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Thread: First Saber Build Log

  1. #1
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    Talking First Saber Build Log

    This is actually my first post on the forum, but I've been lurking about for months.
    I finally decided the time was right to start building my first custom saber. I have a few LED sabers already, but I really love the idea of putting together a saber that is uniquely mine, both in design and in blood, sweat, and tears. Since I live in a townhouse with no garage I am limited in my machining capabilities, so I decided it would be a good idea to start with an MHS hilt so as to minimize the amount of metal-working I would need to do.
    Here's the MHS builder configuration I finally landed on.

    Saber_20150412.jpg

    Since I'm a mechanical engineer by trade, I took the images of the separate parts from the MHS builder and modeled them up in Creo so I could design the shroud. I really liked some of the designs from the Aggressive Negotiations line at Vader's Vault, so I used those as an inspiration/starting point. I really like how it came out.

    Saber with Shroud.jpg

    Of course, I designed the shroud before I realized that the sleeve material sold in the shop is only 12" long, and my model called for 14." After a fruitless search for another source of aluminum tubing of approximately the same dimensions, I contacted Tim and asked if he had any longer pieces. He replied quickly (such great customer service) and let me know that he had some 18" pieces with slight cosmetic defects. I placed an order for as many of the parts I needed as were in stock and received my order (including the mill work for the type 2 switch box) in less than a week. The parts are quite well made and they fit together perfectly. I've only ever heard great things about the quality of the machining here and I'm glad to know that those reports weren't exaggerated.

    From here I'll keep ordering parts in batches as I can afford them and as they come back into stock. My plan is to get the hilt built first, then go through a couple of stages of electronics, starting with just lights and working my way towards a crystal chamber and fancy sound. I'll post as I have updates.

    I also have more pictures and probably more details on my blog
    Thanks for reading, and comments are most welcome!

  2. #2

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    Welcome, Zacharyah. Excellent looking saber design, I really like the shroud you've come up with. A nice take on the aggressive negotiations saber, or should I say SLIGHTLY MORE aggressive negotiations saber. lol

  3. #3
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    Thanks. I worked through a lot of designs before I found one that resonated with me, so I'm hoping the finished product holds up to the design. My main concept here was to make the weapon of a warrior, not a peacekeeper. I may eventually pair it up with a blaster, sort of a Grey Paladin idea

  4. #4
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    It has been some time, and I was planning on entering my saber into this year's competition, but DRL got in the way and I haven't been able to finish yet. Therefore, I decided to post some in process and planning pictures.
    This is a render I made in SolidWorks of the whole saber, slightly updated from the original post. I decided to switch the color scheme around a bit and leave the main body the bare aluminum color with brass-colored grooves and then paint/PC the shroud black. You'll excuse the photo quality; I work for the government and they take issue with emailing/uploading/sharing photos from a government computer, so I had to take a picture of the screen with my phone.



    This is another render in SW of the saber as it is designed to be disassembled for view. The black square on the left end of the chassis is a 13-pin DIN connector allowing the chassis to be completely removed from the saber without requiring long wires coiled up at the top. The DIN connector will carry the circuits for the main LED, the switches, the AV switch LED, and the recharge port. There is another chassis disk bolted into the body of the saber just below the switch box that holds the mating connector. The black cylinder at the end is a speaker holder I designed to face the speaker up towards the crystal chamber. I didn't like the idea of a vented pommel for this saber and I figured since I have a vented crystal chamber, I might as well make it dual purpose. We'll see how it goes. The beauty of the design is that I can easily flip the orientation of the speaker and get a vented pommel insert if it doesn't work out well.



    Here are the parts for the main body assembled together. The full saber is very nearly 14" long. I could barely print the shroud cut guide on legal paper.



    And finally here is the work I've been able to do on the chassis. I cut the brass rods to length and polished them. The end caps used to be acorn hex nuts but they didn't fit inside the main body, so I ground them down until they were round. The whole chassis still fits tightly enough that I tried sanding the acrylic disks, but then I looked inside the main body and realized that it might use a little polishing, so that's one of my next steps.



    Thanks for looking. I'm currently waiting on the acquisition of a vice table for my drill press so I can do some custom cuts on chassis disks and drill the mounting screw holes on the shroud material. I'm also telling myself that I need to drill the holes in the shroud before I start dremelling because I'm rather nervous about cutting that shroud. I also haven't yet been able to afford a sound card. The wife and I started budgeting more strictly in anticipation of our 3rd child, and of course, saber building made it's way down to the end of the list.

  5. #5
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    So, Darth RL got me good since my last post. We moved, had 2 more kids, I got my Master's in Aerospace Engineering, and put my saber on hold. I finally got a bit of time and found some thin wall pvc that closely approximates the TCSS sleeve material, so I took some time yesterday to cut out my shroud. It's still a little rough, and I need to paint it, but it's a major step forward on this saber.
    I also got in on the Proffie 2.2 group buy, so I'm excited about that.





  6. #6

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    Welcome back! Plenty of us have projects that have been on going for years without so many achievements. I look forward to seeing this develop.

  7. #7

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    welcome back. Sleeve looks good!
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  8. #8
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    Thanks guys. I painted it yesterday, which kinda highlighted some flaws, but this is just the temporary shroud until I get the aluminum one built.



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