Old Lumens Contest 2020 - Hand-made light category

This is my contest thread for the 8th Old Lumens Competition!

When my build is complete, I will post completed images in the top section of this post.

So, the idea for this light has been floating around in my head for a long time. However, until this year I didn’t own the necessary tools to accomplish the build. I still might not, but I think I do at this point, so here we go.

So, the plan is this:

Brass/copper pipe and fixtures. A ¾” pipe has an internal diameter nearly identical to that of a Convoy S2+. That’s the easy part. The hard part is going to be getting a shelf or pill for the head of the light. I’m not sure how I’m going to tackle that yet. I’ve got some ideas about brass washers and stuff, we’ll see how it goes.

Okay. Hardware store.

  • Wow, brass isn’t cheap.
  • 2” long ¾” brass “threaded male adapter nipple fitting”
    • I also bought a 4" version but it won't be getting used.
  • A pair of ¾” threaded male hose X FIP adapter fitting (¾” MHT x ¾” FIP)
  • A pair of ¾” FHT x ¼” compression hose swivel adapters

That’s the hardware. Pre-built flashlight parts that I plan to use, in accordance with the rules:

  • Switch, switch board, and switch boot
  • Going with a 20mm board for fitment reasons. Undecided on actual switch type - the MTN board will have a fwd clicky on it, but I might swap an Omten 1288
    • Collectively, “switch assembly”
    • Swapped an Omten 1288 onto a MTN 20mm switch board.
  • Reflector or TIR optic (I’m undecided)
    • If reflector, it’ll be a spare from a Convoy S2+ that I built into a triple for a friend
    • If TIR, it’ll be 45 degree pebbled from Fasttech
    • Either one will probably require filing down to fit
    • So far, the 45 degree pebbled TIR looks to be a good fit, and is what is currently in the partially assembled light.
  • LED on MCPCB. I’m not 100% sure what I’ll use yet. Will be on 16mm MCPCB. Possibles below:
  • Driver: I was considering a spare Convoy 6xAMC7135 driver I had, but I think I’ll get a 20mm 8x7135 from Convoy with guppydrv.

A list of tools used so far:

  • 200mm2 hotplate (reflowed LED onto MCPCB)
  • X-Tronic #3020 soldering station (all other soldering so far)
  • PanaVise Model 201" Junior Miniature Vise w/ PanaVise 312 Tray Base Mount
  • Various small hand tools: tweezers, forceps/hemostats, diagonal cutters, wire strippers, digital micrometer
  • Hack saw, Bosch 12V reciprocating saw
  • Some sandpaper
  • Cheap vice-grips and a clamp

Consumable supplies used so far:

  • Ancient Radioshack .032" 60/40 rosin-core solder
  • Kester EP256 solder paste
  • MG-CHEM #8341 no-clean flux paste
  • 22 gauge high-strand silicone-insulated copper wire (red/black)
  • A Q-Tip (used for the LED "tap" when reflowed, also for cleaning flux residue)
  • 91% isopropyl (used for cleaning flux residue)

I hope to fully document everything I do: tools used, methods devised, attempts made and failures failed! Also, please feel free to ask any questions you may have.

Also, I would like to mention the inspirations for this build. CRX of course, with things like the Brass Knucklehead (1, 2, and 3) and Big Brass Nutz builds. Also, credit to everydaysurvivalgear's EDSG 5th Annual BLF / Old Lumens Scratch Made Light Contest (Handmade) Pipe Dream.

So, here’s the stuff.

Brass parts from the hardware store (Lowe’s, if it matters).

Probably going with the TIR. It looks like it basically fits. This is a 45 degree TIR from fasttech - I got a 5-pack to try in my Boruit D10.

Here you can see it with the hose adapter closed over the top. It has some sort of rubber sealer o-ring thing, too. Sweet.

As you can see below, it looks like the reflector would require a bit of sanding:

Some mock-up pictures of things screwed together mostly. There’s no internals - just the TIR sitting in one end and a switch boot in the other.

And a size comparison to some well-known lights (Convoy S2+ and Emisar D4):

Now I wait for parts! Currently I don’t have the driver, MCPCB (though I have all the LED options I mentioned), or switch. When they come in, I’ll try to figure out how to get them mounted in the host!

Tools I expect to use:
Soldering iron, clearly. My hotplate maybe if it’s allowed - if not, I won’t use it except to reflow my LEDs.
Hacksaw maybe.
Drill maybe.
I will document what and how I modify things, and photograph to the best of my ability!

Another challenge: I’ve noticed that, since I didn’t actually use a 3/4” pipe but instead a threaded nipple adapter, the internal diameter of the main tube is larger than I’d hoped for. Since I considering using an existing battery adapter tube cheating (even if someone says its not), I’ll at some point find something to improve the fit, but it won’t be from a flashlight.

Good luck with your build :+1:

Maybe a copper sleave would work

Yeah - so my backup plan is just to cut a rectangle of cardboard. But I’m hoping to figure something out with a sleeve of some sort - maybe pipe or tubing, hopefully. I mean I’ve heard of people wrapping tape around cells to eliminate rattle, so it shouldn’t be a big issue. I’m just not going to use the plastic battery sleeve I have for 18650 to 21700 (came with my C8F) because that feels like cheating, even if somebody said it technically wasn’t.

Copper and brass is easy to solder with electronics solder just use your hot plate to preheat. Joint has to be shiny clean, a small dob of solder on the tip helps heat tranfer much quicker.

Just a tip
tube is measured outside diameter
pipe is measured inside diameter

Looking forward to see where this drives us :wink:
Good luck!!!

Y’all gonna have to wait a bit on this one. While the mountain order should arrive this week, my daughter should be arriving (being born, that is) today (27th).

So if I don’t circle back around to finishing this one in time, it’s for a good reason :wink:

Congrats on the new delivery! Your daughter!

Congratulations :partying_face:
Seems like you’ll have bigger “mods” to do from now on: modding life :smiley:
Wish her and the rest of the family health and a good life :blush:

This is looking great so far, can’t wait to see the end product.

As for the battery rattle, maybe put a cell in a plastic bag and spray foam it in place, then when the spray foam sets, the baggie can be trimmed with the foam on the ends and will create a sleeve for the battery. The baggie should let you slide the battery out as well, maybe put some petroleum jelly on the battery inside the baggie first.


Congrats on the birth of your daughter! amazing news! Also, that “mockup” looks sick man, makes me consider heading to lowes and trying this one myself. Very inspiring! Im new to this, so I am trying to take it all in, especially the electronics aspect. The only part I have a little understanding of is the fabricobbling…

Congrats Scallywag! Daughters are very special. Mine went away to college this year and I miss her dearly. But she’s doing well and I’m happy for her. And she remembered to bring her flashlight: Father Daughter Flashlight.

1 Thank

Great start :+1: Congratulations on your new family :slight_smile:

That mock up looks cool as is :+1:

Just checking in. I haven’t had any chance to work on mods at all - I’ve barely been on BLF lately. But I haven’t forgotten about this and hope to set aside some time in December to get it finished.

Cool build . I had considered something similar because this quick connect fitting was sitting next to this flashlight and I don’t know how many times I grabbed the wrong one .

Congrats on the daughter . Hope all are healthy and happy !

Alright, a little work today.

I took a shot at the tail switch. At first, I was really focused on using a 16mm switch board. However, the board was just too small and wouldn’t be held captive. I was considering using a brass washer to retain the switch board, but the standard sizes for washers weren’t going to be suitable, and I didn’t want to try to enlarge the hole in one (especially since I needed something larger than the 3/8” chuck size on my drill).
My size requirements vs a list of washer sizes
Good thing I have a 20mm switch board. It was populated with a large forward-clicky, but I solved that.
To hopefully give a good idea of the switch stack:

The end cap with rubber boot and the rubber gasket that came in the hose adapter

The switch sitting in the end

The old vs. new switch on the board

This shows the switch board sitting on the end of the body tube, which is why I needed the larger board

The body tube attached and a cell sitting in there.

And a shot down the tube! The fit isn’t perfect but it’s good enough :wink: :+1:

In this configuration, the switch board is nearly flush with the inside of the end cap. So basically the entire omten 1288 is sitting inside the rubber boot, and I had to completely cut out the “nub” on the inside of the rubber boot to get that to fit properly. However, as long as I don’t fully tighten the end cap (it can get close and begins to offer a ton of resistance), it fits fine and the switch actuation has a great feel. If I over-tighten then the rubber boot pops out the end!

The head end of this light is going to be more interesting. I measured how deep into the head the planned TIR sits, and compared that to the height the LED will be at with my “pill” (improvised from one of the fittings from post #1), and there’s a few millimeters of distance I need to bridge before that’s going to work out. I’ll post pictures of that when I come up with a solution.

Very nice Scallywag :+1: I like your pics showing this coming together, Good Job :smiley:

Looking good Scallywag. :beer: