Repurposing Old Circuits to Make a Reading Light

For fun, I decided to play around with some of the small electronics I had saved over the years - small, coin-cell driven flashing toys which I got at fairs and events.

I have recently been enjoying replacing cheap tactile switches with bigger panel-mount buttons, so I decided to combine a circuit with the button and affix them inside a small chunk of wood to make a reading light of sorts.

When I was removing the old battery leads and switch from one of the buttons, the trace pulled up (the copper “wire” on the circuit board), most likely because these boards were not build well/to endure disassembly. So, I activated plan B. Here's me removing a button after desoldering it from the PCB.

I used a multimeter to isolate the power circuit from the semi-destroyed board and connected it to the power-lead pads from another circuit which required the same voltage (Pictured: testing the circuit with alligator clips.) I then connected the boards to a scrap button after testing points with a multimeter. Tip: because I was surface-connecting tiny wires to flimsy traces, I solidified the connections with dabs of hot glue.

I used my CnC to cut out a cover and a bandsaw and drill press to make the wood block to mount the Frankensteined circuit together, and voila, my fun was complete!