Battery Box

Discussion in 'Electrical' started by Sgt. Howard, Mar 12, 2011.

  1. Sgt. Howard

    Sgt. Howard Member

    Well, I'm thoroughly disgusted with the white wire pushing a 6 volt flashlight bulb, especially as the same bulb with a decent dry tub 6 volt battery seems adequate to my needs- so I DC'd the light from the motor harness and am building a box to hold said battery. These are camping flashlight operations I'm talking about, and I seem to recall they give a good long service for the $$$. The box will be made of #1 cedar, 1/2" finger jointed at the corners with brass fittings and hookups much like the battery box of a Model T- I'm thinking it will go behind the seatpost. If I am buying batteries too often I will do another box to hold 4 rechargable "D" cells along the same lines and have a charger at work as well as at home. Either way, I won't dim at idle. Pictures will be submitted soon-
    the Old Sgt.

  2. wheelbender6

    wheelbender6 Well-Known Member

    When the LED lights became less expensive, I quit using the white wire and went to battery power. I had been using an automotive fog light with a 6v tag light bulb.
  3. RedBaronX

    RedBaronX Member

    I just ordered my worksman bike to start my MB project over. I'm going to build a battery box that will fit between the top bars. I've got a rechargeable 12v battery and will be running headlight, turn signals, horn, and brake light, all LED lights.

    There are 6v dynamo hub generators, and I think the really good ones have a battery of some sort so you don't go dark at idle
  4. Sgt. Howard

    Sgt. Howard Member

    Here are a couple of images of the aforementioned box- as you can see, finger-jointed corners except on the ends, wingnut & tag attatchments for electrical, all brass and copper fittings... I went with the brand name of the detonator Uncle Ed used when he taught my Brother and myself the fine art of blowing tree stumps with TNT, Torpex or common black (Climax) and tagged my own monniker to it just to be obnoxiouse- the labels are computer printed then decopaged onto the wood. There is no stain, just varnish- that's #1 cedar, of which I have a limited supply. Also avaliable is oak (preferred from both a historical and functional standpoint), black walnut, poplar and a variety of veneers (these would be the cheapest option- also the flimsiest). Baron, shoot me dimentions and material and I'll throw you a quote.
    the Old Sgt.

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  5. Sgt. Howard

    Sgt. Howard Member

    BTW- Nimbus (the fuzzy thing in the upper right of the photos) endorses my work. He is of the opinion that I have successfully retreated technology by at least eleven decades.
    the Old Sgt.
  6. RedBaronX

    RedBaronX Member

    I would definitely be interested in a battery box! I don't have the tools for doing finger joints or anything like that-- woulda been just butt joints if I built it.

    the battery dimensions are 7.5 x 2.5 x 4.5, adding some room on the length and height for flasher relay and wires (2.5 is the exact dimension of width). I'm not exactly sure how much space there is between the top bars of the worksman, but I'll know in a couple days when it gets here. I don't have a material preference, but I would prefer the box opens on a small end-- I'll probably hinge it and have a clasp of some sort so opening it is easy for me-- to recharge the battery every night.

    I like the decals idea. I wasn't sure if I was going to paint it or stain it, but seeing yours I will probably stain it for a weathered look, do a decal, and then clear coat it.

    I can create a gasket no problem for the lid
  7. Sgt. Howard

    Sgt. Howard Member

    Do you intend to share the space between the bars with a gas tank? Could be done, you know- custom tank to say the least, but it could be done. I would recomend the oak- total projected price would be $40 to $45 naked, $15 more for stain & varnish (I recomend miniwax golden oak & glossy varathane). Insofar as connects are concerned, there are a number of ways to rig them- if your posts are on top, I would rig the box to come out of the frame to pull the top lid. Might do that anyway, otherwise you'll have one side without fingerjoints for the hatch. Is the 4.5 HIGHTH or WIDTH? ... and is this one of those 12 volts with a harness for charging/deployment? All things to consider, nothing overtly challenging... I am a gunsmith, after all... my box has been a lovely challenge in that it has changed several times in the making, both as to how it works and where it goes. Still figureing out the switch, I'm thinking that goes in the headlight itself, got some clever ideas about the wireing as well (I know how to cover it in fabric!). Your call-
    the Old Sgt.
  8. Sgt. Howard

    Sgt. Howard Member

    BTW- If you own a table saw and know how to keep your fingers out of the blade, you have enough tooling to do finger joints.
    the Old Sgt.
  9. RedBaronX

    RedBaronX Member

    I've got a Whizzer thank that will ride on top of the bar, not in the frame, which is why I thought that space would be great for the battery.

    The 4.5 is technically for the height of the battery, but I'm sure to get it and the box to fit in the space the battery will have to lay on its side.

    If it fits the way I hope it will, it will fit between the two top bars, with the smallest dimension of the battery, like this:

    [​IMG] with the 4.5" dimension running the width of the bike and the open end being on the 4.5 x 2.5 end that faces the back of the bike.

    If it won't fit there, I was thinking I could mount the box on the side, like this:


    I would go with naked oak. I've got enough stain and finishes to last awhile-- I've refinished five rifles and I make arrows... I just don't have anything like a table saw. I've got a cordless drill and a cordless circular, and then lots of hand tools.

    I would feed the wires into the box where they will terminate with alligator clips to connect to the battery. No harness, just a rectangular box with tab type terminals
  10. Sgt. Howard

    Sgt. Howard Member

    I will buy the oak a week from tomorrow- payday- I can hinge the box on one side, but then that side will be without finger jointery... better to 'wrap' the finger joints around the ends to top and bottom in that case (all corners perpendicular to travel and parralell to road), more symetrical. OR... better still... finger joint the upright corners, lid on top- battery is harnessed to quick connect OUTSIDE the box so you only have to pull connection and hook to charger. Lid is only used to remove battery, and you have to remove box to do that. Your call. I will have to shave top and bottom boards to assure snug fit between bars, make sure I get that dimention.
    the Old Sgt.
  11. RedBaronX

    RedBaronX Member

    I definitely would not want you to start building it until I know for sure how it's going to fit on the bike!

    The way that it HAS to be done is that the box is mounted "permanently" to the frame and the battery is easy to remove from the box because the bike has to live outside and I live on the second floor... No garage, no outdoor outlets (and it's too far to run an extension cord...). The battery HAS to be removed from the bike to recharge it. And since my total commute is two hours, I will want to recharge the battery every night.

    I want the connections inside the box because there are going to be a LOT of wires-- turn signals front and back, brakes, horn, tail light, and headlight. There are also going to be a couple flasher relays (I'm thinking of making the brake light flash) I'm going to sheath the wires with asphalt cloth wire loom to keep everything tidy... having the wires held in place by running to and connecting to the mounted box will keep everything in place.

    I can hinge it myself-- I might end up going with two clasps or maybe even some sort of leather belt that wraps around the circumference to hold the lid on. Haven't decided, so I want to leave my options open on that.

    Bike will be here tomorrow, and I can figure out fit and dimensions and all that.
  12. RedBaronX

    RedBaronX Member

    OK... the absolute dimensions of the battery are: 2 5/8" x 6" x3 7/8". I can turn the battery any which way to make it fit the frame.

    The space between the two top bars with the tank in place is JUST over 3". The tank is a 1.75 gallon Whizzer tank that has a deeper channel than the stock 3/4 gallon tanks. Since the channel is also WIDER than the top bar, it would be best to add some sort of space filler-- PVC pipe or something. That will raise the tank up maybe another 1/8" or 1/4". But that's going to mean the boards for those two sides of the box can only collectively be about a half inch...

    Now, I've seen plywood that thin... I have something that a friend made that has a piece of nine layer plywood in it's construction, and it's only 1/4" inch. It's "aviation plywood." Not something that your average Home Depot has.

    A piece of plywood that thin is probably too thin to do finger joints... maybe, I don't know. Maybe it isn't. But I'm going to assume that this project will be best with butt joints after all, which I can do. A very quick google search brought up a place that has 2'x2' 1/4" sheets for as little as $10. That's not the nine layer stuff my friend used to have, but it's a higher grade than hardware store stuff.
  13. Sgt. Howard

    Sgt. Howard Member

    Actually, I've done figerjoints in less wood than 1/4"... but that WOULD run extra, and for the task at hand might not be sturdy enough. Pity. I wound up mounting mine on the top of the backframe just behind the seat and in front of the mount for my backrack- 45 degrees off the perpendicular, but I'll survive. Put on brass corner guards as well- looks spiff. For 1/4" wood, I would epoxy them on as you will not find hardware that will mount them without perfing the battery. Now just waiting for Pirate Cycles to finish their inventory so's I can buy that sprocket mount. That's thursday...
    the Old Sgt.
  14. samuari86

    samuari86 Member

    if you do your homework some leds lights can go up to 18v or more,now if you go and see the led lights i am using i got min on 9v,and i am using three of them. now the led lights that i using is for some ones head for like work or soming and they only use three AAAs batterys and that comes out to 4.5v's. so good lock
  15. RedBaronX

    RedBaronX Member

    I'm only going to use the 1/4" on the two sides I absolutely have to-- using normal dimensional lumber for the other sides will maximize gluing surface and still give me some room for fasteners. Epoxy is a must-- I am the epoxy queen!

    Because of the tight fit between bottom bar and gas tank, it will only need to really be held in place with a couple struts along the bottom of the box which will straddle the bottom Top Bar. These will also give the box more stability and strength. Brass corners are definitely on the menu as well.

    I've already started perusing the 'net for vintage battery logos for the sides of the box. Even though you won't be building the box for me, you helped me decide what I want it to look like-- stained instead of painted, with the logos on the sides!
  16. samuari86

    samuari86 Member

    ok i didnt read all the post so,ok sounds good!
  17. RedBaronX

    RedBaronX Member

    yeah this is less about the guts of the system, and more about where to put those guts...
  18. Sgt. Howard

    Sgt. Howard Member

    Just got mine up and working- put a switch in the back of the headlight and now debating if this will drive a small taillight as well- hard to say...
    Having mounted the silly thing where I've got it, I realise that wood can do some pretty snazzy things on these toys. I've been arguing with myself about panniers on this bad boy- started with ammo cans but found them too heavy, leather too pricey and nylon too... nylon... I know it's pure neurosis, but I want this thing to be retro. Two matching wood boxes off the back rack ought to do the trick, useing 3/16th oak veneer, gorilla glue and alder stringer, brass corners, edges, hinges and latches, honey oak stain with verathane spar varnish... ought to do a logo of sorts... we'll see-
    the Old Sgt.
  19. RedBaronX

    RedBaronX Member

    at some point I will make leather saddle bags, but that's too much money for something that I don't NEED right now. The modified army surplus canvas bags I used work quite nicely for now.

    and yeah, nylon is too... nylon.
  20. Sgt. Howard

    Sgt. Howard Member

    Having acquired a pseudo 'Soviet' cav uniform, I am saving the OD canvass medic bag for the next build which will be of a military bearing in matching color- with the red cross removed. Not sure exactly WHAT the application might be, but it will draw attention in a 4th of July parade... assuming I don't get lynched... meanwhile, would you appreciate a VERY convincing LUCAS ELECTRICAL label that includes "The Prince of Darkness" as part of the logo? Seriousely- saw the design on the net, poor quality, redesigned on Broderbund which can only go to somebody that HAS Broderbund... but shoot me yer snailmail and I'll send you a sheet gratis.
    the Old Sgt.