Instructables

CNC Wooden Magnifier with Extreme Battery Life

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Picture of CNC Wooden Magnifier with Extreme Battery Life
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I have a commercially-made magnifying glass with LED illumination, but it's not bright enough and it eats batteries.  So I made a new magnifying glass that fixes those problems.

This is sort of a sequel to my Instructable: http://www.instructables.com/id/Ultra-Bright-24-LED-Lighted-Magnifier/  That Instructable described a lighted magnifier that runs on AC power, to get maximum brightness without worrying about charging or changing batteries.  I use that magnifier all the time.  In fact, I've made three of them, and keep one in each of my work areas.  But sometimes I really need the portability of a battery-powered magnifier.

This new magnifying glass has a bright array of 15 LEDs producing 37500 mcd.  It has an optical glass lens with about 3.5x magnification.   The handle was made on a CNC machine from European beech hardwood.

And it has a power supply using four lithium cells to provide years and years of regular use without having to think about the batteries!  (If I use it every other day, keeping the light on for a full minute every time I use it, the batteries will last more than six years.)

I made it at TechShop.  http://techshop.ws/
 
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Step 1: Tools and Materials

This project uses a ring-shaped LED array which is marketed for use as an accent light on automobiles.  It's a circuit board 60mm in diameter  with 15 surface mount LEDs on one side and current limiting resistors on the other side.  I used Natural White, but they're available in Cool White and Warm White if you prefer.

The lens was an "experimental grade" lens to keep the cost moderate.  I chose a focal length of 141mm, which yields about 3.5x magnification.  You can select a lens to give you more or less magnification, but if you get much higher than 5x, the spherical distortion will start to be a problem.

The battery pack consists of a PCB (which you'll make yourself) and four individual battery holders.  No one seems to make an off-the-shelf 4-cell CR123 holder.  The PCB also keeps the wiring simple.


This project requires the following parts and materials:
You'll need the following tools:
  •  ShopBot (or other) CNC router
  •  appropriate CAM software
  •  router bits or end mills  (I used 1/8" and 1/4")
  •  drill press
  •  drill bits: #60, 1/16", 5/64", 5/32" and 1/4"
  •  medium Phillips head screwdriver
  •  soldering iron and solder
  •  sandpaper (150, 220 and 320 grits)
Fikjast Scott6 months ago

Nice work

andrea biffi7 months ago
very nice!!