Gauging Interest for and feedback on Shorty 1D Maglites - Read Post #14

Since there seemed to be some interest in the 1D maglite I just sold, I wanted to talk about possibly making a few more. So I thought I would see what real interest there is and try to figure out how to approach that.

Y'all know that I do these by hand and it takes some time to do them. I figure I might do 1 a week, but I'm not wanting to get locked into where I have to do them. I do it for my enjoyment, not for making money. If I made it a business, I wouldn't enjoy it any more.


These cut down mags aren't going to be exactly cheap. I deciced to really look at the cost and I think it will be prohibitive for some. Here's what I broke it down to:

Maglite 2D Incan Host $16.80

Aluminum Reflector $7.50 - I have found 3 different reflectors that would work. They are here, here & here.

Glass Lens $1.00

New style KD 8x7135 driver $5.00

Aluminum Heat sink $4.00

XML-T6 LED $10.00 (average) - (depends on where it comes from, lots of cool white out there, but getting into neutral and warm white there's fewer choices to buy from).

Battery Holder (4xAA). Right now I do not have a source for them. I would have to make a holder and I figure at least $5.00

All Miscellaneous $10.00 (based on all the stuff that goes into one, Arctic Alumina, JB Weld, Sandpaper, Dremel bits, Teflon wire, etc, etc, etc.).

So........ we are talking $60.00 USD here for just the parts and materials. (which means I lost money on the one I sold). I do not do free shipping, so now you can add $8-$10 USD for shipping (CONUS) and about $20.00 Internationally.

No labor is figured in. I'm not looking for that. I just have to absolutely be able to recoup the costs of the parts.

Well, that's a lot of money to me. Realistically, you could spend another $20-40 and be able to buy a Dry or a Sunwayman, or many other lights. So why one of these?

It all boils down to the fact that a person just wants a 1D maglite. That's all it is. Only people that really like the looks of a shorty Mag will want one.

What I am looking for? I just want to find out who might really be serious about having one of these. Really serious. I'm not talking deposits or anything, but I don't want to go buying parts if there's no serious interest at $70.00 USA or $80.00 International, for a hand modded 1D Maglite.

This light could even have an SST-50 in it, but with 4AA batteries, it would have to be a wow light, because it would only be on for a few minutes before the batts died.

ALSO, the time frame here is long. We are talking 3 weeks for parts from China and then I will only make them as I can or want, so 1 per every 1 or 2 weeks. It will be a while... I am putting my max limit on 5 of these for right now, since that's getting out there time wise.

Maybe it's better for me to just do one at a time and sell them off without this thread, but that takes even more lead time unless I order more than one of every part. If there's enough serious interest, then I might want to buy the parts to make several, but of course that's like counting chickens before they hatch.

I also want to stress that each light will be different. One may be a Blue Mag, or a Silver Mag, or one may have a crenulated bezel, or a copper trim ring, or a different color scheme. That's up to me to decide as it's artistic perogative to keep them all different.

Give your interest and thoughts here in this thread, so I can see if I should look at doing some more or not.



How about just offering the host?

I'm serious @ $70.

And, I'm cool with all your terms. Whatever color/trim - whatever happens when you make mine, that's how I want it.


$70 sounds good. I'll PM you. I can provide the host. I'd like to see some beamshots if you don't mind. The idea of a 1D Mag drives me crazy (in a sensationally good way!)

Yeah I'd be interested in just a host, maybe even the 4AA battery holder.



I will want one, but I would probably be more interested without the battery holder. I would like one of appropriate length for the international outdoor 26650. Or even better I would like a 2C cut down for that cell (does anyone know if the diameter of the MNKE 26650 fits a mag C cell light?)

However, at 70 bucks I would consider one for 4 eneloop AA as well.

just checked out the build, Building Another 1D Maglite, with a new Twist! .

have to say thanks for posting such detailed build - love the experience from more experienced builders. i will post specific questions there.

Regarding the sale of these, it is amazing the cost that is going into this - and i dont think you will ever get a hand made light for that price.

My real interest however is the as someone mentioned above the host. any thoughts for the host by itself - cut down only.

I have really wanted to build a replacement for an UF mcu-88 and naturally wanted to implement a mag due to the quality and the love of mags.

That's my thought too-just the host and a flat top heatsink.

The MKNE will fit in a C if you strip off the outer coating.


$70 really? Your material cost looks correct at $60, so that would only leave you with ~ $10 profit? Ye Gods man.....your time is worth a lot more than that! Not having handled any of your mods, but going off the well detailed photos in your posts, you do outstanding work. Don't sell yourself short...

A well built modded maglite really is in a class of its own. Just last night I finished up a 1C mag I purpose built to be the brightest darn thing for it's size, and I'd put it up against any factory light in terms of build quality and output (for 1x18650). Just something to keep in mind for folks who may compare cost of a custom 1D/1C vs (insert brand here).



$70 really? Your material cost looks correct at $60, so that would only leave you with ~ $10 profit? Ye Gods man.....your time is worth a lot more than that! Not having handled any of your mods, but going off the well detailed photos in your posts, you do outstanding work. Don't sell yourself short...

A well built modded maglite really is in a class of its own. Just last night I finished up a 1C mag I purpose built to be the brightest darn thing for it's size, and I'd put it up against any factory light in terms of build quality and output (for 1x18650). Just something to keep in mind for folks who may compare cost of a custom 1D/1C vs (insert brand here).



Agreed. I build my minimags cut down to single cell and redo all the internals just like the full sized modded mags. Doesn't cost me quite as much in materials as I buy in small bulk to cut costs. I have a hell of a time just getting $60-$70 per light because all most people see is a simple Maglite when they could buy a good AA light for half that. I try to make a little money on mine as it helps me support my flashlight addiction but I don't charge anywhere what they are worth in time and craftsmanship. People just don't want to pay what they are worth, at least not on BLF.

Few people seem to appreciate what goes into these lights and while they want the finished product they are rarely willing to compensate the effort required to make a light unlike anything they can purchase massed produced. The sad reality is that Justin's first light sat ignored until he lowered the price as far as he could. When someone finally purchased it at or under cost in materials people suddenly came out of the woodwork expressing regret they did not buy it and asking him to make more. All I could think was what a shame that a great light sat languishing unsold until the price got so low it couldn't be passed up.

I'm glad to see that people are interested in buying his lights but it's a shame that a guys time isn't considered worthwhile to most people. Until people hold a single celled Maglite of any battery size in their hands they cannot appreciate the spectacular feel and superior format of a well made, hand crafted torch. We should all feel fortunate that guys like O-L are willing to produce quality work just for the love of creating it.


Thanks everyone for the comments and praise. I have had a couple people who got my lights, that say they are works of art, (especially the copper ones). I just don't want to make something that I would not be proud of myself.

Match - that tailswitch is about the best I've ever done and I'm damn proud of that one.

As far as just making a host. Let me say that is an option to consider, but I do consider what I make as one of a kind lights. See even if I make a few more of these 1D lights, no two will be the same. When a person gets one, they will know that no one else's will look exactly the same. At least that is what I am shooting for and so far, it works.

About my labor, I do understand that I probably should get paid for what I do, but as JonnyMac said, people do not really consider how much a hand made Anything is really worth. Put it this way, how much do you make an hour doing your job? Let's say you make $8.00 an hour. I put somewhere from 10 to 20 hours in a light, depending how complicated and how much hand work. Would you really pay me an extra $80 to $160 dollars for my hand made light?? I would not pay that much, even if I were making a good living. That is the reason I started making lights, I couldn't afford the hand made ones.That's a fact and that is one reason why I do not charge labor.

The second reason is that I do not want to get into the position where I have to make a light. Right now, I'm just getting feedback about how people feel, but I do not want to take orders. If I do that, I am locked in to produce and that's not fun to me and that's not a hobby any more. I would rather just do a few, as I can, but at least know that someone out there is going to want it in the price range I have stated.

Today I paid out $150.00 to CNQ for components. I did that on the premise that I will be able to sell the lights now, but that is a LOT of money for me and I could not do it, if no one wanted to buy a light, so I did the feeler. Those components were just reflectors, boards and some odds and ends (like a three XM-L reflector - hint), it did not include hosts and all the other stuff, but with some of you wanting a light, I feel I can at least break even and that is all I am after.

When it is no longer fun, I will quit it and that is another reason for not making it a business. I just want to walk away for a while when it frustrates me and come back to it later.

Anyhow, thank you for the comments and look forward to more of my lights coming up.

Now - here's another thing that has bothered me. How do I list them, to be fair to the people who want one? I mean, now there's a few who want one, but if I just list it, some will not see it before it is gone and if I notify everyone, how does that work out?

Any ideas on that one??


Justin - I have one and truer words were never spoken. If I ever find the time to try this myself, I hope it turns out half as good as yours do. It's a pleasure watching you do what you do and even more of a pleasure to own one.


If I do 1D Hosts for sale, I fear that demand would be big enough that I could never do it. If I make 4-6 more of these lights before I loose interest in 1D maglites, then I will be doing good and with Chinese shipping for reflectors, drivers, etc., I will be pushing more like 6 weeks to 4 months to get through those 4-6 lights. If I did hosts, then all I would need is maglites and that's no problem, but the time to make them is. I'm just doing them by hand, so....

If I do decide to make any (just as a host), I will let y'all know and I certainly appreciate your input about that idea.

Thank you,


P.S., if any of you have a dremel (or some other maker of rotary tool), you should try it yourself. Believe me, if I can do it, anyone can. Just think of the first one as a loss and use it for testing. You can test several joints on one light that way and learn from the mistakes. That's what I did.

For those of you that have said you would want one of these lights........

Here's the only way(s ) I know of doing this. I probably will not want to build enough for all the people that want one. It's going to take a while to do them.

So, All I can figure out is to:

1.- put them up for sealed bid. Have a sealed bid sale for something like 24 or 36 hours on the light that is being sold. Each person PMs me with their private bid and Top bidder gets the light.

2.- Announce the sale a day prior to putting it up, but that just means that the first one responding gets the light.

I don't want anyone to have hard feelings, but since I make each and every one different, I can't really take a list of names (like a regular sale), and just say, "your turn, take what I got", especially when I only make something like the blue Mag. More than one will want it and then if I make a more plain one, the next person in line might not want that one, but won't want to loose their place in line.

I really think sealed bid might be the best I can think of, but you, the people wanting one, might just want to chime in here and give me your thoughts. Please

Have you thought about maybe cutting a Factory 3D Mag LED down to an 18650/26650? I have seen them for sale done that way on a lathe.

@OL: I really love your work and your videos, if I had a pretty Mag, I'd mod one. I've got almost all sizes, but black only..

I would open a thread for every Mag you make and put a price on it. People could post for 2 or 3 days if they want to buy it and you pick one. Maybe in a lottery or by looking what the people have contributed to BLF. In the second scenario, I would give someone like Foy, you, the admin etc. the first shot.

Another possibility would be an open bid, might even be easier, but includes the risk of make people sad who cant afford it (who knows how high the bids might get..)

You mean a single 26650/32650? Actually the “1D” that I make should hold one of those, just with a shortie spring. At least that’s how I cut them. (1D or Li-ion).

There are a lot of ways to handle a sale/bid, but someone will always feel left out or upset, that’s hard for me, because I hate to do that (intentionally or unintentionally).

In the long run, if I were to try to make some money on them, I would just list them on fleabay and post the link here and on cpf. That's probably the best way to make money, but until I really need or desire to do that, I probably will just put them up here for the low price I sell them for and do first come, first served, or the advanced notice way, with a lottery. I like that "giveaway style thread" thought.


Yes Sir, just like you do them but on a factory LED maglite. The 3D LED maglite will run good off of a single Li-Ion cell. Essentially take the new XP-E or Rebel Maglite, cut it down and you have a complete LED single Li-Ion ready to go light with no other parts to buy. I know a guy that wanted his done this way.

Justin, I think you are cutting yourself short.

I think the best way to sell them is to create one, post pics here, wait 2-3 days and see the response, then make a fleabay sale. That way you give members a head-up, enough time to sleep on it, but end up with a price that has no real restrictions. After all, you are not creating stuff exclusively for BLF members. And even if you did, anyone can register.

You win in any case, and any member here has an equal opportunity to bid as high as they are ready.

After a few sold maybe it will be time to reconsider the approach, but as far as my feelings go, you might end up offering stuff exclusively to members. Fleabay has restricted sales as well, as far as I know.

Just don't do restricted right away, try public sale first. You might end up surprised. People really love your work and products. I know that if my budget weren't so limited I'd have some of your stuff already.