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Thread: Magnetic Flashlight System

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    RetiredLE's Avatar
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    Default Magnetic Flashlight System

    Not sure if this is the right section or even the right forum but here goes:

    Greetings,

    I am working on a project for a friend of ours who is a long haul trucker.

    She occasionally delivers cargo to unlighted docks and with only the running lights on the trailer to see with, it can be tough to nudge up to the loading dock.

    She came up with the idea of two led style flashlights with attached magnets that she could simply stick on the sides of the trailer doors - which would light up the area behind the trailer enough to see as she maneuvered it back toward the dock. She thinks if someone came up with some sort of a kit, it would be a big seller at the big truck stops.

    I suggested the standard 2 D-cell flashlight currently made but she didn't think they were bright enough.

    So, with that in mind I bought a couple of small led lights and magnets at our local Harbor Freight store today. Now I need to figure out a way to attach the magnets to the barrels of the flashlights. I plan to use epoxy but need some sort of mounting bracket/gizmo in between (with one side flat and the other curved) to do it right.



    Any ideas?

    Thanks for reading.

    Mike
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails magnetic-flashlight-project.jpg   magnetic-flashlight-project-one.jpg  

  2. #2
    casement is offline Aluminum
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    Google image search "tactical flashlight mount" for starters.

  3. #3
    APD
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    Big rigs dont have back up lights?
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails worm-drive.jpg  

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    machtool is offline Titanium
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    Quote Originally Posted by RetiredLE View Post
    I plan to use epoxy but need some sort of mounting bracket/gizmo in between (with one side flat and the other curved) to do it right.

    A large cable tie base might work. Like this, but bigger.

    http://solutions.3m.com/wps/portal/3M/en_US/3MElectrical/Home/ProductsServices/ProductCatalog/?PC_7_RJH9U52300RQ50ISL93Q0T24Q5000000_nid=GS9M4FM Q2JgsG5D0T5FX3WglKRXFXTC7HVbl&soloMode=true

    Cheap and readily available. A large one should cradle the flash light while the epoxy sets.

    Phil.

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    Snap on, Mac, and a few others offers a 3" chromed round magnet base with velcro strap for flashlights.......

    Ill try and take a pic of mine

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    But honelty, a mount made to a suction cup (the style with handle to lock the cup...also available at harborfreight in orange) would be better.....a lot of doors are aluminum......
    JoeE. likes this.

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    The velcro wore out so I added a zip tie






  8. #8
    Steve in SoCal's Avatar
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    Considering "most" trailers are FRP or aluminum a magnetic flash light would not work so well. Clip on on vacuum mounts sound like a better idea. I too wonder about a trailer without back up lights?

    Steve

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    RetiredLE's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by APD View Post
    Big rigs dont have back up lights?
    Surprisingly enough, no. They do have on the tractors themselves but not on the rears of the trailers. So when the loading dock is dark it can make it difficult to see what you're doing.

  10. #10
    RetiredLE's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by machtool View Post
    A large cable tie base might work. Like this, but bigger.

    http://solutions.3m.com/wps/portal/3M/en_US/3MElectrical/Home/ProductsServices/ProductCatalog/?PC_7_RJH9U52300RQ50ISL93Q0T24Q5000000_nid=GS9M4FM Q2JgsG5D0T5FX3WglKRXFXTC7HVbl&soloMode=true

    Cheap and readily available. A large one should cradle the flash light while the epoxy sets.

    Phil.
    That might work.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails magnetic-flashlight-project-mount-one.jpg  

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    RetiredLE's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve in SoCal View Post
    Considering "most" trailers are FRP or aluminum a magnetic flash light would not work so well.
    We mentioned that to her. She tells us that there is usually enough steel on the rear of the trailer to facilitate using a magnet.

  12. #12
    RetiredLE's Avatar
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    Thanks to all for the input thus far.

    A thought came to mind that scope rings might work. The magnet could be attached to the rail section.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails magnetic-flashlight-project-scope-rings.jpg  

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    If you were to use scope rings, check out UTG....they are cheap and beefy.....

    I would mill off the rail section and tap a hole or two in the bottm to screw to a magnet base.....

    General Tool makes magnets with a threaded and non threaded holes.....mill scope ring, drill/tap attach magnet and light

  14. #14
    Richard King is online now Stainless
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    Default Snap on Has it

    I just bought a magnetic based rechargeable LED swivel base light from Snap on for $59.00. Its great working on machines and I would check with them before designing one. I've never used it in the dark of night though.

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    Doran is offline Aluminum
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    Erick Magna Holder

    I have a couple of just the bases that "stick" pretty well.

  16. #16
    wippin' boy is offline Diamond
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    go to mcmaster carr and pick out magnets that mount easily

    McMaster-Carr

  17. #17
    akajun is online now Aluminum
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    Nebo make several lines of led flashlights with magnets in the base already.

  18. #18
    snowman is online now Diamond
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    Harbor Freight should have a magnetic LED flashlight right at the checkout.

    They are $3 each or something like that. One of the few items I still buy there, but I keep losing them because they are magnetic and stick anywhere.

  19. #19
    doug8cat is offline Stainless
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    Home Depot has a LED light that is a cylinder about 2" dia. by 8-9" inches long with a very strong magnet in the base. It is quiet bright and comes with an attchment to charge it from the cigarette lighter (if you even get one these days ) or a standard 120 VAC outlet all for about 20 bucks. I really like it no batteries to purchase always ready to go. the only problem that I have is that socket for re-charging is located in the center of the magnetic base, and after using it around the shop I always have to clean out bits of metal (never had a problem but a big enough peice could short it I guess). All that aside it sounds perfect for her.

  20. #20
    surplusjohn is offline Diamond
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    good idea. Having driven trucks on dark winter nights, with everything covered with frozen mud, blah!
    anyways, how about having both magnets and spring clamps for attaching?

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