DIY USB Magnifying Lamp

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usb lamp.jpg
I am a columnist at Science 2.0 and in my column, The Square Root of Not, I demonstrate how to build an alcohol burner for a home chemistry set. In my article, I mention that "second-hand stores like Goodwill, Salvation Army, and local mom & pop shops are treasure troves of things to hack or repurpose." I would like to mention too that close-out stores like Dollar General are also fertile ground for modding. I found a USB lamp with a fan at a close-out store in Albuquerque for under $5.00 USD and decided to make it a magnifying lamp.

Parts needed for the Magnifying lamp:

USB lamp with fan
lighted magnifying glass
3 rubber bands
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Step 1: Remove the magnifying glass from the lighted magnifier.

Picture of Remove the magnifying glass from the lighted magnifier.
Use a small flat blade screwdriver to remove the magnifying glass retaining ring. It's really easy to pry the plastic ring off the magnifier.

Step 2: Attach the magnifying glass to the lamp

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You can temporarily attach the magnifying glass to the lamp with the three rubber bands.

Step 3: Another use for Sugru

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For a more permanent solution I decided to use Sugru to attach the magnifying glass to the lamp. Why Sugru? I just wanted to see if it would actually work and, besides, my Sugru was past its use-by date so, I really needed to find a use for it. I was able to restore only two of the packets and it took a lot of kneading to get it back to its original consistency. Unfortunately the third packet couldn't be fully restored no matter how much kneading I tried and it ended up looking like dried out dough. No, it ain't too pretty but the sugru seems to hold the magnifying glass to the lamp fairly well.

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