What’s in a name?
MD = MtnDon
LT = lantern
MINI = my version of a mini
(coffee cup included for scale)
Years ago while DBSAR was developing the light that was to become the BLF LT1 lantern I liked the idea so much I modded an SRK to make my own version of a lantern. Since the development of the LT1-MINI began I have been thinking I should do a version of a mini. I never gave it a lot of thought. However, while I was working on my Old Lumens 9th Challenge entry this idea germinated.
I have a few Sofirn C01S lights in a box on a shelf. One became the basis for my MINI. The C01S itself was not actually modded, but the project made one of them a more or less permanent part of this MD-LT-MINI. )
I did not take a detailed series of photos as I did for the Challenge entry. I have a few in progress shots, for those who may be interested, as well as the completed concept light.
I first made a trial body from a scrap piece of redwood. After several days it occurred to me that I could use some of the leftover glued up stock I had made for other lights. I often have leftover pieces after slicing the thick glued up stock into the thinner stock I want to use.
I glued up an assortment and made a block.
I liked the trial shape I had made with the redwood and more or less duplicated it with the glued up block. The table mounted router was used for cutting out the corner areas.
I determined that a heat sink would be a good idea as when left to run a while on high the C01S head does get a bit hot. I found a round aluminum heat sink in my odds ‘n’ ends. 46mm diameter x 20mm thick with a 10mm center hole.
I bored the 10mm hole in the heat sink out to 9/16”. That is not quite big enough for the head of the C01S. However, some sanding of the hole with a rod and sandpaper enlarged it enough to where the head could be pressed into the aluminum heat sink. It will not be easy to remove.
The body of the C01S is a little slimmer than the head. 9/16” is the closest size dril bit I have, with it being a little large. The C01S body slips in and out easily but is not sloppy. Once the hole was deep enough I did use some silicone to glue the body in place.
I masked the head in the heatsink and painted the raw aluminum.
I left the optic in the head. I had a few of these spiky Ledil optics left from another project and found that one placed over the head helped redirect the light to the sides.
The body block was longer than I needed it to be so I sliced off a piece. Here it is to show the glued up pattern.
I wanted a shade assembly for the top. I cut some thin bocote to obtain 4 triangles and glued them together to make a square.
The bocote square was glued to some thin osage orange as reinforcement. The sandwich was sanded after the glue was dried. I drilled a 1-1/4” hole in the center. I was lucky to find that the 35mm film can I was planning on using was a perfect snug fit in the 1-1/4” hole. I also cut and drilled a piece of padauk to use as a top cap over the end of the film can. I also shortened the length of the film can as it looks nicer that way.
The cap of the film can had the center cut out so it could be glued to the heatsink with the optic centered. The wood parts have been lacquered in the next photo.
Then we have the assembled light images once again. The heatsink, upper end, screws onto the lower body. The light operates exactly as Sofirn designed. Twist tight the light turns on in low mode. Twist off and then back on right away and it comes on in high mode. Quarter twist left (counterclockwise) again and the light is off.
Mounting the head assembly to the lower body with the film can snap on lid allows the light head to be rotated to have the shade square sides align with the body sides.
next the light is on the low setting
and finally the light is on the high setting
I am happy. I did discover a couple of things I would do different if I make another. Since this one will be gifted I probably will make an improved version at some time.