DavidEF's entry in the Hand Made Category of the 3rd Annual Scratch Built Contest

Well, I’m going to try my hand in the Hand-Made category. This is my first year competing in the Scratch Built Light contest. This will actually be my first ever scratch built light. I’ve been trying to learn to mod various lights that I have lying around. So far, my only successes have been simple LED and/or driver replacements. In fact, I still can’t even solder correctly! I’m a little shy with my lack of build skills, so I haven’t posted any build threads here. So, it’s gonna be a first for that, too. I’m a little excited and a lot anxious! :open_mouth:

My flashlight idea is still all in my head, morphing and changing. When I get some really solid decisions going, then I’ll update accordingly. One thing I can say is that I plan on building something a bit unique. After all, why put enormous time and effort into something that, in the end, looks like all the other something’s lined up on various websites and/or store shelves? :wink: One way that I will try to make it unique is by using a cell that is not often used in off-the-shelf lights. I have a couple 10180’s from when I bought my DQG Hobi. I also have some 10440, 14250, 16340, 18500, along with a few of the more common sizes we see in flashlights: 14500, 18350, 18650, 26650. Of course, an odd cell isn’t enough to win contests, so there will be more… eventually! :bigsmile:

As I said before, I don’t plan on winning this contest. But, I do plan on giving it my best shot anyway. The prizes this year are going to be awesome! So, here we go… :arrow:

Edit: As per request, title was changed.

Update 07-18-2015:

Well, although it may seem like I haven’t started my build yet, I’m here to report that, in fact, I haven’t started my build yet. LOL! Actually, I have been trying to plan my work before I work the plan. I’m pretty sure about what I’m going to make at this point, and some of the things I’m planning to use in my build.

So, for this contest, I will be building a “9-volt battery” light. I’ll be gutting a 9-volt battery, replacing one terminal with a switch and the other terminal with a LED. The light will be powered by one of my small cells. If I can make it fit, it will be a 14250. If that proves to be too big, I will use one of my little 10180 cells. This light obviously won’t be super bright, but I’m expecting it to be bright enough for its size to surprise some of my friends. And, I’m hoping the unique style will win me extra points in the contest! :wink:

Here are some pics showing the parts I’m planning on using. There is a used 9-volt battery, a XM-L2 U3 on Aluminum star, which may get transferred to Copper DTP MCPCB… maybe :stuck_out_tongue: , a tactile momentary switch, and a 25mm rod of Aluminum which I will chop off part of for a heatsink. I really want to have as much of the Aluminum inside as I can get, so I’ll first cut it to length and shape it into a rectangular block to fit inside the battery shell, then I’ll have to cut notches out of it to fit the various components in place.

Cut apart the battery:

A 14250 and a 10180 next to a 9-volt battery:

More to come…

Update 08-22-2015:

Well, finally a move forward! I was really hoping to be a lot further along, until real life happened! I’ll spare you the details, but I just haven’t been able to do much of anything for the past several weeks. So I decided that today I’d at least get to another point where I could upload some pics and talk about what I’m trying to do with this little light of mine! I guess I’ll just get right to it now:

Okay, I started out needing to cut the Aluminum rod. So, I marked it and scored it all the way around, then used a couple cheap spring clamps to hold it down so I could cut it with my hacksaw.

Well, the clamps couldn’t hold it firmly, so I needed to put it in a vice. I didn’t want to scratch/dent/gouge the Aluminum rod so I got a little bit of tubing and wrapped it around the rod, then clamped it in the vice and cut it.

Now, I needed to cut it down to fit inside the 9V battery shell, so I traced it on top

And down the sides

Scored it to begin the cut

Put it back in the vice

And cut it down

Wow, that’s rough! I guess I’ll have to sand it down a bit.

Well, that’s a start! Here are the tools I used.

After many long hours , I got it to fit! Woo-hoo!

I made it a bit longer than the shell, as you can see. I’m hoping to cut out portions of the aluminum where I need to put things, like the driver, the switch, and the cell. The extra length is so that I can cut it to stick out the top a little, where the switch button and the reflector will hopefully end up looking like the two terminals of the original battery from a quick glance. The Aluminum chunk fits tightly in the old battery shell, and I’m hoping that I can keep the cut-outs as small as possible so that the Aluminum will act as the heat-sink for the small light. Since there will be no fins, and the light would literally disappear in my hand, it’s gonna need all the help it can get with heat dissipation. The good thing is that since the cell powering it will be so small, it doesn’t stand much chance of getting a ton of current, so it shouldn’t really get all that hot in use. We’ll see if that’s the case hopefully before the end of the contest! For now, I’ll have to leave you wishing for more. :frowning:

This spot reserved for AFF links. jk :stuck_out_tongue:

Good to see you have entered. Good luck to you and I think just about everyone is anxious the first time entering, so you're in good company here.

LOL. Being excited, anxious, and having a sense of humor sounds like a great combo for a great build.

Best wishes on dreaming up a design and executing the build. Looking forward to it. :)

One thing is for sure, if you stick it out the your skill set will grow immensely. Since most of this is new, the point where you realize you’ve bitten off more than you can chew is harder to anticipate. Look for something that you’d want to use and get started early. Visualize it, then make it happen. It worked for Michelangelo.

good to hear your entering this year. Its a great learning experience.

Good on you David. Nothing like a challenge for the old grey matter.

Nice to see you in the mix, DavidEF.

Best of luck! :beer:

subscribed, good luck

Of course, Michelangelo’s “David” and the frescoes in the Cistine Chapel are famous, less famous are his “George of the Jungle” bust and “Vatican Romper Room finger painting”.

Opps, thanks for pointing out the thread name requirement/request.

So, I’m off to a slow-ish start, while others are going strong already. One has even finished! But I’ve updated the OP just now showing what I’m planning to make for the contest. If all goes well, I imagine this could actually become a daily carry light for me. So, even if I don’t win, I’ll have fun losing, and still end up with a cool light for my trouble. :slight_smile:

cool idea!
(i think someone built a battery flashlight in the first competition, maybe in a D-sized battery?)

What’s next? A AA light? Button top of course.


FmC’s 2x D Flashlight from the first contest

Wow, I hadn’t seen that build! That is awesome work he did! Mine probably won’t be so exciting… :frowning:

OP has been updated. I finally got something done, though I wish it could be more. I really want to get this light done in time for the contest, but real life keeps getting in the way! :~

However it turns out you get big props in my book for the original attempt. Good luck.

Tell me about it, by the way, your lastest images are just little blue question mark boxes.

Nice, reminiscent of my first DIY comp. build! :beer:


Ahhh, already mentioned above.

I just went through it to resize the pictures. :)