RCL03 - my latest EDC Flashlight -> Making Of Report

41 posts / 0 new
Last post

Pages

RC-Lights
RC-Lights's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 months 1 week ago
Joined: 07/13/2017 - 18:30
Posts: 23
Location: Germany
RCL03 - my latest EDC Flashlight -> Making Of Report

hi guys,

in the parallel thread ( https://budgetlightforum.com/node/79683 ) i am showing the progress from the beginning to now - but since its a long way, i want to show you my latest project seperate in more detail.

lets start. two years ago i build a small amount of EDC Flashlights with 16340 Battery. I use them very often, but they are limited in brightness and endurance. So i decided to start from a white piece of paper and develope a bright, very strong flashlight with handsome proportions with bigger batteries.

that was my first draft: 

 

two variants, one for 18350, one for 18500 batteries. good enough to give it a try. But before starting with the production, there is some addional planning required. one of the issues producing this kind of parts is the clamping of the parts. for that i need some tools. furthermore i need some master threads, so that every single part i will produce on my conventional machines will fit to every other part. 

thats the result:  a master thread for every part and at the same time a clamping tool for outside machining:

 

some hours later:

 

after that i could start machining the flashlight parts itself:

here as an example the battery tube on the lathe:

 

some moments later the same part is on the milling machine with the clamping tools, i showed some pictures above. 

 

 

and here the heatsink, first meassuring, than milling:

 

and here it is, the first prototype:

 

after using it for some days, its my favourite flashlight. But i realised, that it is not perfect. Two things are disturbing me. The position for the clip is not feasible. If i would set threads in the battery tube in the planned position, the light would be water resistant anymore. and i have no possibility to add a lanyard. So i updated my first draft: 

i moved the clip to the back and added some holes in the rear for fixing a lanyard:

 

 

a little challange was the production of the "tailring". its a really small part with some turning and milling operations on it. 

 

 

 

but maybe you ask you, how the hell can i screw that ring into the tail of the light ? i had the same question laughing But luckily i have a CNC Mill, so i could produce a small tool for that:

 

after having all parts finished machining, lets make some group photos:

 

 

these 3 lights are now finished with machining. In the next step i will put them into a thumbler, a rotationg barrel with some grinding stones in it to round up the sharp edges. After that, i will polish one light, the other one will get sandblasted. Then i will have them coated with a DLC  (Diamond like Carbon)

 

i never did that before, so i am very excited, how that will look like.

 

thats from my side for today, i hope you like my work and i will update that thread soon.

 

see you

Michael

 

 

 

raccoon city
raccoon city's picture
Offline
Last seen: 47 min 58 sec ago
Joined: 10/06/2010 - 02:35
Posts: 19511
Location: Palm Desert CA ~ West Coast is the best coast

RCL has mad skillz!

chadvone
chadvone's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 month 1 week ago
Joined: 08/28/2015 - 23:48
Posts: 2022
Location: Iowa

Sweet light. I’d like to see the 16340 size you made.

Firelight2
Firelight2's picture
Offline
Last seen: 7 hours 49 min ago
Joined: 04/08/2011 - 15:17
Posts: 5090
Location: California

Holy cow RCL —— GREAT JOB!!!! Love Cool Thumbs Up

Just one question…. WHERE’S THE GROUP BUY? Love Love Silly

Camaro
Offline
Last seen: 3 days 9 hours ago
Joined: 06/27/2021 - 12:48
Posts: 237
Location: Ontario, Canada

Amazing work, only one recommendation. Battery sizes. 18650, 21700 and 26650 seem to be the universally enjoyed sizes.

You have the potential for a good business if that is the route you plan on taking, otherwise thanks for letting us also enjoy your work.

raccoon city
raccoon city's picture
Offline
Last seen: 47 min 58 sec ago
Joined: 10/06/2010 - 02:35
Posts: 19511
Location: Palm Desert CA ~ West Coast is the best coast

Camaro wrote:

Amazing work, only one recommendation. Battery sizes. 18650, 21700 and 26650 seem to be the universally enjoyed sizes.

Yep, I prefer 1x18650 and 1x21700 flashlights, though I doubt I could afford one of your custom flashlights.  $)

Scallywag
Scallywag's picture
Offline
Last seen: 11 hours 29 min ago
Joined: 01/11/2018 - 22:23
Posts: 2439
Location: Ohio, United States

Looks great. 18650 and smaller (18350, 14500, 16340) are the most popular for EDC. 21700/26650 can be tough to get in a pocket, and 26650 in particular seems to be falling by the wayside.

Are you interested in doing production runs of your light designs – whether they be small runs in the style of the “custom” flashlight market, or large runs shopped out to a manufacturer?

What are the specs of the internals?

iamlucky13
Offline
Last seen: 18 hours 24 sec ago
Joined: 06/22/2018 - 09:18
Posts: 1160
Location: USA

Good work, and thanks for sharing so many pictures of your project. It looks wonderful.

pinkpanda3310
pinkpanda3310's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 hour 24 min ago
Joined: 12/28/2013 - 08:45
Posts: 3196
Location: Perth

Digitally designed and rendered. Good quality photos. It all looks very professional Thumbs Up

… oh its a good looking light too Beer

  

lumenzilla
lumenzilla's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 week 4 days ago
Joined: 06/09/2015 - 04:18
Posts: 1066
Location: Java

Awesome build!
I wish I had tools and skills as yours.

RC-Lights
RC-Lights's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 months 1 week ago
Joined: 07/13/2017 - 18:30
Posts: 23
Location: Germany

thank you all. the choise of the battery size is of course an important topic. But for me means an EDC light, that you can carry it every day. and you will take a small light more often than i bigger light. That is my experience, thats the reason, why a 18350 size is the best compromise for me. i calculated 1800 Lumens output right now.

as you will see in the parallel thread, i built a lot of 18650 lights. but they are in my oponion too big to carry every day in a pocket.

but of course i plan some bigger lights.

kind regards,
Michael

MascaratumB
MascaratumB's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 hours 18 min ago
Joined: 10/29/2016 - 12:12
Posts: 7355
Location: Portugal

Cool stuff you do Michael Wink Really nice!

I’d still like to see a short/thin triple 16340 flashlight w/ tail clicky (forward) switch.
That’s been my quest for a while. Although you are probably more on the “custom” side of the spectrum, I guess you’d have the skills to accomplish that !

Really nice work Cool

RC-Lights
RC-Lights's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 months 1 week ago
Joined: 07/13/2017 - 18:30
Posts: 23
Location: Germany

hi guys, a short update,

 

i prepared the lights for the DLC Coating.

 

For testing purpose, a good friend of mine plated on light, the other light was polished by me. So stay tuned, i will show the result soon.

 

 

vonroyale
Offline
Last seen: 4 months 2 days ago
Joined: 10/06/2021 - 17:43
Posts: 140
Location: Philadelphia

Any chance you could do a post or video describing your amazing lathe and CNC setup. I know many people would be interested to spend their money on a lathe but have no idea what makes a good quality machine or what features to look for corresponding to making flashlights.

RC-Lights
RC-Lights's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 months 1 week ago
Joined: 07/13/2017 - 18:30
Posts: 23
Location: Germany

hi,

of course, maybe i can do a workshop tour in a separate thread. But reagarding the lathe – its a very cheap one from chinese production, now 12 years old and costs around 1400€. and i worked a really long time with really cheap tools on it. you can do crazy things on it, but its really time consuming. the more money i spent on high quality tools, the quicker was the time i needed for the parts. but the possibilitys itself stayed the same. so you do not need spend too much money, you need the experience or you have to want get experienced. that is the most important thing. and please forgot the CNC Setup Big Smile this is a milling machine for wood. no help for the light production itself. i can only build tools out of plastic like shown on it.

but if you are really interessted, i can start a workshop tour.

cheers, Michael

turkeydance
turkeydance's picture
Offline
Last seen: 14 hours 12 min ago
Joined: 02/20/2020 - 18:53
Posts: 1768

now i am jealous.
you have done
things i cannot.
congratulations!

ch1ir
Offline
Last seen: 18 hours 10 min ago
Joined: 06/08/2019 - 06:30
Posts: 627
Location: Lou, Ky

Very nice!

RC-Lights
RC-Lights's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 months 1 week ago
Joined: 07/13/2017 - 18:30
Posts: 23
Location: Germany

hi guys,

yesterday i recieved a shipment with the two prototypes. they are now coated with a DLC coating, which looks increadible in real. now i start the endurance test, how resistant that stuff is on Aluminium.

 

 

 

cheers, 

Michael

 

thefreeman
thefreeman's picture
Offline
Last seen: 34 min 31 sec ago
Joined: 01/06/2020 - 09:56
Posts: 1719
Location: France

Wow it does look great!

TIFisher
Offline
Last seen: 18 hours 34 min ago
Joined: 11/26/2020 - 11:43
Posts: 538
Location: USA

Phenomenal. That’s about as simple and elegant as it gets. Brilliant work, sir.

MascaratumB
MascaratumB's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 hours 18 min ago
Joined: 10/29/2016 - 12:12
Posts: 7355
Location: Portugal

Wow!!! Shocked Looks really good Shocked Love
Well done Wink

CM2010
Offline
Last seen: 19 hours 55 min ago
Joined: 07/19/2012 - 05:48
Posts: 694

Amazing work.

raccoon city
raccoon city's picture
Offline
Last seen: 47 min 58 sec ago
Joined: 10/06/2010 - 02:35
Posts: 19511
Location: Palm Desert CA ~ West Coast is the best coast

Looks pretty awesome!  :BEER:

kennybobby
kennybobby's picture
Offline
Last seen: 10 hours 44 min ago
Joined: 05/10/2017 - 09:13
Posts: 1330
Location: huntspatch, alabama

What makes the difference in the coating color?

Did you make your own clips too—i really like the looks of those also.

Is the little short piece a tool, or just a test coupon?

Now i used to think that i was cool,
drivin' around on fossil fuel,
until i saw what i was doin',
was drivin' down the road to ruin. --JT

RC-Lights
RC-Lights's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 months 1 week ago
Joined: 07/13/2017 - 18:30
Posts: 23
Location: Germany

hi, thanks for all the nice words !

no, the clip on the light is a standard clip, i only sandblasted it for the brushed finish. its out of stainless steal.

what do you mean with the different coating colors ? the black areas are coated, the Bezel ist raw stainless steal.
the flashlight in the background appears a little bit darker. this light was polished before coating, the other one was sandblasted.

the short piece is a prototype of a bead for lanyards, fitting to the light itself. but i will do some endurance and resistance tests on it, i dont like to do that on the flashlight itself.

Cheers
Michael

wle
wle's picture
Online
Last seen: 3 min 13 sec ago
Joined: 01/07/2015 - 13:49
Posts: 3231
Location: atlanta ga

pretty
what is the UI?

is it under $2000?

"You never have the wind with you - it's either against you, or you're having a good day."
    Daniel Behrman, "The Man Who Loved Bicycles".
It never gets easy, you just go faster.   
-Greg Lemond.
       ,ø¤º°`°º¤ø¸,ø¤º°`°º¤ø¸,ø¤º°`°º¤ø¸

wle
wle's picture
Online
Last seen: 3 min 13 sec ago
Joined: 01/07/2015 - 13:49
Posts: 3231
Location: atlanta ga

if it is going to use 16340, i might (Also) prefer the shortest and lightest version possible….

walls look kind of thick, seems a bit longer than i would want….

just saying

to me, the battery is very limited
to make up for that, i want it to be as small and light as possible

wle

"You never have the wind with you - it's either against you, or you're having a good day."
    Daniel Behrman, "The Man Who Loved Bicycles".
It never gets easy, you just go faster.   
-Greg Lemond.
       ,ø¤º°`°º¤ø¸,ø¤º°`°º¤ø¸,ø¤º°`°º¤ø¸

RC-Lights
RC-Lights's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 months 1 week ago
Joined: 07/13/2017 - 18:30
Posts: 23
Location: Germany

Hi wle, I am not talking about the money in public, but of course it will be less than 2000$.

The light uses 18350 or 18500 batteries, two different battery tubes are planed.

You are totally right, a light with 18350 could be smaller. But for me a tailcap clicky is a must have. And my aim was not to build the smallest light, I want to have a working horse. An EDC light must be robust as hell, reliable in every condition. And that in combination with a good looking design is the concept of that flashlight.

With that light you have a pocket rocket with up to 2000 lumens for some seconds on the one hand and you can walk through the night for some hours with 200-300 lumens. For me this is a good compromise.

The UI is fully customizable. I recommend to use the Dr Jones H17f driver, but you can order also every other 17mm driver with clicky UI which is available. Also the LED can be chosen individually.

Regards,
Michael

RC-Lights
RC-Lights's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 months 1 week ago
Joined: 07/13/2017 - 18:30
Posts: 23
Location: Germany

hi all,

after finishing the two prototypes and using them for some time, i decided, that i have to build more of them.

what should i say, it escalated quickly Wink

i also did some smaller lights, but i will present them later in a different topic.

cheers
Michael

ch1ir
Offline
Last seen: 18 hours 10 min ago
Joined: 06/08/2019 - 06:30
Posts: 627
Location: Lou, Ky

Less than $2000, good I’ve never paid that much for a car, beautiful light and I’m sure it’s top quality, but it’s about 1800$ out of my league

RC-Lights
RC-Lights's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 months 1 week ago
Joined: 07/13/2017 - 18:30
Posts: 23
Location: Germany

actually i did not comment about the price, but 2000$ is really unrealistic. all of them are below 500€, some of them in the range of 250€… But please dont comment further about that. if you want to know more, please contact me via PN

best regards,
Michael

Pages