Great bore job on that Neutron, Barry! For anyone sitting on the fence about getting your favorite light bored, please consider this man! Awesome skills!
Got Lights? USE EM!!
As the lucky Neutron customer, I am completely pleased with Barry's work.
"When the only tool you have is a hammer,
everything looks like a nail." -Maslow
Thank you, I just changed that setting.In your general settings, you can set it so the forum sends you an email when you get a PM.
Thanks to everyone for the kind words
Another member wrote about having his 1A modded, so that may happen soon. I'm surprised there isn't more interest in boring the U2 (although one member is planning to send a pair of Kroma's). Probably has something to do with the perception, right or wrong, that the U2 isn't as powerful as other similar lights.
I received an email from a member inquiring about the milling of trit slots. Here's my reply, for anyone who may be interested:
I will need one of the trits you plan to install, to determine depth & length of the slot. My machining parameters are DIAMETER OF TRIT +.010" additional depth. This allows the trit to bottom out in the slot, with the top of the trit .010" lower than the surrounding metal. Then the slot is filled with NOA61 and the installation is done.Can you machine tritium slots into bezels or the body of flashlights?
Tritium slot machining is $10/slot in aluminum, $25/slot in titanium for machining only. If you want the trits installed using NOA61, the cost is an additional $10 per trit in aluminum, $25/trit in titanium. Either way, please send at least one trit with the part so I can measure for length & depth of slot. I have no trits available, so you'll need to supply them.
I wonder if there is enough metal in the hex anti-roll section of a surefire Z44 bezel? Three trits around there would look sweet. IIRC 1.5x5mm is the more common size for small trit tubes.
Not certain without measuring, but my first reaction is " probably yes ".
One of the best things about a tritium vial is the tiny physical size. The slot would need to be only 2.0 mm deep. I would give this a try but I do not have a Z44 to work with. If anyone wants to sell theirs, I would be interested. Preferably 1 that is not perfect, just in case this experiment does not go as planned.
I you can wait a day or two I'll send you a Z44 Surefire bezel to experiment on. It has a messed up front edge but is in good shape otherwise. I just couldn't bring myself to toss it when I received a replacement. I'll even cover the shipping as a contribution to the cause.
Barry, TYVMI'll send you a Z44 Surefire bezel to experiment on. It has a messed up front edge but is in good shape otherwise. I just couldn't bring myself to toss it when I received a replacement. I'll even cover the shipping as a contribution to the cause.
That's the neat thing about CPF that is seldom found on other forums - a sense of community.
Received a carton full of SF lights for boring, plus a couple of Ti Quarks for bead blasting. The M3 plus extender was first on the lathe. Look closely and you'll see the junction of the A19 extender inside the tube:
Front view, showing the retention lip:
The Ti Quarks will go to the blast cabinet in the morning & photos will be posted. They are mirror polished when received & will have a totally different look afterwards.
The Z44 bezel is on the way by USPS Priority Mail (small flat-rate box).
Wow, that was fast - THANKS againThe Z44 bezel is on the way by USPS Priority Mail (small flat-rate box).
All the lights below were done today, starting at 10:00 this morning & finishing at 6:00 this evening.
Job #1 was a pair of polished Ti Quark 123 Tacticals from 4Sevens ... my customer wanted the more subdued look of bead blasted titanium. Delrin caps were turned & bored for a press fit over the head & tail, so that about 1/4" on each end of the light would remain shiny. Tough stuff that Delrin, to endure glass beads launched with 100 psi air pressure. After blasting the bodies, the Delrin caps were removed & the polished ends were hand rubbed to a patina finish. Identical camera exposure & lighting was used for the before & after photos.
In the interest of full disclosure, a bead blast finish is not a panacea & it is not scratch proof nor scratch resistant. The BB surface is the same hardness as the underlying metal. If something hard is rubbed against BB titanium or BB aluminum, a shiny spot will appear. The only way around this is to apply a HAIII hard anodized coating or to apply a DLC diamond like coating. In single light quantities, the cost for either coating is $200 and I don't expect to get many requests
Next on the list is a SF L1 Digital LumaMax. When SF manufactures this model, they bore in from each end & leave a centralized partition (or tube divider) which works fine for 1XCR123 ... but doesn't allow using a 17670 or 2XCR123.
The L1 got a special fixture machined so it could be secured in the lathe, then it was bored & honed:
SF installs a brass sleeve at the tail end, similar to the stainless sleeve in a U2 except that the brass is dead soft & easy to bore through:
The L1 is now ready for more power:
A SF L5 Digital Lumamax was next in line. Someone attempted to open this tube up for non protected cells, but left the inside diameter way too small for protected 18650's. The herringbone pattern is called "chatter" and results from a combination of factors - a tube that is unsupported, a boring bar that is over extended, too many rpm, too deep a cut, etc. It is fugly:
A fixture was machined just to hold the L1, and the fixture gives 360° support to the thin tube. The photo below shows the light spinning at 1000 rpm, after the boring/reaming/honing are complete. There was concern that some of the herringbone might still show, as the first bore job was not concentric with the outside of the tube, but there was just enough material for a clean job:
Last job is a SF A2 LED Aviator, on of my all time favorite lights. The A2, like the E-Series, is easy to bore for a 17670. SF installs the stainless steel press fit collar in the rear of the tube, and the customer wanted the tube bored from the front with the collar left intact:
That's why there is no retention lip at the front:
My integrating sphere showed 4.3 lumens on the low/red LED setting:
And 138 lumens with everything lit up. This is on a 17670 that's been off the charger for a while.
That's quite an artistic shot of the L1 spinning in the lathe. How did you light the shot and what exposure time did you use? Thanks.
Some nice stuff here Barry. Keep up the good work.
My package left here today on it's way to you. The 6P is wearing a slightly dented Z44, although it seems that you already have one coming to you that will get there first. I'll send you a PM with exact details on what is in the package.
Thanks, Barry. Of the many photos I've shot, that is one of the neatest. The camera is a Canon Rebel XSi with a Canon EF-S 17-85 mm lens, supported by a Bogen/Manfrotto tripod. The camera is triggered by a wired remote, which allows using mirror lockup to reduce camera vibration. Exposure was 1.3 seconds at f/32, at ISO400 speed, with lens at 85mm, spot metered, auto white balance.That's quite an artistic shot of the L1 spinning in the lathe. How did you light the shot and what exposure time did you use?
For lighting, the McG Ti PD-S was twisted to high output and pointed through the rear of the headstock bore. There's also a T5 fluorescent fixture right above the lathe, as well as half a dozen eight foot fixtures in the machine room. Most flashlight shots require two or three attempts to nail the exposure but this one was dead on the first time. Sometimes you get lucky
Just replied to your PM ... WOW, that's a carton full of lights. They will have a hundred thousand frequent flyer miles by the time they arrive & go backMy package left here today on it's way to you.
is it possible to bore the original (lamp) A2?
it seems very hard for me to disassemble body.
There are many posts about removing a stuck head, some involve freezing or other methods. But whatever you use, both the head & tail must be removed before the light can be bored.
EDIT: The head of my A2 incan unscrewed just like any other SF, and has an O-ring seal as is common to all SF models. BUT, with the head removed, there is a part left in the front of the tube ... lacking a better term, it looks like an electrical contact extender. It connects the forward battery terminal with the positive input of the head/LE. A quick glance did not show how it was installed nor how it could be removed.
Anyone taken this part out? What's the secret
This was in my PM inbox this morning, and it's an excellent question
I've considered this for some time, but finding a "spare" E2L body on The Marketplace (for $25) will at least move this project forward. All the measurements stated above are within .001"-.002" of those I've obtained by measuring over a dozen lights, meaning those figures are correct. If anything, the O-ring diameter measures closer to .750" than it does to .752", but there is always light-to-light manufacturing variation. FWIW, SF holds much tighter tolerances than any other brand that's come into the shop.... you mentioned boring an E-series body for a protected 18650. Hmmmmm.
I measured an E2E, E2DL, and an L4 body. The smallest OD I found on each body was the head O-ring seat. They all measured about .752". The OD of a new AW 18650 measures about .726" without the label.
So with a diameter difference of about .026", that would leave a wall thickness of about .013". WHEW! Thin city Pal. Not a light a person would want to let get sat on.
Considering my measurements are all approximates, I'm curious as to what your opinion might be?
Borrowing a term used by McG, this project is currently vaporware & is not listed in the price schedule (see post #1). If all goes as planned, it will be offered in the price schedule. If not, it will never see the light of day (pun intended).
.012" - .013" wall thickness does sound thin, and it certainly is thinner than any 1" diameter SF ... those walls measure out at .018" - .019". However, my collection currently holds a 5Mega 9P tube with a .749" bore & .775" O-ring diameter, giving a wall thickness of .013". And a few members have requested a bore of .750" (which is done at no additional charge) to accommodate the super fat 3000 mAh cells. Never had a problem with the 5Mega tube, and have yet to hear about any issues with the .750" bored lights.
Once a fixture is developed & finalized, this may be offered. Leaving a thinner wall makes it essential that the tube is centralized in the lathe to within .0001" - .0002", adding to the machining time. And another reamer will need to be purchased, about $70 delivered.
This one is not a short chip shot to the green, but it may go. Or it may not. Time will tell.
Where in the world did you get the cutaway A2? That is awesome.
Is it your understanding that all A2 incans have the VR module in the tube, while all A2 LED's have the electronics enclosed in the head? If so, I might be selling the old A2 for the newer LED model
My A2L has a plain tube for the body (except for the steel insert at the tail end, as Surefire likes to do) - i.e. the electronics are in the head. My A2 is like the cutaway above, based on simple visual examination. Both were bought recently from the clearout sale in the Marketplace so they should be current stock.
Quite a few of the must do jobs were completed yesterday. As long as none of my customers hits the panic button, the E-series 18650 mod is next on the lathe. If things go well I will post photos later on today. If this job goes south I will quickly change the topic :-)
Last edited by precisionworks; 08-08-2011 at 12:08 PM.
May as well start with the money shot:
And now for the details ...
Before any critical job is done on the lathe, chuck centering is checked & adjusted if necessary. Since there is no extra material to work with on the E-series, the chuck had to be dead nuts. A short piece of Thomson ground linear shafting is used for checking & adjustment. Thomson shafting is ground to a few millionths of an inch and is the best test bar I could find:
Look closely at the needle above & you'll see that is .0004" right of zero, meaning the needle will also swing .0004" left of zero as the chuck is rotated. This gives an out of roundness error of .0008", way too much for this job on any really close job like a motor bearing fit.
Tweaked the adjusting screws for less than five minutes & got the chuck dialed in nicely to .0002" right of zero & .0002" left of zero - half the amount present at the start.
Faced off the end of a 2" diameter Delrin rod:
Drilled a 7/8" hole in the end of the rod. This allows the boring bar to start & enlarge to the desired diameter:
The hole now measures about .813":
The boring bar is used to take the hole to final size of .825" to grip the E-series body:
Mounted the body in the fixture & took a number of light passes. Thought the size was good at .725", but a protected AW18650 (2900 mAh) would not easily go in ... so took another skim pass or two and brought the bore out to .7265", just enough to clear the battery with the label left on:
The back end of the LE got a solder drop so that it would contact the flat top cell (or a magnet could be used):
Low output looked nice and measured 11 lumens in my sphere:
High looked even better, measuring 113 lumens (on a battery that's been off the charger for over a month):
All in all a good day
One of the members at AR15.com asked about a comparison of the 18650, 17500, and 2xCR123 in this light.
E2L two stage KX2 head = 12/119 lumens (1x17500)
E2L two stage KX2 head = 11/118 lumens (2xCR123)
E2L two stage KX2 head = 11/113 lumens (1x18650)
Received a well packaged Priority Mail carton from CPF member barry. It contained a SF Z44 bezel that he is generously donating for trit vial sizing. THANK YOU !!!
As most of you know, the Z44 is a hexagonal "anti roll" bezel, so there are six flats to work with. Problem is, contrary to what I stated earlier, the flats are really thin, some measuring only .056" (1.4mm). The most common trit vial measures .059" (1.5mm), so milling the slot to 1.5mm would result in the cutter going through the inside of the bezel. Not an acceptable outcome.
Since the flats don't look good, unless we can source really small diameter trits (and they are available from a few suppliers) the next area to examine are the six "points" where each flat meets another flat. There is substantial depth, .118" (3mm) IF a very short trit can be sourced. The most common trit vial measures 5mm and is almost twice too long ... something around .098" (2.5mm) would work perfectly.
Would someone want to take on a "trit finding" mission? Forum member b@rt is the most likely source IMO. This looks like his most current thread:
Until shorter & thinner vials are sourced, the Z44 bezel will remain black
Let me throw out an idea for feedback. Do you think the trits could be installed in slots with a depth just a little over half of the trit OD? (Of course, this is so the slots don't break through to the interior of the bezel.) I was thinking the trits could be placed just forward of the hex portion of the bezel but oriented along the axis of the light. If they were located in line with the "points" on the hex they would be fairly well protected.