in use here. That sharpie is the area to be removed.

Notice what I’m using to hold the tee nut while I cut? Yup, that’s the failed body from the first part of this project! Never let your failures go to waste. Ideally re-purpose them for something else. Bet you didn’t expect it to make another appearance! Big Smile

Part 6.3 Drilling and Tapping the Magnet
I originally intended to use some nice 8mm magnets in this area, but the 1/4 inch chuck on my drill press and a lack of a larger spare chuck prevented me from drilling anything over 6mm. Tapered shank drill bits would fix this problem when I ran into it during an un-documented remake of the top section, but I didn’t know that I had drill bits with tapered shanks. My father had purchased them and forgotten about them. Anyway, I decided to send off for some 5mm x 3mm magnets which fit nicely in the 3/16 hole I drilled after a little persuasion with a mallet.

Part 6.4: Drilling the Top Holes
Here, I drill the holes for the wires and the 3/16 aluminum tube that would lock the reflector in place and prevent it from torquing clockwise or counterclockwise.

Here’s the mark for the length of aluminum tubing I cut.

Part 6.7: Test Stain (burgundy) and remanufactured top

This was right before I began to test the burgundy stain. Turns out the burgundy looks terrible. And you can’t remove it once applied. So it’s during this completely undocumented stage that I had to make another top and re-stained it with a natural stain that allowed the natural grain of the wood to pop. Poplar doesn’t stain all that well, but if you add enough base, even poplar will… POP. GET IT! POPlar! AHAHAhahaha… Sometimes I crack myself up. Probably a sign of an unstable mind but that never stopped me. This part was undocumented as I had left my phone at a friend’s house and didn’t have that much free time otherwise so it was either stop the project and risk not being able to complete it or forge forward and leave a small part undocumented. I do believe my choice is self-evident.

7.1 Soldering Wires to LED
I decided that if I’m going to leave the poplar nice and white, that I’d probably want to make the LEDs more closely match the color of the stain. So I used some 22 gauge stranded silicone insulated wire to solder the led’s together.

Liquid electrical tape was used to cover the bare ends so shorting would not occur.

While working on this, I realized that I had not documented the hole layout for the reflector. so here it is. The LED holes are all 5mm while the hole for both the centering screw and lock was 3/16.

7.2: Changing back over to 2300k LEDs

While test fitting the above with wires, I thought the 22 gauge wires were too thick and taking up too much space. I also changed my mind again and switched back over to 2300k LEDs. I soldered the built-in wires directly to each other to reduce space.

7.3: Poly while I work
This is my stain and poly setup. While I was soldering wires, I was always busy applying a new layer of polyacrylic. I gave it 8 hours dry time instead of the recommended 2 due to the fact that it’s cold and I rather wait to make sure it’s fully cured before slapping on the next coat. The jig holding up the lantern base is just one of the failed diffusers with a 3-inch #10-24 screw and 2 nuts. Waste not, want not.

This was my final frosting setup, a variable speed Sears drill, that very same screw and nut used in the previous jig, and a scotch-brite pad.

7.4 Electronics Soldering
Here are all the electronics soldered together. I settled on a 3v Boost driver with a max possible output of 100mA. I intended to use much less. I would give actual measurements of output, but my multi-meter refused to cooperate. I think it’s bitten the dust. No matter. As long as I like how it looks, it should be fine. The resistors were 10 ohms for high and 200 ohms for low. They were both 1% tolerance 1/4 watt film resistors.

8.1: Chisel Refurbish and Wood Removal
I had reached the final stages of this project. However, I still wasn’t able to put contacts inside the lantern. All of the random scraps of metal proved to have too much mass for my soldering iron to handle, and my ye olde reliable Weller soldering gun took a stroll. As such, I reached into my wallet (again) and purchased a bunch of single AA battery holders which didn’t fit as they were too wide and too long. The only way to make it fit lengthwise was to remove some wood, and I wouldn’t be able to get a clean cut with a Dremel tool. Guess I’d have to refurbish those chisels I didn’t want to take the time to refurbish at the beginning of the project…

It took 3 hours on progressively finer stones to remove all the pitting, oxidation, and massive chip in the 1/2 inch chisel. At least I have a working chisel again.

Also, take note that I had added in a second magnet here for a more secure cover.

8.2 Modifying the Battery Holder to Fit
I used a pair of wire cutters and an x-acto knife to slice off the side tabs and an entire half of the battery holder.

8.3 Testing the 2300k LEDs for the first time
Yay! All the electronics are together. Let’s give it a test!

8.4 It almost Fits…
We have ourselves a minor problem here. It almost fits together but the wires on the bottom are taking up too much space. I’m going to have to swap the wires out for thinner ones.

I’ll also make a little extra space up top in the cover using the chisel.

8.5 The Final Potholes in the road
Damnit! Soldering the built-in leads to the LEDs has come back to bite me. One of the leads snapped while inserting them rendering the whole array useless. Well, I guess I’ll go back to the 3400k LEDs. It’s done already and I know that the silicone wires are more resistant to jostling. A little modification of the top cover should give me the space I need to make them work.

And Oops! I’ve destroyed the driver. Broke off the inductor while removing it. Good thing I have 7 more.

Also, I drilled new holes for the wire at the bottom of the battery ba so there would be less stress on the wires and they wouldn’t get in the way of the battery holder.

8.6: Everything back together
Phew! Everything back together, thinner wires, and a more suitable wire layout.

9.1 WOHOOO!! COMPLETION
I am DONE with less than 2 days to spare. THIS FEELS GOOD.

Low Shot!

High Shot!

Size comparison to BLF LT1 (lit using my favorite Optsolis 5000k light :D)

10.0 AFTERMATH

Major things I’ve learned from this project

  • Use the chisel when working on stock removal. It’s faster, cleaner, and worth the fingers lost.
  • Always leave extra space for wires.
  • Make a wider base for the rest of the lanterns.
  • Have the electronics mounted horizontally instead of vertically.
  • No plan survives contact with my ineptitude.
  • Everything will cost more than you expect it.
  • Engineering time estimates are a joke. Multiply time estimates by 8, not 4.

Old Lumens Contest Entries: "7th 5mm LED Lantern":https://budgetlightforum.com/node/70438 and "9th Copper Pipe Triple":https://budgetlightforum.com/node/79484

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