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-   -   How I made LED cup holder rings... (http://www.wakeworld.com/forum/showthread.php?t=792805)

ian_ashton 04-16-2012 10:19 AM

How I made LED cup holder rings...
 
I have the images hosted on the Moomba forum and linked them over here - not sure if that works or not? If you can't see them let me know and I'll re-upload them here.



We had a rainy weekend, so I decided to put some scrap acrylic and spare LEDs to good use and try to make my own LED cup holder rings. I must say, they turned out pretty sweet, and I like the lower profile as opposed to the commercially available units, which are a bit thicker.

Here is a bit of a 'How Tow' for those that are interested;

Keeping in the 'low budget' feel of this project, rather than buying a router table, I made one of my own, lol. My router has a 'plunge' option that made this work awesome, basically I was able to have the bit under the base of the table, put the acrylic in place, then push the table down onto the spinning bit, cutting into the acrylic. The key in the cutting is constant motion to keep from melting the plastic;
http://www.moomba.com/msgboard/attac...2&d=1334592915
I measured out radius for the inside and outside of the circles and drilled a hole in the "table" for each, and marked them with an orange highlighter so I remembered which were correct (it was a trail and error process).

So, to start I drilled a hole in what will become the center of the circle. From there, I used an allen wrench through the hole and into the hole on the table that I drilled for the outside, cutting a perfect circle;
http://www.moomba.com/msgboard/attac...3&d=1334592930


Then I switched the allen wrench to the smaller hole and cut the inside circle;
http://www.moomba.com/msgboard/attac...4&d=1334592946
Note - the inside circle was a little tight so I had to open it up freehand with the router, hence the rough inside edge - not a big deal since you can't see once mounted.

Once I had the rings figured out I needed to shorten the LED strips - easy enough, I just had to cut them to length and solder wires onto the ends;
http://www.moomba.com/msgboard/attac...5&d=1334592970

*Not pictured: I used a coarse sanding block to give the acrylic a frosted look, and remove any rough edges from the router.

Ready to mount. the ring and LED strip;
http://www.moomba.com/msgboard/attac...6&d=1334593932


This is where the cup holder rings are a little different than the speaker rings; because the thickness of the ring is less than the LED, I stuck the LED strip directly to the cup holder, rather than gluing it to the ring. Once I had the LED in place I slipped the ring over top, and gave it a test fit;
http://www.moomba.com/msgboard/attac...7&d=1334593938

Once I had each cup holder setup complete I just had to go into the boat and put them in place. I secured them with 3M double sided tape;
http://www.moomba.com/msgboard/attac...8&d=1334593948

And a shot in the dark;
http://www.moomba.com/msgboard/attac...9&d=1334593954

Mounting in the fiberglass was a little tricky - I had to cut a bit of a slot for the wires to feed through, as the factory hole is very tight and wouldn't allow the cup holder to sit flush due to the thickness of the wire - I guess if I used smaller wire this might not have been an issue, but it was an easy enough fix, and you can't see where I had to cut because its under the lip.



Supplies:
18"x24"x.22" Acrylic Sheet: $18 (Home Depot - 18x24 is way more than you'll need, I just used scrap from another project)

5m of Blue 3528 SMD LEDs $25 (eBay - I bought from seller 'torchstar' but there are literally hundreds. Each ring will take ~12" of LEDs, so you don't actually need 5m, I just had these left over)

3M Double Sided Tape $8 (Home Depot)
Scrap Wire to solder to the LED strips
Electrical Tape or Heat Shrink Tubing

Tools:
-Router & piece of scrap wood for "table"
-Straight bit $13 (Home Depot)
-Drill and small drill bit
-Coarse sand paper
-Soldering Iron

Overall this was a pretty quick project; including my 'trial & error' and installation into the boat I'd estimate I have less than 2 hours in this total.

thescott 04-16-2012 10:40 AM

Thanks for the write up - Might just be me, but no pics are showing up.

ScottR 04-16-2012 11:11 AM

Nope me also ....no pics

timmyb 04-16-2012 11:13 AM

Can you fix the images? I want to see! Been kicking this idea around for awhile.

ian_ashton 04-16-2012 11:28 AM

Images uploaded to Wakeworld - hopefully it works this time :)



Keeping in the 'low budget' feel of this project, rather than buying a router table, I made one of my own, lol. My router has a 'plunge' option that made this work awesome, basically I was able to have the bit under the base of the table, put the acrylic in place, then push the table down onto the spinning bit, cutting into the acrylic. The key in the cutting is constant motion to keep from melting the plastic;
http://www.wakeworld.com/forum/attac...1&d=1334600503
I measured out radius for the inside and outside of the circles and drilled a hole in the "table" for each, and marked them with an orange highlighter so I remembered which were correct (it was a trail and error process).

So, to start I drilled a hole in what will become the center of the circle. From there, I used an allen wrench through the hole and into the hole on the table that I drilled for the outside, cutting a perfect circle;
http://www.wakeworld.com/forum/attac...1&d=1334600503


Then I switched the allen wrench to the smaller hole and cut the inside circle;
http://www.wakeworld.com/forum/attac...1&d=1334600503
Note - the inside circle was a little tight so I had to open it up freehand with the router, hence the rough inside edge - not a big deal since you can't see once mounted.

Once I had the rings figured out I needed to shorten the LED strips - easy enough, I just had to cut them to length and solder wires onto the ends;
http://www.wakeworld.com/forum/attac...1&d=1334600503

*Not pictured: I used a coarse sanding block to give the acrylic a frosted look, and remove any rough edges from the router.

Ready to mount. the ring and LED strip;
http://www.wakeworld.com/forum/attac...1&d=1334600503


This is where the cup holder rings are a little different than the speaker rings; because the thickness of the ring is less than the LED, I stuck the LED strip directly to the cup holder, rather than gluing it to the ring. Once I had the LED in place I slipped the ring over top, and gave it a test fit;
http://www.wakeworld.com/forum/attac...1&d=1334600552

Once I had each cup holder setup complete I just had to go into the boat and put them in place. I secured them with 3M double sided tape;
http://www.wakeworld.com/forum/attac...1&d=1334600552

And a shot in the dark;
http://www.wakeworld.com/forum/attac...1&d=1334600552

Mounting in the fiberglass was a little tricky - I had to cut a bit of a slot for the wires to feed through, as the factory hole is very tight and wouldn't allow the cup holder to sit flush due to the thickness of the wire - I guess if I used smaller wire this might not have been an issue, but it was an easy enough fix, and you can't see where I had to cut because its under the lip.

timmyb 04-16-2012 12:21 PM

Still nothing for me.

ian_ashton 04-16-2012 3:42 PM

http://img.tapatalk.com/450eb55c-9f9a-75c9.jpg

http://img.tapatalk.com/450eb55c-9fa5-56ce.jpg

http://img.tapatalk.com/450eb55c-9fb3-8c34.jpg

http://img.tapatalk.com/450eb55c-9fce-28e9.jpg

http://img.tapatalk.com/450eb55c-9ff0-269b.jpg

http://img.tapatalk.com/450eb55c-a018-2df0.jpg



http://img.tapatalk.com/450eb55c-a03d-9c72.jpg

timmyb 04-16-2012 3:45 PM

Oh, that looks pretty simple...and somewhat dangerous! I like it! Nice job!
Is the led strip wider than the plexi? If so, how did you compensate for that?

ian_ashton 04-16-2012 4:06 PM

It is. Because the LED is stuck to the cup holder it doesn't seem to matter. The ring slides over and a little hangs above (under the lip of the holder) and a little under, butting against the fiberglass.

Raf1985 04-16-2012 4:42 PM

Oh so the LED strip goes between the cup holder and the ring?

ian_ashton 04-16-2012 5:01 PM

http://img.tapatalk.com/450eb55c-b507-51b2.jpg

Correct.

timmyb 04-16-2012 6:27 PM

Oh, I see now. That pic cleared some things up for me. Thanks for the great thread!

timmyb 05-07-2012 12:23 PM

2 Attachment(s)
I made some of these too following Ian's thread here. Here are the jigs that I made for the router table and the drill press (not necessary). I cut the acrylic down to 4.5" squares first so I needed the jig for the drill press to make sure the holes were centered.

Houstonshark 05-07-2012 1:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by timmyb (Post 1750048)
I made some of these too following Ian's thread here. Here are the jigs that I made for the router table and the drill press (not necessary). I cut the acrylic down to 4.5" squares first so I needed the jig for the drill press to make sure the holes were centered.

Timmy, did you drill holes and install those studs into your router table just to make these rings? Are you cutting all of them that way? Why not just make a MDF ring as the jig and then use that to make all of the rings?

Have you used this safety shield? It's great for cutting pieces like that and keeping your fingers and eyes clear of danger!

http://www.mobilesolutions-usa.com/s...ccessories.htm

timmyb 05-07-2012 1:48 PM

Not sure I'm following you TJ, what do you mean by make an mdf ring and use that as the jig? I used a 1/4" sheet of plywood and put screws in it from underneath to act as the guides for the plexi and then screwed it to the router table since the first time the clamps slid. I thought about the perfect circle cutter for the router but since these are so small, it's kind of a pain in the butt to see what you are doing and then how do you do the insides?

Houstonshark 05-07-2012 2:31 PM

I just meant to make your initial ring (template, jig, etc) out of 3/4" MDF. Then you can basically rough cut the plex ring to shape with a jig saw, outside and inside and double side tape it to the MDF jig. Then using a flush trim bit with the bearing touching the MDF, router out the plex ring.

You might even want to use a round over bit on the outside of the ring for a smoother transition. After you've cut the ring, just separate the MDF from the plex, remove the doubleside tape, apply new tape and another rough cut plex ring.

timmyb 05-07-2012 2:39 PM

Oh, ok - I see what you are talking about now. Not a bad idea! That would work good with one of the perfect circle jigs for sure.
Here's an example of using the double sided tape method if you have a plunge router and a circle cutter:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jFB0f...F32AA98615DE79

Houstonshark 05-07-2012 3:18 PM

I meant like this actually:

http://youtu.be/1FLS-HFk8Pw

Once you have that jig done you can use your router table to replicate the rest of them by double sticking the wooden jig to the rough cut plex and using a flush trim bit with bearing.

timmyb 05-07-2012 3:39 PM

Or I could make my current method safer by using that same jig he has and turn it upside down and pivot it on the table and guides that I already have since I don't have a plunge router. Or is that what you were implying? Thanks for the tips TJ!

Houstonshark 05-07-2012 3:47 PM

How did you router out the inside of the ring Timmy?

timmyb 05-07-2012 3:51 PM

In my picture above you will see the ring on the right, first I cut the outside diameter using my pivot point on the left and then I moved it the one on the right and force it down onto the bit and then spin it on that pivot point and when I near the end of the cut, carefully push the ring away from the bit so it doesn't catch it. I did just like Ian shows in his pics. It's sketchy at best.

Houstonshark 05-07-2012 4:34 PM

Ha, yeah I would say it is a bit sketchy! I'm no master wood worker by any means but I've seen enough to know that a router table can possibly be one of the most dangerous (and misused) tools in the woodshop.

Now that you have a ring done you can always use one of them as a template or use one to make a more robust one out of wood by using the double side tape method. The ring is pretty thin so I would router out the inside first and then do the outside so that you can keep your fingers further away from the bit.

That's where a router shield will help you keep your fingers and save you from broken pieces of material, bearings flying off or the worst case scenario, the router bit flying out because it wasn't tightened down!

http://i295.photobucket.com/albums/m..._Fukuda_lg.jpg

You double side tape the jig to the material you want to cut and then double side tape the jig to the shield. I guess you could make one too if you have some acrylic and some handles laying around.

timmyb 05-08-2012 8:07 AM

Yeah...too late, I cranked out 10 of them between my last post and yours after work yesterday.

mark197 05-08-2012 9:02 AM

Can anybody get me the id and od of these?

timmyb 05-08-2012 9:38 AM

Varies by cupholder Mark. Mine are ~3.8" ID and ~4.3" OD and that gives enough room to snugly fit over the lights and a little bit wider than the cupholder itself.

mark197 05-08-2012 1:37 PM

Thanks Tim I'm going to have my buddy waterjet some out for me.

timmyb 05-08-2012 2:00 PM

Mark, look at getting .375 thickness if you have a hookup, might look a little nicer.

timmyb 05-14-2012 11:41 AM

2 Attachment(s)
I made some out of Corian today. The first one is 1/4" solid white and the second one is 1/2" pebble frost (leftover from the JL Corian box build thread). Corian is WAY nicer to work with than the acrylic from Lowes/Home Depot.

wakebrdjay 09-29-2012 8:16 AM

For better machining results using acrylic,you must use cast acrylic not extruded acrylic.Extruded has a tendency to gum up when routing.Cast acrylic is more expensive but will give better results.

timmyb 09-30-2012 9:03 PM

Thanks for the info Jay! How would one know the difference?

ryanw209 09-30-2012 10:13 PM

Where did you guys get your LED strips from? Did you just wire them all to a switch? What gauge wire did you run to power all of them?

wakebrdjay 09-30-2012 11:12 PM

You would have to get your acrylic at a plastics supplier.Home Depot and Lowe's type stores most likely will only carry extruded acrylic.A plastics distributor will be able to hook you up with cast.I worked with the stuff for 15 years.You also want to watch your feed speed,slow is better.If you feed the acrylic too fast it will leave small chips in the finish.If you have extruded acrylic you have to experiment with feed speed too slow and it will gum up bad for sure when routing and fuse back to your finished piece,especially when you try to hog out.You will get better results with extruded if you rough cut it with an oscillating jig saw with a plastics blade then finish cutting with a router,flush cut bearing bit ,and a jig with double stick tape.


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