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Thread: Jay-gon's PVC Hilts - Full tutorial on last page

  1. #221
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    You couldn't even fit a whole roll that you would buy, inside a blade, nowhere does it tell you to use that much. Just buy a single roll, that's enough to do several blades. The "roll" Jay is talking about in his tutorial is a single piece of wrap that he's using and rolling around a dowel, which is going to be more than just a quad wrap, I don't know why you're having so much trouble understanding that. Just get the idea of quad and double wrap out of your head, that only pertains to the Corbin film, you need a lot more of the clear gift wrap than that.

    If you get a 30" roll, cut it to length and try just the width of the roll and see how it looks, you can always add more if the blade isn't even enough. If you get a 40" roll, try 3 or 4 feet. It's not rocket science, different people like different amounts. You can see just how Jay does it in his tutorial, since he took lots of pictures during the process.
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  2. #222

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    One thing you can do to make the rolls of giftwrap go much further is to sand from one corner of the sheet to another, just in a stripe, with a sanding sponge. Your blades will have a crosshatch pattern to it, but it drastically improves the cellophane's performance.
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  3. #223

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    Yo Jay, i'll have pics of my saber and my bros up in a little while. I figured out what to use ad a blade stop, someone in the shoutbox helped me. I'm going to put a bolt in between the blade and optics. Well, cya all later. have a nice rest of the week and weekend everyone!

  4. #224

    Default Batteries and white luxeon LED

    Got a question...If I'm using a white Luxeon III LED would it be better to go with a 9 Volt battery to give it more juice than just 2 AAA's? I hooked it up with the AAA's and yes the light itself looks bright but its not doing a great job of lighting up the tube. I have all the correct stuff going on it just isn't as good as my Red LED. Is there something I can do to make it brighter? I've seen others using white on here and with color discs and they are much brighter than mine. Any advice would be great!
    Thanks,
    Josh
    "I will find them quickly master!"

  5. #225
    Jedi Initiate vargose's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Titus View Post
    Got a question...If I'm using a white Luxeon III LED would it be better to go with a 9 Volt battery to give it more juice than just 2 AAA's? I hooked it up with the AAA's and yes the light itself looks bright but its not doing a great job of lighting up the tube. I have all the correct stuff going on it just isn't as good as my Red LED. Is there something I can do to make it brighter? I've seen others using white on here and with color discs and they are much brighter than mine. Any advice would be great!
    Thanks,
    Josh
    Careful with that. Its true that 2 AAA don't quite supply enough voltage for a Lux III. But if you go over the forward volatge of the LED you will have to use a resistor or you will fry your LED. Check the resistor chart in the store.

  6. #226
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    Yes, vargose is right, 9V is too much, you will fry your LED. You'd need a large resistor to cut down 5 extra volts that you don't need and the excess voltage would just be bled off as heat, that resistor is probably going to get very hot.

    Also, a single 9V battery isn't going to give you a good run time.

    If you look at the resistor chart vargose mentions, the Red Lux III has a forward voltage of 2.95V, the white, 3.9V. I don't know how the white is lighting up at all, if you're only give it 3V.

    http://www.thecustomsabershop.com/resistor.aspx

    If you want to spend a little more money, a better solution is to get a 1000mA buck puck from the Store and run it off of 6V: 4AAs or 4 AAAs. The buck puck will feed the LED the voltage it wants, as well as a consistant current, and will make more efficient use of the batteries than just a resistor will.
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  7. #227

    Default Thanks for the ideas

    Thank you all for the ideas! I think I'll try out the Buck Puck route and see if that works. All I know is that right now it isn't very bright at all. I built a red saber and I'm running it off of 2 AAA's and its bright but the white has puzzled me. Thanks again,
    J
    "I will find them quickly master!"

  8. #228

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    Okay, some people have claimed that this isn't really a tutorial, and it technically wasn't intended to be, to be honest....I thought it was self-explanatory if you read it and looked at the pictures....and seeing that I used few if any parts from the store, didn't feel it was right to post where I got certain things from....but anyway, I recently built one of these and took pictures, tutorial-style so I could post them for the people that don't want to read, but look at pictures...so here we go....here's what you need to start with for a very basic PVC lightsaber:


    Those are the basic parts I've used in the past....it is built using a 10" long piece of 1" electrical conduit pvc. It's called 1", because it has a 1" inside diameter, which is perfectly suited to the polycarbonate tubes we use to make blades from. The outside diameter is about 1 1/4", and is well suited for those with smaller hands, like children. (The intended target for these is actually kids.....) I will now detail some of the parts used.

    Here's the first piece:

    This is a 1" pvc coupler. It is used to glue to sections of PVC together, but we'll be using it as part of the saber's emitter.

    The next piece:

    This is a PVC end cap. This is used to cap off a PVC pipe. I found this one in the pvc plumbing pipe section at my local hardware store. We can use white, because the hilt will get painted later on.

    This is the LED I'll be using in these:

    Since they are geared toward kids, not adults, and would want to avoid any potential eye damage should the blades get removed, it is a Luxeon I red. See that little white thing next to it? That's called a lens holder....it will hold the lens that will focus the light from the led up into the blade, causing it to light up. the lens that is in there is a 5 degree. We'll cover that later, though.

    Here's the led driver:

    This is called a Micropuck. similar to a buckpuck, this one is geared towards driving a 350ma led like the luxeon I's. It only requires 3 volts to light any Luxeon I led. This will allow the use of a 2-AAA battery holder to power the led, like this:

    Now, if a person wanted to skip the Micropuck, as it adds about $10 to the cost of the saber, one could make the hilt long enough to fit in a 3-AA battery holder and use the appropriate resistor. you'll have to figure that out for yourself, though.

    The blade retention screw threaded insert:

    These are found in the hardware store in the furniture hardware section. It is threaded on the outside like a wood screw, but has internal 8-32 machine screw threads.

    The blade retention screw, and #8 lock washer with the threaded insert:


    Not shown individually, but also in the first picture:
    -The switch....a simple pushbutton on/off latching switch...any kind will work, really.
    -A piece of 1" polycarbonate tubing...about 3/4" to 1" long....this will house the led, lens and lens holder. More on that later.

    There are some tools that will be required to complete this build....a drill (I'll be using a drill press) and a couple of drill bits (3/8", 15/64" and #29), an 8-32 tap and handle, a tubing cutter (large enough to cut 1 1/2" tubing), Hex wrenches (5/32", 5/64", and 3/32"), a soldering iron and solder, a rotary tool with accessories(Dremel or other brand, I have a Craftsman) and a saw of some sort to cut the pvc pipe with (I will be using a compound miter saw).

    We'll start construction using the rotary tool with an 80 grit sanding drum to remove the divider edge in the middle of the 1" pvc coupler:






    Grind it until it's flat, working with the direction the sanding drum is spinning. It should look like this when done:


    It will fit on the emitter end of the saber here:


    To give it some style, I am going to cut it to match the angle on the main hilt tube:


    I set the saw blade to 45degrees:


    and cut it:


    That'll work....just need to deburr it....I used the sanding drum on the rotary tool for that, too.

    Oh, and always remember that when you're using power tools, "Safety First":


    Moving on....here's the finished coupler:


    Now, using a second coupler, I hammered the cut coupler onto the hilt tube:


    I hammered it down about 3/4":


    Here's a preview of the basic hilt shape:


    Now, to make it look a bit more like a saber hilt, we'll add some fake grips with the large tubing cutter:


    Fit it onto the hilt like so:


    Tighten it just enough to have a snug fit, and slowly turn the hilt in the cutter to leave a simple scored line:


    Using a ruler, I marked out where I wanted the lines to be with a black sharpie marker:


    And then scored the lines:


    The hilt now has grips:


    I also laid out some towards the front of the saber, too. The large area in between the marks is where the switch will go.

    Now it's time to drill for the threaded insert that will house the blade retention screw:

    I set it up in the drill press and used the 15/64th" drill bit to drill a hole for the threaded insert to screw into:



    I then used the 5/32 hex wrench to install it:


    Screw it in far enough for the outside threads to disappear. Try not to go too far into the hilt with so that it won't interfere with the blade.

    Then I screwed the 8-32 1/2" socket head cap screw into the insert:


    When fully tightened, it will keep the blade secure. It reaches just far enough into the blade socket to put pressure on the blade's opposite sidewall and hold it in:


    With that, the hilt work is almost complete. Now is the time to paint it if you so desire. There are pictures in the thread already that showed how to do that, you'll have to go back and read that for yourself, though.

    Now for the electronics! I'll start by making the 1" x 3/4" Polycarbonate led housing:

    Using the tubing cutter, I cut off the piece from the end of the blade that will go into the saber. I made sure to tighten the cutter tight enough to "roll" the edge of the cut to prevent the led from falling through:


    Now to solder the wires to the led:

    Make sure you pre-tin the wires first, it makes this much easier. Pre-tinning means getting some solder on the bare wire before you attempt to solder it to the led. The green wire in this case is the negative lead, and the orange is the positive. This matches the outputs of the Micropuck driver.

    Now, fit the lens holder over the led like so:




    Then feed the wires through the PolyC housing we made earlier:



    Now, to hold it all together, I'll use some high-temp hot glue. This will hold the lens holder inside the polyC housing. High-temp hot glue will not melt with what little heat theses Luxeon I led's give off, and should also hold up with a Luxeon III. If a Luxeon III gets hot enough to melt this glue, something's wrong with your wiring!


    We'll put the tip of the glue gun right up to the hole in the led's base:


    Make sure it's full of glue:


    Now your led assembly is finished:



    The polycarbonate housing for the led will also serve as the blade stop for the blade when it's inserted in the hilt. This kills two birds with one stone!
    Last edited by Jay-gon Jinn; 07-09-2009 at 07:47 PM.

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  9. #229

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    Now we need to drill the hole for the switch. This will require the 3/8" drill bit mentioned at the start of my last post:


    Here's the finished hole, and the switch:

    This is much easier to do if you use a switch like the one sold in the store here. The nut is on the OUTSIDE so you can tighten it easier.

    I slid the switch up into the saber and using my index finger on my left hand, pushed it up through the hole:


    I then installed the nut:

    Now take it back out...it's hard to solder the connections to the led and battery pack with it installed on the hilt. this is just to test the the fit of the switch in the hole.

    The next thing I'll do is drill and tap for the end cap retention screw. I'll do this using a simple cordless drill and the #29 drill bit:

    This will give me the right size hole to use an 8-32 tap to make the threads for the retention screw.

    I don't like tapping through two separate pieces, and to make the cap easier to put on and remove, I drilled the hole in the cap out with a larger drill bit, an 11/64th";


    I than tapped the threads in the hilt using my tap handle and the 8-32 tap:


    The pvc cap will fit on like so:


    Now I can install the screw:


    Okay, so NOW all of the hilt work is complete. If you plan to paint the hilt, remove all of the screws, and paint it. I have painted these in the past using Krylon's Fusion Hammered Finish spray paint. It's made for pvc lawn furniture, and works quite well on these hilts:



    I usually hang them up to paint them, and do it in a well-ventilated area, like a garage:


    Once the hilt is dry, now we can finish off the wiring. This is pretty basic, and will look something like this:


    The red and black wires from the battery pack basically get soldered to the red and black wires on the buck puck. Red being positive, black being negative. The switch needs to go in one of those circuits. I chose the positive side of the circuit.

    The connections are all soldered:

    and then heat shrink wrapped.

    To fit this all in the hilt, I needed to bend the wires into this shape, making sure that the switch's flat side is facing towards the emitter. this is because the switch will act as a stop for the led assembly, and when the blade is inserted, will hold the led assembly in place:


    This will get inserted into the hilt through the blade socket, starting with the battery pack:

    The 2-AAA battery pack is a nice fit inside the hilt's 1" inside diameter, so you need not worry about it rattling around in there.

    Holding the switch, I fed the wires in:


    This is where it gets a bit tricky....the switch needs to go in so that the button is lined up with the hole we drilled for it earlier, and the back, or flat side is facing the emitter:


    Once it's pointing up, push it into the hilt slowly:




    Until it reaches the hole:


    Now, get a screw driver that is at least 8" long:


    Pull the battery pack out. Insert the screw driver into the bottom of the saber, going around the battery pack, and puch the switch up through the hole:


    Install the switch nut:


    Make sure the led is seated inside the blade socket by pushing on it until it stops up against the switch:


    Install two AAA batteries, and test it:


    Install the blade:

    (I know, it's not red, it's amber, I changed my mind when I was working on it.....sue me.)

    Congratulations! You've taken your first steps into a larger world! Now you can defend the galaxy, or conquer it with your brand new, shiny, pvc saber!
    Last edited by Jay-gon Jinn; 07-09-2009 at 07:51 PM.

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  10. #230
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    I'm locking this thread at Jay Gon's request. Basically any question you could possibly have has been answered.
    Aluke123 on every other forum - Old grumpy moderator here

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