A slacker's ESB saber build

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Panaflex

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Hi all, so with other saber builds on the bench, I thought why not launch another!

I've been wanting to do the ESB Luke for a long time but put it off in part because of the tedious, stressful grip cutting portion of the build.
Others here have done fantastic jobs cutting the notches by hand but I'm basically lazy so I thought I'd try a different approach with power tools.

First, the test subject:
A vintage Graflex but without the coveted "New York" stamping from the Wampa Cave. I'm ok with that. No really. Son of a...
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I bought the flash from Mugatu- Thanks! -and the extra button from another member right here at the RPF.

1st up, screw on the red button. Easy peasy.

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Onto to the grips. I decided to go with a router but need a proper base and jig.
This is the base, made in about 10 mins.

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Set the grips in and just nailed down the wooden sides to keep them tight.

My pop's hobby is restoring guitars and he had this jig he made out of plexiglass for doing detail work. You can buy similar ones online.
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Clamped it it all down and mounted the router with the proper size bit. Again, thanks to Roy for the measurements thoughout.


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Fired up up the router and made a gentle pass, I could feel the tension of each individual grip as it was being cut then the release of tension inbetween them.
I was slightly too high on the first pass, there was a tiny bit of plastic left so I adjusted the depth and made one more pass.

Results:

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Overall, I'm very happy with them and that I didn't have to fight the x-acto saw, mitre box battle.
You can see there were some plastic slivers left from this process but they came off with my fingernail quite easily.

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One more shot of the aftermath and the base.

So there's more to be done of course but I thought I'd post my progress up to this point.

I have a drill press now so I'll be using it to drill the holes for the grips. I'm going to go with rivets.

More to come, thanks for looking.
 
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roygilsing

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Great.. very neat and precise. That's a lot of work though for a few notches! But nice setup; I've been thinking about this as well to offer the tracks with the cutouts done like this.
 

Panaflex

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Thanks Roy! It was some work it's true but mostly it was the R&D of the concept than the act. I just couldn't bring myself to hand cut those notches! :wacko
 

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mugatu

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
The notch cutting process you've come up with is awesome. What a time saver and better precision than I could deliver by hand. They look great man!
 

Panaflex

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Thanks guys! I appreciate it.
I've only gotten the grips cut for length at this point. For this I used a bandsaw with a "fence" so that each grip went through with the same length cut per Roy's measurements which were perfect for allowing the disassembly of the saber after the build.

Here's a pic. Sorry they're small but I'm posting with a phone and I can't seem to enlarge them.

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OdiWan72

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Great.. very neat and precise. That's a lot of work though for a few notches! But nice setup; I've been thinking about this as well to offer the tracks with the cutouts done like this.
DO IT and I will happily order a few new sets, even if I have enough of your t track to redo my sabers TWICE already :lol

Markus
 

Panaflex

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
DO IT and I will happily order a few new sets, even if I have enough of your t track to redo my sabers TWICE already :lol

Markus
Awesome! Roy, I've still got this rig built. I wonder how much shipping would be to you...
Although I expect you'll have them done on a more professional looking non wooden rig!
 

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