Introduction: DIY Ring Light for Dartboard Pro Look
So for a while now I have been looking at the prices for a dartboard Ring light, and have found they never really lower. I thought that there must be some people out there that have made their own, so started to do a search, and found a couple of ideas, but they either needed materials that cost more than a retail light would, it didn't look high quality enough or was too flimsy.
I knew I needed LED Lights, and it was in buying these that I accidentally bought the wrong ones, and that in turn instigated this build. I was thinking some kind of hoop system with a hula hoop, and lights inside at an angle, so bought LED's listed below as they were individual and connected by wires, (Great for positioning over numbers).
When The lights came they turned out to be bigger than expected, ( This is why its important to read the details carefully before buying things online.) so now I thought that I now need a disc to stick them too, and did a search for Aluminium disc, and eventually came across the perfect material, a Paella pan lid at under £20, and the rest as they say is history...
Bought for Project:
LED Lights separated by wire connections, for placement I got these with power supply inc.
Paella lid I bought from here, (Note I bought 55cm I'd go with 60 cm next time as it would give more room for aiming at doubles)
Rubber edging from Here to give a nice professional look
12V Adapter head for LEDs to conect to power supply
Safety Goggles( A MUST!)
Gloves (A MUST!)
Dremel and aluminium cutting discs (Fiber reinforced ones)
Rivet Gun and Rivets
Scribe, or Marker.
Sand paper or sanding drum for dremel
Step 1: Prepare the Lid (Ring)
So with the Paella Lid delivered I was impressed and was indeed a really good idea, and looks professional enough to start with for the ring. I had tried pricing up a similar sized ring pre-cut from aluminium factories, but the cheapest quote was £66 ??? Just a note, I bought the 55cm Lid, If I was to do over I would by the 60 cm option for a couple of pound more, just for better clearance, (Alternatively I could realign lights, and trim the inner circle more).
Start by removing any stickers, and by removing the Lid Handle, (I saved mine for future projects) this is easily done with a Phillips/Cross head Screwdriver from the underside.
Step 2: Attach Dartboard to Lid Temporarily
So this part is to enable marking up for clearance, and helps to make sure your ring is central with your dartboard.
In the back of your dartboard, remove any ring feet if you have them, (or the spring feet if you have these instead)
Remove the central Screw, and lay dartboard face down.
attach lid inside down, to the dartboard back with the previously removed screw.
Turn Dartboard over and assess where you would like to mark for cutting.
Step 3: Mark the Lid
For this part, I would have made my cut wider if I was to do it again, this is just personal preference.
The lid has pr-pressed steps in it, so you can use these as guides to mark if you prefer, or use pin in center of bull and string to marker pen for custom widths.
I chose to go around the dartboard and I did this with an engineers Scribe I have, (these are a couple of £ and well worth it if you work with metals in your projects, as you get a more precise line.
Once done remove your dartboard, and reassemble feet and central Screw, the next time you need it will be to attach supports to the side.
Step 4: Remember SAFETY FIRST!
So the next part involves cutting metal.
If you do not feel comfortable cutting metal, then ask a friend or family member of appropriate age to help you.
I must stress that patience is definitely a virtue here, the slower the better.
First don your safety goggles as aluminium will fly off in VERY sharp and splinter like fashion and believe me I know from experience eyes are easily scratched.
Place your gloves on as Aluminium dust will also build up, (you can see this in pictures as dark smudges.)
Start cutting letting your Rotary tool do the work, rather than forcing it.
I went through 4 Discs to cut this out.
Before continuing clean up any aluminium dust and stray splinters, I found wet wipes worked great as the aluminium stuck to the wipes fibers.
(Note my brother took the center piece to make a Modern clock for his new flat, cool idea)
Step 5: Clean and Sand Edges
Whilst still keeping safety equipment on, carefully remove the burr around the cut edge, there are tools that can be bought to do this, but I just used the sanding attachment of my Dremel, and then tapped the edge all the way around with a hammer softly creating a smooth edge.
Once the edge is no longer sharp get your edging rubber and put it in place around the cut edge, I bought 2 meters which was enough.
Step 6: Align Lights on Back of Lid
For this step I used the numbers from the dartboard to align where the 20 LEDs would stick down.
I then used Electrical insulation tape to cover the two wires at one end of the LEDs, to the other side I attached the 12V adapter head.
Step 7: Let There Be Light...
And that is the ring light complete, to attach the ring light to the dartboard, cut 3 aluminium strips of 1" x 8" and angle 1/2" at one end to lay flat with the ring and this can then be attached by drilling holes for your preferred rivet size. At the other end just insert between dartboard surround and dartboard.
(Note I have still to do this part, as my aluminium supplier is closed due to COVID19, but I will be doing this exact thing, I have temporarily used PVC strips from trunking and this works, but is a little flimsy)
If you don't have a surround, then you could Epoxy some Magnets to those ends, and these will stick to the metal ring of the Dartboard..
All that is left to do now is practice.
Hope you Enjoy!
Participated in the
First Time Author Contest