RBD's handmade entry, all finished. Glam shots and outdoor comparison beam shots.See last post.

Just an idea courtesy of slim and only a faint notion how to pull it off. Some copper, brass, aluminum, and hopefully the ingenuity to make it work.

Here’s the idea

And some of the raw materials.

Doing this well and in time will be a stretch but here goes nuthin.

I couldn’t find thin wall brass tubing in an affordable length so I’m going to try
to roll sheet brass into shape. I’m also going to try and fit 3 - 18650 cells(2 in the handle and 1 up the pipe.

I succeeded in rolling the upper tube(copper pieces just hold the shape for now) and started shaping the handle. Some fins are cut (I may add more) and here’s how I cut them. First I cut the outer Dia.

Then I put the discs into another jig and cut the inner Dia by following the pilot hole with the center bit on a smaller hole saw.

Here it is after soldering and before cleaning it up.

And here’s how I polish it up.

And here it is slipped onto the upper tube.


The handle is just a thin sheet of brass(.01”) so I want to stiffen the curves with a second layer.

To get a smooth bend in a 1/2 circumference sheet I started by making small bends in the vise.

And then slipping it into a pipe…

And rolling it.

Then slipping it into smaller pipes…

And smaller pipes…

Until it fits.

Now I need to hold it all together while I solder it.

I cut some pieces of aluminum tube to act as dummy cells. They are about a half a millimeter larger than the cells.

The small copper and brass tubes pinch the overlap of the handle together. After fluxing all the parts I assembled it and set it on the stove to heat and soldered it up. After cooling it and unpacking it…

… Some dremel cutting and grinding…

Voila! Some more parts. The trigger guard is 3/16” brass tube that was bent with awg12 solid inside to eliminate kinks and angled to complement the angle of the head and tube. Next to it is the copper pill with a Sinkpad soldered to the other side. This side is open to receive the driver(maybe). Lots more to do.


The proportions seem a bit off to me so I’m going to add some bulk to the upper tube in a kind of art deco style. I’ll work on that this week end.


I need a way to attach the butt plate to the bottom of the handle as well as the tube so I picked up some more brass and pulled part of a towel bar bracket out of the scrap pile.

I bent and soldered the brass strip into a rectangle that fits in the handle and added some more bits to add meat where I will drill and tap it.

Here it is with the bottom end soldered.

And here it is ready to drill and tap. 18650’s just slide in there.

Enough with the preliminaries, on to the good stuff. As I mentioned a few days ago I wanted to fatten the upper tube as it didn’t seem in proportion to the handle but to add a bit of nifty I decided to do a cut away. Outside of the brass sleeve there will be two more layers, one aluminum and one copper. The copper will be cut away so you can see the Alu underneath and the Alu will be cut away do you can see the original brass sleeve. I’ll do the outer copper first which started with wrapping it in tape and drawing a design on it. I held it against the handle and traced the outline of that intersection and marked center top and bottom of the copper then just scribbled away and cut off the scribbles.

After the inevitable dremel cutting grinding and sanding, along with a bunch more hand sanding this is what’s left.

The Alu will also be cut away to expose the brass.

Got started on the butt plate. The spring plates are angle to line up with the handle.

That was yesterday and all there is for now. I’ll have more in a few days.


The build has been going all over the place the last few days. I got the butt plate soldered up and filed to shape…

… and then realized I needed to figure out the switch before I epoxy in the screw plate “hoop” that now has brass plates added for thread depth.

Not yet having figured out the switch I worked on the upper tube tail cap. I uses a 5/8 compression fitting with the compression nut ground down to fit loosely in the tube and the male threads to go in the cap.

I finally figured out the switch but it gets complicated and is hard to describe so I’ll just post the pics with short descriptions. It starts with making a few holes in the handle with a step drill.

The outer sleeve covers the stack height of the switch plus 2 brass washers.

It has a ring at the base to reenforce the joint in the handle.

One of the brass plates gets soldered into this piece as a stop and the other goes into the actuator that presses the button and keeps this part from slipping out. There is a slot in the actuator that fits over a wire soldered inside the outer sleeve and indexes the trigger.

Not including the switch there are 12 separate pieces of brass in these 2 pieces and I still have to fabricate the actual trigger.

This morning I made the trigger using the leftover brass strip from the hoop.

I bent the two pieces by placing them over the open jaws of the vise and pressing down with the handle of a chisel then bending the ends a bit further in the slack jaws of the vise. Here it is after soldering the two together.

After I had drilled and countersunk for a #4 screw I put some masking tape on it and drew the outline I wanted. After about 15 minutes with the dremel and an hour of sanding I ended up with this.

The smaller hole below the switch is for the trigger guard which I also reworked a bit.

It’s Sunday and back to the salt mines tomorrow so that’s it for a few days. I have a few internal things worked out as well as an idea on the upper tail cap so check back in on Wednesday.


Finally got home last night and immediately kecked up the switch button and lost about 4 hours between trying to fix it and making a new one. Oh well. The new one is fitted to the trigger and installed with the switch(pretested) epoxied into the handle. A green laser and a different reflector supposedly came in the mail today so now I get to figure out a whole new layer of “who’s idea was this?”. The good news is that my scintillatingly effervescent noggin has percolated solutions to most of the remaining difficulties. Whether I remember them when I sober up or they actually work still remains to be seen. This weekend and next week should reveal a good chunk of these parts. That is, if I can post them. SB must be having fits with all the server issues. No problem for me, I either work on the mod or hallucinate think about it.

.p. Until next time…


Another fistful of parts

Square plate becomes round with two of the small brass cylinders.

Then add the copper cap and the third brass bit.

The center piece is a 5.5 mm barrel jack, center positive. The pcb will be used as an insulator between the center post and the case of the jack with the spring soldered to it and contact established with the male brass threads that are glued into and isolated from the copper cap.

It’s 92F inside the house and I just found out the AC is dead. No more modding for now.

11 o’clock and all’s well. Down to 80F inside.

To center the male brass threads in the cap(very loose by design) I dremeled the female threads to fit snugly (actually also loose but added layers of tap to center that part) in the other half of the joint and partially filled the cap with JB Weld, plopped in the male threads and twisted the joint together making sure the cap and tube stayed aligned. When the JB set, I unthreaded the two halves and filled the cap the rest of the way, topping it off with the pcb, now thinner, notched for a wire, and stripped of all but the center contact disc. When this sets I’ll solder the wire(already soldered on the other end to the brass) and the spring and this piece will be done!


A few things got pulled together today. Both tailcaps are done (minus polish work) and the mechanical guts of the handle are done too. Layers upon layers, this needed to be done before that yada yada. Anyway, with the switch installed I made up the positive contact and installed it. And with that part installed, I epoxied the hoop(remember that piece?) and with that cured I could finally drill and tap the butt plate screws. And now for some pics.

The upper tube tail cap.

The positive contact plate for the handle. The piece of threaded plastic pipe had some plastic bag taped over one end and some JB spooned in. When cured the JB doesn’t stick to the bag and can be filed smooth and drilled. More JB to stick it together and fix it in the handle.

Ugly and going to get worse, I know. You can see the upper end of the hoop in that pic. This end gets drilled and tapped for the screw that will hold the upper tube in place. The other end is where I worked next. Drilling countersinking and tapping the two 4-40 brass screws that hold the butt plate on.

It fits!

The other thing I worked on while the epoxy set up was the laser dohicky. I pulled the momentary switch, jumpered the contacts, and hooked up a 5.5mm barrel jack with new silicon wires. (recognize them Dale? Thanks).

Right now it is inside an assortment of brass tubes that are holding the jack centered while some Fujik cures. At the right and bottom right you can see the tube and new cap that will sleeve the laser.

The trigger and guard will be two of the last pieces to be installed but other than that the handle is pretty much done save the wiring. Most of the remaining work is up top. How exciting!


Happy independence day! :party:

Laser mounts done.

And started working on the fins to body connection.

The MOSFET chips came from Mouser yesterday so I’ll have to see if I can swing that touch switch. Crashing now, bye.

Teaser pic. Soldered the trigger guard in(upper joint only, handle end gets screw?, epoxy?). Tape on reflector to keep metal bits out.

Off to the parents for the fourth. Dad just called. Mom in ER with Afib again.


Mom’s better now and I’m back home for more modding. This time around I installed the jack for the laser plug in the larger rear mount that now has a hole following each of the two mounting tubes. The one in back gets the wires and the one in front is drilled all the way through the top to allow me to get a screwdriver to the top handle screw. Complicating things I didn’t make the rear tube deep enough for the jack to sit behind the hole. The radio shack jack is much bigger than the one I used in the tail cap. I need to get this part down under 14mm in length to clear the hole so I started hacking away at it. At 17.5mm it fell apart.

Undaunted, I discarded the case and collected the useable and necessary inner parts and proceeded to make my own case.

Silly me, I should have been daunted. It worked, but I had to spend half the night getting it to fit and adding wires(ended up with the biggest tip on the iron at 450C) to get the metal base plate of the neg contact to solder to the tube then epoxy the pos contact back in place. The other half of the night was spent getting the jack installed. It to two tries to get epoxy in place and the jack held centered without having the jig end up a permanent part of the light. Lots of futility, cursing, wasted devcon and panic but the Drake family motto”Perseverando” kept me going until I had this.

If there doesn’t appear to be a logical order to the build or I seem to jump around its because there isn’t and I do. Some parts get held up while I figure out how to do others, and some, like the MOSFET switch alter what I might do and hold up steps I already have figured out. Almost all of this project has been that way. Only one more week of updates, though. I’m going to miss this contest like a toothache. :weary: Just kidding, the fact that this is a contest is a big part of what has kept me going on this.

Having run the wires for the laser I could finally set the female threads for the tail cap. This brass part has a wire soldered to it and carries the positive from both the battery and charging jack. It’s isolated from the copper outer tube by layers of JB weld and a fiber washer. Since the touch switch worked I made up a pcb from an old 4x 7135 driver board with a copper strip soldered to the back that is screw to the brass hoop with a 4-40 brass screw. The resistors have since been added.

The big item on today’s list was the bezel. I cut it from an old salvaged brass threshold about 3/32” thick.

I cut two strips of .010 brass sheet and soldered them into a round hoop.

After cleaning it up and sanding the edges flat I tinned one edge, set it in the solid front piece and reflowed them together.

Cleaned this up again and ground/filed/sanded the edges down.

Stay tuned!


The next two days are make or break for me as I have to work this weekend and won’t have time for modding so here we go.

Originally I had toyed with the idea of adding wood to the grip but nixed that as its already been done and opted for leather instead. I have a wallet that while still almost new started one of the seems so rather than trust it with ID and cards it will get a much more favorable (hopefully) use here.

I spent the last couple of days gathering my courage, cutting leather to shape, and scraping the edges thin in preparation. What I know about leather wouldn’t fill the thimble I picked up to do this but the handle needs something more. I used double sided tape for golf grips and padded/shaped the rear edge of the grip with a few extra layers of leather. The narrow strip goes under the stiching to hide any brass that might show.

Here it is partway stitched up(it gets the last stitches at final assembly). I drilled two holes through the leather and brass for the touch pad contacts then widened the holes in the brass to ensure isolation.

These are the two touch pad contacts along with the MOSFET circuit. The brass rod is 3/32” Dia and is drilled through the copper before soldering, then dremeled down to size and cut off.

And here they are in place. Just slide your thumb over these points and laser is on. (knock, knock).

Tomorrow will see more work on the upper tube pieces. Good night.


The good news is I got the too half assembled and fired it up and it works great. The bad news is the laser seems to be toast. A bummer but what can you expect for less than $10.

I hope the lack of the laser doesn’t DQ the light but it’s certainly a step back. In any case, the laser is modular to the light and won’t keep me from finishing the assembly.


I seem to have forgotten all I have learned about making a pill. I toasted 2-105C drivers before deciding to remake the pill into something workable. I made the new one I two parts to ease the soldering on the ground and added a small wire to make that connection. The two parts press fit together after attaching the driver.

The part with the wire is the pill for the driver, the other is the first section of the sink for the led. That gets more layers and longer to the point that the driver pill fits entirely inside with only the contact plate exposed.

Even though the laser had died, I installed the MOSFET switch in the handle. You can easily see the 1 meg R and just barely make out the lead of the 1k R by the red wire the rest of the board is hidden. I made a contact plate for the positive connections on one side of the switch and jumpered one of the brass touch contacts to this.

This is what the light looked like at about 3am this morning. I finally had all the pieces done but still needed to put it all together. Even here, I had to modify some of the parts to get it all put together.

The most anxious point in the whole project was attaching the top to the handle with all the wires hooked up. I’d done it numerous times dry fitting without the wiring but keeping the wires short made them stiff and hard to settle in place.

The last thing was threading the screw that holds it together. The screwdriver goes through the forward tube of the rear laser mount and into the screw. Had to be sure not to pinch any wires now!

Thanks for sharing this build with me. I hope it helps you with your next project. I learned a bit. I hope I remember some of it.

Now, that is Wild!! Cool

looks like a ray gun from the future :smiley:

WOW! 8)

That looks awesome!

If I’ve said it once Mr duck I’ve said it a thousand times. Your a gun. Looks interesting buddy. I’m just glad its not me trying to build this. :slight_smile:

That is sooo awesome, sure there’s other pistol grip lights…but none look like a raygun from COD! If this gets made you deserve the award.

ACME disintegrator ?

Reminds me of the VERY old school pistol lights produced 100 years ago. Check out the flashlight museum for idea’s?



or maybe….


Good luck with your build Rufusbduck!

I was thinking of Bugs Bunny’s Martian nemesis and his ray gun. I googled Buck Rogers and went from there.

Marvin the martian. I thought futurama when I first saw it. Looks like your getting s good start


It's going to be a fantastic build!

Can’t wait to see more! This gave me a boost to start working on mine today.

Great work! Its nice to see the process more in-depth and the tools used!

But WOW! And here I was thinking I’d build something, this already makes me want to crawl under a Martian spaceship and await annihilation upon take-off.


And enjoying BBC-261L immensely!

Now how silly would you feel if you didn’t make a light and I couldn’t make this work? There’s quite a bit I haven’t figured out yet and may be unable to do.

Another great build, with lots of tricky bits to figure out.

…I still think that using the drill as a ‘lathe’ is cheating…. j/k!!! :slight_smile:

Im my view being creative is cheating, but I’m an old fool. Keep it up guys. Just thinking out aloud, an old spinning wheel could be a lathe. Is foot operated tools out off boundaries? Just kidding. :slight_smile:

LOL, I have the parts gathered but am already stumped. So I’ll be back here at the back of the back trying to get it together day of the deadline. :slight_smile:

No promises I’ll even get it to work, as this is a first attempt. But what the hey…

please tell me your using an aspheric lens and a blue led?