Ring light for mini-milling machine

Following a question from a participant in the Loco-Revue forum (hi Sylvain!), I found a ring light for selfies on Amazon.

This twenty LED light has a spring clip for attaching to a cellphone. There are three possible “colour temperatures” (actually, two plus a mixture of the two) which are obtained by successive presses on the control button. A long press on the same button decreases the light intensity. Another long press increases it. This device is autonomous and can be recharged via a USB port.

I have two machines that can be used with it: the Proxxon Micromot 50/E mini drill, which I have already mentioned in this section, on a MB 140/S stand with a KT 70 cross table, and a Proxxon milling machine consisting of a BFW 40/E motor block, a BFB 2000 stand and a KT 150 cross table.

Installation on a mini drill stand

This installation is very easy, but there’s a problem: it makes it impossible to use the clamping lever of the collar, which can’t be rotated any more, being “trapped” in the clamp. So I replace it with a long hex-socket screw (M5 × 70) that I have in stock, with a spacer, which allows to move the screw head away from the lamp clamp.

Opening the clamp: just press it.

Opening the lamp clamp

The long hex-socket screw with its spacer is clearly visible.

The lamp is in place on the bracket. The collar hole is clear.

Fitting the lamp on the holder

The old collar clamping screw is visible on the left side of the cross table.

The drill is installed, the collar tightened with an Allen key, and the lamp switched on.

Installing the drill

It could hardly be easier! I am only concerned that the lamp will interfere with the visibility of the tool being used.

Installation on a milling machine

Here, it’s a little more complicated, because a special support must be made.

Here is this support, made of recycled materials: two layers of 3 mm MDF for the space needed for the clamp, and the support itself made of 10 mm plywood, all glued with vinyl glue, then drilled to ø 4.2 to accept a M4 screw with a large domed head (from Ikea furniture…).

View of the lamp holderView of the lamp support

This first quick cobbled-together support turned out to be too narrow for the clamp to fit properly. So, I made a more elaborate model, of which here is the plan. It allows a much larger contact surface with the clamp, which is covered with a layer of silicone.

Diagram of the light support

View of the new light supportView of the new light support

The motor support (made of aluminium) is tapped M4 for about 12 mm.

Tapping of the support block

The lamp support is screwed in place.

Mounted lamp holder

The lamp is installed, followed by a conventional chuck, to check that nothing is in the way.

Lamp installed

Switch on.

Light on

Let’s wait for the night to do a test.

Night lighting test

The illumination is quite adequate, and the lamp is easily removable for recharging or changing tools.

By the way, I did try this light on a phone. It’s a disaster…

Whatook Selfie Ring Light
Price: £9,99
at Amazon.