ANH Graflex Lightsaber build assistance

Discussion in 'Star Wars Costumes and Props' started by CHalcyon82, Sep 9, 2015.

  1. CHalcyon82

    CHalcyon82 New Member

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    Allow me to apologize in advance if I'm somehow violating forum rules here. I'm a new guy.

    Hi, I'm brand spanking new to this prop hobby and I've decided to build an ANH Graflex lightsaber in the future. I even gotten a hold of a vintage Graflex 3 Flash (unless it's not then oopsy)... but there's a slight issue. It arrived to me in less optimal condition than advertised. It has all kinds of scratches and scarring on it... which I actually like. I love how it ages it and makes it look like something that's been around for decades.

    What I don't like is the rust/corrosion/whatever-you-call-it that came along with it. The seller advertised a 'slight rust' issue. I disagree with his description but whatever. I'm hoping for any sort of advice/methods/miracles/oh-please-give-me-anything in handling the rust/corrosion/whatever-you-call-it. Is there any ways of getting rid of it? If so, what exactly will I need and how easy is it to find?

    I've taken some terrible images from my terrible camera to see if any visuals might assist in this request. If the images are too big, just let me know and I'll try to shrink them. Thanks in advance!
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2016
  2. Kevin Gossett

    Kevin Gossett Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Well, the good news is the the exterior rust will be covered by the clamp when it's put together. Whatever method you use to clean it up won't take away from the look after assembly
  3. Luke the Belter

    Luke the Belter Well-Known Member

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    The usual rust underneath the clamp which was too tight over some years of use.

    Heard something about baking soda to clean a Graflex.
  4. Serenity

    Serenity Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    It's been suggested before in other threads, but baking soda and vinegar did a good job of cleaning up Edraven99's Graflex found here. I recently did the same on one of my Graflexes and it worked well.

    It's not going to replace the missing plating, but it should help neutralize and remove the rust that's already on it.

    What stamping is on the bottom piece?
  5. CHalcyon82

    CHalcyon82 New Member

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    Thanks everyone who's already responded, I appreciate it!

    Yeah, I was grateful that the rust is concealable but I definitely was concerned about the condition of the item if I just let it go unchecked.

    I didn't know that, thanks!

    Here's going to be what will probably be the dumbest questions you've heard in a while... but how exactly did you use the baking soda and vinegar? Did you use tools (like a scrubbing brush or toothbrush) along with it? Or did you just pour the two items together in a container and placed the Graflex in or what? Does water come into play at all in this situation? Again, I know it's these are stupid questions but I am not afraid to admit my ignorance on these matters. I have no prior experience dealing with rust and how one would go about attacking/treating it.

    As for the stamp at the bottom of the flash, it took me a while to get a decent photo of it due to my amateur photographing skills but I hope this helps.
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2017
  6. Edraven99

    Edraven99 Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I actually created a bit of a paste by mixing the two together (add the vinegar slooowly and in small quantities at a time to the baking soda due to the chemical reaction - you'll see what I mean.... it's a messy process!)

    And then I used a nylon tube brush and used that along with the mixture to scrub it... I'm sure an old toothbrush would have worked just as well but I didn't have any I could spare on hand when I cleaned mine...

    Rinse with water, and voila!

    I've read about other cleaning techniques like soaking it in heated vinegar first and using aluminum foil to rub out dark spots, but this seemed to work for me with good results....
  7. Serenity

    Serenity Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I'm honestly not sure of the proportions, but I mixed it in a cup until it was a wet paste and applied it to the parts. For brushes, I used used both a firm kitchen brush to remove the built up stuff then a soft toothbrush to get the rest. Warm water to rinse, pat dry to check condition, then repeat as necessary. (I did have to repeat this a number of times, but it turned out OK in the end.)
  8. mugatu

    mugatu Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I'd take the rust as a good sign. I reiterate the white vinegar. I haven't tried the baking soda, but have heard good results come from that. I look forward to seeing your build.

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