Introduction: Steampunk (ish) Flashlight

About: Left school at 14 and took on a 6-year apprenticeship for radio and electronics, It was vacuum tubes then), the last 2 actually working for the Technical college I was studying at. Moved on the aircraft electr…

Steampunkish Flashlight


My son's birthday was coming up fast and I wanted to make something that was maybe useful. Having seen a lot of Steampunk projects here on Instructables, I decided to make a flash-light using stuff from around my workshop. I don't know if my flash-light qualifies as Steampunk, so perhaps some viewers can let me know what they think. I need to do a little more embellishment on the left side, so give me your thoughts. In the meantime, I'll call it Steampunkish.

Like my other projects, This posting is not truly an Instructable, but rather photos (many with sub-titles) of my project as it progresses. Because few of you will have the same items lying around, this is more of an 'idea' of what is possible and I should say at the outset that this flash-light evolved, as opposed to being fully planned out. Not a good idea for me and there were several things that would have been better if give more forethought. Once I started to correlate the photos, I realised that I should have taken more and deleted the unnecessary ones.... oh well.

I wanted it to be powerful, so I used a 10 watt LED array and mounted it in a modified digital projector lamp housing. I also decided to make it dimmable. The power will be provided by a 12 volt 1.3 Ah Lithium/ion battery from a power tool and the housing would be made from a nice piece of dark-grained wood that's been kicking around my workshop for years. The battery pack has a charging circuit built in so all I needed to do was provide 14 volts DC to the charge input. I had to modify a 10 volt AC wall transformer to suit. I included “on charge” LED array and a switched USB charging port for a cell phone. One thing I will change is the dimmer control. It sticks out too far and is likely to be damaged.

You NEED a current control circuit for the 10 watt LED otherwise it will be immediately destroyed when you connect power. You can use the circuit I did (with or without the dimming pot) or you can purchase a controller with the LED, but make sure it is for 12 volts input. Many of these controllers are rated for use on 85 – 240 volts which would be useless.

When working with Lithium/ion batteries like this, be aware that they can deliver very high currents into a short circuit which can cause excessive heating and a possible fire hazard if shorted.

I have 3 other projects under construction (a cyclone vacuum, sandblasting cabinet and small parts washer). I will post them when complete.