ACCURATE T-TRACK on sabers and blasters - pics and specs

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GINO

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
In the original SW films, prop makers utilized black plastic T-track on all the lightsabers and blasters. In case you were wondering what T-track is, it was commonly used in cabinetry as a means for doors to slide open and close. There are many different styles and shapes of T-track out there, but EVREY item we've seen spanning all three OT films utilize the exact same style.
This style consists of black plastic track with a groove in the bottom to accomodate a bead of glue, as well as drill holes on the sides of the center rib every foot or so to accomodate nails for installing into cabinets.

The props that utilized it were:
Every lightsaber (long list)
E-11 trooper blaster
MG-34 trooper rifle
Boba Fett ROTJ rifle


Made from measurements taken directly off screen-used T-track, I executed a run of extruded T-track so that for the first time ever, we could use the correct grip shape and material on our props.

Here are some pics of the T-track as well as some of it incorporated into some of my sabers.









There are other replica t-track options out there, some might be a little cheaper, but NONE of them are as precisely accurate as this t-track is.
I don't know about you, but the last thing I'd ever do is invest in a really nice saber or blaster and then skimp when it comes to the grips.
Accuracy matters!



You can sign up for T-track in this JY thread:
http://www.therpf.com/showthread.php?t=258205&p=3937849#post3937849



I'll be posting some details about how I feel is the best way to remove your old grips as well as how to best attach these. It's more simple than you know.
If any of you use my grips on your props, please feel free to post here and show everyone how awesome they look!

I hope you guys like it. It was a huge milestone for me to finally get these on my sabers after all these years. :)



SPECS AND TUTORIAL

I've gotten some requests from people for tips on finishing their t-track.
I can only help with sabers (as I don't have a sterling, mg-34, or rotj fett rifle). So anyone who finishes theirs off feel free to post any helpful tips here. Oh yeah, and some nice showoff pics as well.


ANH Luke and ANH Vader:
Grip length: 3 9/16"
Angled ends: On top of center ridge, make a pencil mark 1/8" from end to designate where the angle should stop
Tips: I used a 1" metal file and it ground down like butter.

ESB Luke:
Grip length: 3 9/16"
Notched end: (starting from bottom end) ridge length before notch 7/16", length of notch 5/16"
Tips: Make your marks in pencil on top and down sides of ridge. Use a dremel tool to hog out most of the area. Get as close to your lines as possible without going too far. Then use a brand new x-acto blade to gently square up your corners and flat area (where the screw/rivet goes). I would not use a file for these notches as it is practically impossible not to make unwanted scratches on either side of the center ridge.

ESB and ROTJ Vader:
Grip length: 4.25"
No angles or notches.
Only the ROTJ Vader uses little screws at each end of grip.

I attached my t-track using hot melt glue. The opaque yellow kind, not the standard clear. If you don't want to use hot glue, you could use 5 min epoxy instead. I don't recommend using anything else, especially not any kind of adhesive tape.
Keep in mind that regardless of whether or not you used hot glue or epoxy, that you will use WAY less than you think. Just a teeny tiny bit in that channel goes a long way. If you use hot glue, you have to be super fast when applying it because if you are too slow, the glue will start to cool and won't allow you to squish the grip flush against the saber body.
After doing mine, I would recommend using 5 min epoxy as it is easier to control.

As for the screws in the ESB Luke and the ROTJ Vader, I went balls out and decided to actually screw into the metal saber body. That's how they did it for the films right? I've had my Luke ESB graflex since 1993 and I have to say that it was extremely gratifying to finally drill into it.
For those who aren't ready to take that step yet, I would suggest cutting off the tops of your screws so that they are only cosmetic. You can always take the plunge later.

For those ready to go all-in, here's what I did. I bought the appropriate screws for each saber as well as corresponding taps and drill bits made especially for the taps.
I pre-drilled the holes in the grips so that the screws would easily slide through. Then I marked the hole placements on the saber body. Use a center punch to make accurately placed dings in the saber body where your marks are. Then I recommend making pilot holes with the smallest drill bit you have. It is easier to control and center that way.
After, use the drill bit designated for the tap.
Tap your holes using a little wd-40 and some patience.
Then proceed to epoxying your grips in place making sure all the holes are lined up. Make sure you don't confuse which grip goes where. I used tiny pieces of tape to mark them.
Afterward, simply screw in your screws. Don't overtighten, or you might pop the hot glue or epoxy on the opposite end.


If I missed anything, let me know.

.
 
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GINO

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Re: ACCURATE T-TRACK on sabers and blasters

Once you guys receive your T-track, post pics of your build-ups here. Especially some blaster pics.
 
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micdavis

Master Member
Re: ACCURATE T-TRACK on sabers and blasters

How does this differ from what Saberfreak sold a while back?
 

GINO

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Re: ACCURATE T-TRACK on sabers and blasters

I have some of Saberfreak's track, but it was not the correct shape or color.
 

micdavis

Master Member
Re: ACCURATE T-TRACK on sabers and blasters

Nothing more specific?

Any pics showing the difference?

Or some photos showing yours being compared to whatever source you've used to create your profile?
 

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GINO

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Re: ACCURATE T-TRACK on sabers and blasters

Nothing more specific?

Any pics showing the difference?

Or some photos showing yours being compared to whatever source you've used to create your profile?
If you doubt, then move along.
 

micdavis

Master Member
Re: ACCURATE T-TRACK on sabers and blasters

Ease up.

You claim this is the first accurate stuff.

I guess I'm just supposed to take your word for it.

If it's the best I'd like to know how or why. What's wrong with that?
 

GINO

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Re: ACCURATE T-TRACK on sabers and blasters

Do your own research and find out for yourself.
Based on our past interactions, I wouldn't sell to you anyway, so it really doesn't matter.
 

micdavis

Master Member
Re: ACCURATE T-TRACK on sabers and blasters

That's certainly your choice.

But I have five different types of saber grips here.

All claimed to be just the right shape.

If you can't see my point that's up to you.
 

GINO

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Re: ACCURATE T-TRACK on sabers and blasters

If you do your own research, you wouldn't have to rely on my or anyone else's 'word'.
 
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lonepigeon

Sr Member
Re: ACCURATE T-TRACK on sabers and blasters

Grips look great!
If you're looking to be super accurate you need correct sidebars for your ANH and ESB Vader sabers too.

Mic - If you kept up with the threads you'd know the differences between this an previous t-track.
Saberfreak's is the closest real stuff ever found, but it still doesn't have the correct shape ridge and it's undersized all around.
 
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micdavis

Master Member
Re: ACCURATE T-TRACK on sabers and blasters

Thanks, Chris.

I just don't think it's too much to ask for an explanation. Not everyone reads every thread about every thing.

Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof in my book. But they are just saber grips. No big deal.
 
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Mr. Nagata

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Re: ACCURATE T-TRACK on sabers and blasters

Grips look great!

BTW, are those of us on the ground floor list supposed to tell you which saber version we need grips for? As I recall, I only posted "1 set sabers grips" in the JY thread and didn't get any more specific than that.
 

GINO

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Re: ACCURATE T-TRACK on sabers and blasters

...
 
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JediG60racer

Sr Member
Re: ACCURATE T-TRACK on sabers and blasters

I say it is correct, for some people that's good enough. For some people, I've earned a bit of credibility in their eyes when it comes to accurate pieces.
If it's not enough that's cool, they probably aren't familiar enough with my work. They can look into it for themselves and I'm confident that they'll end up on my same page.

If you do your own research, you wouldn't have to rely on my or anyone else's 'word'.

Based on your response to a simple question by totally avoiding a proper response, and based on my own research into how you conduct yourself on this board, I choose not to rely on you, your word, or your work. So yes - thanks for giving us the suggestion to move along! I certainly shall.
 

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lonepigeon

Sr Member
Re: ACCURATE T-TRACK on sabers and blasters

I'm going to be sending out a mass email to everyone asking for that info.
In hindsight, it would have made more sense and been easier to have asked for it in the beginning.
You said before that you were sending enough material to everyone to do any lightsaber and that they would be more than long enough to cut to any correct length. Simple enough and fair.
 

GINO

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Re: ACCURATE T-TRACK on sabers and blasters

You said before that you were sending enough material to everyone to do any lightsaber and that they would be more than long enough to cut to any correct length. Simple enough and fair.
Nevermind.
Going with original plan.
 
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GINO

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Re: ACCURATE T-TRACK on sabers and blasters

Based on your response to a simple question by totally avoiding a proper response, and based on my own research into how you conduct yourself on this board, I choose not to rely on you, your word, or your work. So yes - thanks for giving us the suggestion to move along! I certainly shall.
Next.

Anyway, for those who don't realize, Mic and I have 'history' so I apologize if the tone I took with him was offensive to any onlookers.
 

lonepigeon

Sr Member
Re: ACCURATE T-TRACK on sabers and blasters

I know, but after doing my grips from the samples, I realized just how much I underestimated the amout of waste that would cause.
I do still plan to give each grip extra length though.
Considering we all paid the same amount for lightsaber grips it's only fair to give everyone the same amount of material no matter what they plan to do with it.
 

micdavis

Master Member
Re: ACCURATE T-TRACK on sabers and blasters

Yes, "history".

I've asked simple questions and simply disagreed with some of Gino's opinions.

He chooses to see this as questioning what he seems to think is his ultimate authority on certain subjects.

Not once have I called him any sort of name, or made any derogatory comments about his work. Simple questions. That's all.

But let's just move along as suggested.
 
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