Desk Lighting Project v2.0

Two years ago, I hooked up some 5mm LEDs all around my desk to illuminate parts of it. Looking back at that set up, it looks very clumsily done. Now that I have better tools and materials (even some salvaged from other things!), I thought I’d give it another shot.

Materials

  • String of lights from a battery-operated product, which I had previously used in another project.
  • Switch, which was taken out of a broken power bar.
  • 5cm x 8cm x 3cm enclosure.
  • 5V 2A rated power supply.
  • 8-Ohm 1W resistor.
  • 22AWG solid-core wire.
  • Heat shrink.
  • Hot glue.

Putting It Together

20160215_085119

The switch’s back measured roughly 26cm by 13cm so I drew the outline of it on a piece of paper and taped it on the box.

20160215_085433

After locking the box into a vice, I drilled 1/8″ holes on the four corners… They weren’t exactly precise but it’ll work.

20160215_085601

I then used my rotary tool with a cutting wheel attachment to cut out the rectangle. The excess material becomes brittle which makes it easy to clean up.

20160215_090815

On one of the sides, I drilled two holes which the power supply and light wires would pass through.

20160215_092036

I brought the box to my soldering station to put together the simple switch circuit inside of the box.

20160215_093706

The switch interrupts/completes the positive connection. A resistor limits the current for the LEDs.

20160215_095119

After soldering and shrinking the heat shrink tubing, I applied some hot glue to keep exposed connections insulated and in place.

20160215_101031

I screwed in the back plate of the enclosure and then hot glued the box to the side of my desk. The string of LEDs are taped behind the decorative wooden piece above my computer monitor.

The switch works like a charm and, as simple as it is, is really one of my more polished completed projects. I hope I can say that for every project moving forward!

Thanks for reading!

My Goth Spool Holder

With some spare pieces of 2×4 after the sawhorse build, I started thinking of a small project I could do to use them up. After some quick brainstorming, I decided to build a spool holder for my spools of wire and solder. The idea was to have a base with two side pieces holding up a dowel which the spools would be placed on.

20160130_191904

The pieces were fairly short so I glued two of them together to form a decent sized base so that the holder would be able to fit more than one spool.

20160130_192533

While the base was drying, I got to work on the side pieces. I drilled a 3/8″ hole through both sides which the dowel would pass through.

20160130_200432

Things started to come together once the base and sides were ready. All that was left was to figure out a way to be able to take it apart so that I could replace a spool once it’s empty. The idea I came up with was to have one fixed side while the other would be able to pulled out with the dowel attached to it.

20160130_201431

I needed a good way to lock the detachable piece into the spool holder. I decided the best way was to have short pieces of dowel lock the side piece to the base. To do that, I drilled more 3/8″ holes through the base and a short way up into the bottom of the side piece.

20160130_204416

For some reason, I thought painting it all black except for the dowel would look cool but it wasn’t how I imagined it. The Goth Spool Holder name for it sort of stuck in my head after this…

20160131_113515

Here it is in its place on my soldering work station.

20160131_113726

It came together quite well. I’m especially happy that the spool of solder rolls smoothly enough even with its weight and how tight the four spools fit on the holder.

Thanks for reading!