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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all!

Loving all the lights that people are making...so many ideas going round my head.

I am only just starting my light DIY but am addicted to this forum. My first DIY is upgrading an old Hope Vision 2 LED with a couple of MC-Es that I have on order. After this I want to make a nice helmet light and maybe more :)

My question is what tools are people using? I notice a lot of people have access to lathes, mills, CNCs. I have also read that people have been using drill presses as mills but I imagine the drill press needs to be quite good quality to take the lateral forces.....
I'll hopefully be getting a dremel for Christmas (Its on my list!) so that will help for small things.

Any pictures of your workshops/sheds/garages?

Steve
 

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I think you pretty much listed it all.

for those of us (like myself) that have *Lathe Envy™* here's what I'm working with - a Craftsman Benchtop Drill press, a 4" cross-slide vice, a cheap mitre saw with a 10" cut off disc (ghetto chop saw), a Delta benchtop scroll saw & and bunch of blades(for thin aluminum stock), but a band saw would be best. Also have a benchtop belt sander. Dremel with whatever attachments I need. I've only built myself a Achesalot dual, and only used the Mitre, scroll saw, dremel and sander for that. The drill press/vice setup is about to be used to attempt a *ghetto lathe™* for a MR11 triple setup.
 

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I'd rather be riding!
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For simple stuff that just "works" without too much bling factor the only tools you need are a hacksaw, Dremel tool, drill, file, clamps, JB weld, and a soldering iron. The hardest part is cutting straight lines with the hacksaw. Thats where the dremel tool and files come in. They are great for fine tuning your cuts.
 

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Homer
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215 Posts
Harpoon said:
To avoid starting a new thread, what's a good power soldering iron for light building jobs? 20W?
I'd say 50W or more, when the LEDs are already mounted on the light they (should) have a very good thermal path, all the energy that is put in with the tip of the soldering iron passes through the LED and doesnt warm the solderpads up enough.

Also, don't use lead-free solder, that is even more finicky to play with.

And preferrably a variable-temperature station instead of just an iron.

I have the following station (China-made, also sold in the states under a few brand names):


If I have a troublesome or hard-to-do soldering job I take it to work, where we have Ersa rework stations, BGA repair, tin bads and the rest of the works.
 

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Homer
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215 Posts
Harpoon said:
Cheers folks. I'm far from brave enough to be mounting my own LEDs, so it's just wiring tasks.
I use it only for wiring, SMD (and certainly big things like LEDs) is BGA work. That magic gets done by colleagues, too steep a learning curve for me.

@odtexas: nice looking stuff, Weller isnt too shabby either (au contraire). What are the specs of such a wireless thingy?
 

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Experienced drunk cyclist
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I would be lost without this:



Not mine, belongs to a friend and lives in his workshop. I do have my own key though.

For soldering I use a 20 year old Weller WECP-20



Maximum power 50 watt and quite capable to do some heavy duty work, but with a small tip and the temperature turned down to 350 degrees equally at home doing surface mount components.

20 Watts sounds a bit small to me for all but the lightest jobs.

If you do go out and buy a soldering iron, consider spending a bit extra and get a temperature controlled one. It will pay of in the long run and give you much better controlled solder connections.

Agree with the sentiments expressed about lead free solder. A pain in the proverbial.

Cheers

Cloggy
 

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WELLER BP860MP Cordless Soldering Iron Battery Operated 8/11 Watts Temp 850/950 F Co-Molded Grip Handle Dual Power Over 150 Soldering Joints Per Set Of Batteries BP11 Chisel And BP10 Conical Tip Tip Size 0.062 In Width Length 8.5 In Includes 4 AA Batteries Lead Free Solder and Tip Wrench

Also have the Radio Shack version

Light it before you heat it.
Tackle almost any soldering job with this cordless, battery-powered soldering iron. This iron is equivalent to a 15 watt soldering iron. It reaches a maximum temperature of 1050° Fahrenheit (565°Celsius). It reaches 365° Fahrenheit in about 7 seconds. It also includes a white LED to light the area you are soldering.

Watts are not that high, but they are very focused. Heats just the area that you are working on. Nice when fighting rows of XPE's.
I do like the Radio Shack one a little better. The tip is much thinner and gives better control. The Weller has multiple heat settings, but I never use low. They are said to be able to make 180 connections between battery sets. I find that about every 30 solder joints or so I need to change the batteries to keep the solder flowing well.
 
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