Alessandra's ANH, ESB, and ROTJ Luke Skywalker Lightsabers

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alessandra

Member
Hi! I joined these forums because they always come up when I look for anything related to building lightsabers! I have a bit of a crafty background, because my dad has always had a huge woodshop and has built most of the furniture in our house, and because I was a sculpture major in undergrad.

EDIT: I'll be keeping this first post updated with the current status of my project, so if it seems out of sync with the other posts, that's why.

I started out with a 3-cell ESB Graflex replica from Park Sabers, but I wasn't 100% satisfied with some small details that were missing. So first, I picked up a 2-cell Graflex flash for fairly cheap on eBay with the intention of replacing the main section and clamp of the replica flash, but then I was bummed that the 3-cell extension isn't real. So a bit later I saw a decent price on a "Buy It Now" 3-cell Graflex flash on eBay and got that as well.

The ESB Luke Lightsaber

I used the real 2-cell Graflex flash plus the replica 3-cell extension tube from Jeff Parks to make the ESB saber. It saved me the trouble of having to notch the grips and then drill and tap the screws on the handle, since all my tools are in storage. To start, I grabbed a circuit board from Blast-Tech, but then I contacted Bradley of Slothfurnace about his custom clamp boards and got one of those. His are the closest boards I've seen to a real HP-44 bus card connector - they have that slightly thin, offset trace that just makes it look so good! I've never liked the look of most of the other boards that are available out there, they look sort of chunky. EDIT: Now I've found out that the real board is probably somewhere between the Blast-Tech design and the Slothfurnace design, but I still like the Slothfurnace design better. I will keep an eye out for a real HP-44 bus card, but I'm quite happy with Sloth's card.

The ANH Luke Lightsaber

So through the saber-building process, I developed more of an affection for the ANH version Luke's lightsaber - I mean, that was the first lightsaber that I ever saw on-screen, and it holds a special place in my heart. So I used the 100% real Graflex flash for it.

First I ordered a 7-bubble strip from Blast-Tech. Then I ordered a pressure-cast 7-bubble replica strip from Philip at Rebelscum. And then I got a real Exactra 20 calculator and took the bubble strip out of that. There is no comparison, even between the Rebelscum strip (though I never got around to polishing the back after sanding it.

I got a set of 7 grips from Blast-Tech. I found a great Illustrator template for attaching the 7 grips to the extension tube - just waiting on all the parts to arrive! I prefer the Blast-Tech rubber grips to something like GINO's grips made of plastic, because I do intend to hold my saber and I think plastic grips would be uncomfortable, even though GINO's grips are more accurate.

Like the bubble strip, I started out with a D-ring and clip from Blast-Tech, but as you can see in the thread below, I'm still in the process of finding the right combination of Tandyleather D-ring and WBC Industries clip. I think I might go with just the WBC Industries clip + D-ring. I'm going to have a ton of excess D-rings when this is all over.

The ROTJ Luke Lightsaber (Rylo)

Not a ton to say about this one, I picked it up in the Junkyard recently and it's beautiful. So much better than I had expected - it's now my new favorite saber. It just feels good to hold, it has some real weight to it.

Where I am currently in this project

I'm currently waiting on my custom laser-etched plaque, and will be building an acrylic tri-level display stand for these over Christmas break, complete with a mirrored base. The other thing I am going to do is weight the ANH and ESB sabers so they have the same heft to them as the ROTJ saber. These additions will be internal and reversible, but will give them a better sense of weight and gravity as an object. I thought about just throwing some batteries in them (as they are camera flashes), but thought better of it.
 
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alessandra

Member
Re: Currently building the ANH and ESB version of Luke's Lightsaber

I hate to bump my own post, but I'm new to this and would love a little feedback on the electronics, if possible.

I've researched fairly exhaustively, and making a Graflex saber is a fairly simple project compared to most of the things going on here but for example - I've chosen a Crystal Focus Core, but were there any cards that I missed that might be a better option? How does it stack up against the Petit Crouton or other cards - if someone has tried several? Does it look like I have all the components I might need to make a functioning saber?

Sorry, I should have been a bit more specific on my original post. Thanks!
 
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Sym-Cha

Master Member
Re: Currently building the ANH and ESB version of Luke's Lightsaber

Hello there,

About your graflex ANH if you really want screen-accurate plastic grips not rubber GINO is the guy to seek out here at the rpf. Also the mylar strip is not needed to cover the brand name G R A F L E X nor is it used under the bubble strip. The D-ring is another story and though I do not claim my design to be screen-accurate it's close enough and easily made with the skills you mentioned :

http://www.therpf.com/f9/show-off-luke-anh-d-ring-clip-custom-made-hand-70121/

and in this thread my tutorial how to make the D-ring + Clip yourself :

http://www.therpf.com/f9/luke-anh-lightsaber-d-ring-103270/

Show us some results okay.

-Chaim

P.S. Mind you I'm not certain it is wise to advertise those prices and/or shops in the replica movie props thread those are allowed in The Junkyard only. Best to edit them before this thread is moved or closed down by the moderators.
 

alessandra

Member
Re: Currently building the ANH and ESB version of Luke's Lightsaber

Thank you for the advice! I've removed the prices!

I'm glad to hear about the mylar strip - I'm not a huge fan of the way it looks wrapped around the clamp. I'll post pictures once all my pieces come in and I get them both assembled!
 

alessandra

Member
Re: Currently building the ANH and ESB version of Luke's Lightsaber

So here's what I have so far.

The bottom-most ANH saber is still waiting on grips and a D-ring from Blast-Tech, and it is 100% vintage flash. You can see my 7 bubblestrip from Rebelscum, but I don't have fine enough sandpaper to finish sanding it down at the moment.

The next one up is the ESB saber and it's pretty much complete. The front portion and the clamp are vintage Graflex flash, the 3-cell extension unfortunately, is a Parks replica. I figure while there's small tells on the can, it matters the least of all three pieces and is not worth buying another 3-cell flash. I'll keep an eye out for 3-cell extension tubes, but I think those are fairly rare. I think the stamp on the bottom on an original Graflex is a tiny bit more depressed, though the lettering looks identical on both the replica and original, which I know used to be a difference.

Then there's the extra parts from a 2-cell Graflex that I got so I could swap parts to get the best condition parts (a few of my parts were a bit more beat-up than I thought they would be), and the very top is my Parks Saber ESB.

I'll post nice photos of the two final sabers when my parts arrive.

EDIT: Sloth did have one more 13-trace clampcard circuit left! It's in the mail now - I'm so excited!
 
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alessandra

Member
Re: Currently building the ANH and ESB version of Luke's Lightsaber

Nope, I live in the US in Boston, Massachusetts. Why do you ask?
 

parfaitelumiere

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Re: Currently building the ANH and ESB version of Luke's Lightsaber

There was a word in french,in your first post, that's why!
I would recomment you some french forums,if you would be french.

But if you live in USA,it' really easier for lightsabers!

about soundboard,if you want to save place and money,you can use some used FX boards,you can find them for a couple of bucks.
if you find some "yoda" boards,they are really small.

I'm trying to make a OB1 ep IV with electronics,and looking like a "real" lightsaber,including crystal,energy cell,and no visible electric wires....

On your both graflex,the main problem will be the holder for a 1" blade,because of the electric brass pins on original graflex,you can't keep them,or you have to shorten.
other difficult thing is to remove the pin for the "ears",it's hard to remove it without damages,you can buy other pin to replace it!
but I'm quite sure it's possible to remove the black bulb holder without removing the pin,because the black part is made of 3 parts,one removable from the front,other from the back(inside)
you will have to grind some parts inside(contactors)
otherwise it's quite easy to make full electronic graflex saber.
 

alessandra

Member
Re: Currently building the ANH and ESB version of Luke's Lightsaber

parfaitelumiere,

Where can I find some extra pins for the bulb holder? I did damage one of mine down the the brass in some areas and I'd love to have a replacement/backup.

Thanks!

And thanks for the tip, Chaim!
 
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teecrooz

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Re: Currently building the ANH and ESB version of Luke's Lightsaber

I'd look here for pins:

Graflex

I haven't ordered any parts from here yet, but many other members have.
 

alessandra

Member
Re: Currently building the ANH and ESB version of Luke's Lightsaber

Oh, sorry, I didn't mean the sync pins, but the little pin that holds the "rabbit ear" bulb holder in place (or you know, the "blade emitter/stabilizer"). I've actually had decent luck with the sync pins very carefully using needle-nose pliers. I don't want to have to remove them a lot though! ^_^
 

teecrooz

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Re: Currently building the ANH and ESB version of Luke's Lightsaber

I don't know of anyone that sells that part by itself, but I've seen members make replacements out of various nails or rivets.
 

alessandra

Member
Re: Currently building the ANH and ESB version of Luke's Lightsaber

other difficult thing is to remove the pin for the "ears",it's hard to remove it without damages,you can buy other pin to replace it!
This is what I meant. I guess maybe he meant just go to a hardware store and find one that fits. They're probably not too hard to find.

Thanks! Yeah, I don't think of "sans" as a French word - I know it is, but it actually is an English word as well (though derived from the French word!) that means the same thing. I think it's just used often enough that I don't think about its origins. Like when people say "gesundheit" instead of "bless you" when someone sneezes. ^_^
 

Sym-Cha

Master Member
Re: Currently building the ANH and ESB version of Luke's Lightsaber

Hi Alessandra,

I damaged some of my 'rabbit holder pins' too but as long as they work I leave them on, since those are the real vintage graflex parts and a little ding, dent or scratch adds to the character of used-future look of your real parts lightsaber :)

-Chaim
 

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parfaitelumiere

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Re: Currently building the ANH and ESB version of Luke's Lightsaber

About the pins,seems it's hard to find!
I was knifemaker,so it's not hard to make new one from stainless steel wire,but you can find some existing material looking similar.
 

alessandra

Member
Re: Currently building the ANH and ESB version of Luke's Lightsaber

Thanks to Tarkin, I have found these D-rings for my ANH saber. He says Tandyleather makes the accurate D-ring and WB Industries makes the proper clip.

#1 [in picture] is the Tandyleather D-ring I have to confirm with him that that's the D-ring he's talking about, but it's the only one I could find that was close on their site.

#2 [in picture] this D-ring looks good to me, and I can confirm the gauge of wire as 11 (3.06070mm). The next clip to the right [unnumbered] is gauge 12 (2.67970mm). Maybe I have the wrong D-ring selected in #1 from Tandyleather, but to me #2 looks a bit better.

#3 [in picture] is what I think is the accurate clip. I like the shorter look of it.

I'm wondering if I get #2 and #3, or #1 and #3, if I'll end up with a fairly accurate D-ring for my saber? Which combination do you think looks better?

Also, second picture attached is the replica clampcard I got for my ESB saber. The photo is not mine, but it shows the clampcard from the site/person I ordered it from. And then there's a photo of a real HP-44 bus card for comparison.
 
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Sym-Cha

Master Member
Re: Currently building the ANH and ESB version of Luke's Lightsaber

#2 D has the correct roundness to it. The clip in #3 could well be used for Luke ANH lightsaber.

Slothfurnace and I designed that ESB card using that picture from the partsofsw website but then after his run was made, we were corrected by the more knowledgeable members here that the HP-44 bus card on the partsofsw website was not the exact same type of card as used on screen. The fingers that are also supposed to be golden need to be more square not rounded and the thinner silver lines could be a bit bigger and in the center not off-center as it is now however it's the best custom produced ESB card ever made by a member here.

-Chaim
 

alessandra

Member
Re: Currently building the ANH and ESB version of Luke's Lightsaber

Thanks so much for all your help, Sym-Cha!

Do you think the gauge 11 (3.06070mm) or gauge 12 (2.67970mm) would be more accurate?

EDIT: According to that bit about the clampcard - it sounds like the Blast-Tech board I have might be a bit closer to accurate! The real board is probably somewhere in between, I guess. Anyhow, I like the Slothfurnace one better, but I'll have a lot of interchangeable parts for both my sabers. ^_^
 
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Sym-Cha

Master Member
Re: Currently building the ANH and ESB version of Luke's Lightsaber

My custom-designed D is about gauge 12 and as round as the #2 you posted here.

-Chaim
 

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