ESB Bladed Stunt Graflex Lightsaber "The Core!"

thd9791

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Hi y'all

here's another project that's been in my mind and I finally have started to gather parts and brainstorm. I could use ALL the help I can get, and am really open to correction, critique and better ideas.

I did it once with a Canon flash, JB Welded Tractor bushing and some PVC pipe. Worked okay.

I then did it with a ROTJ Lightsaber blank made by Noah M (I forget his user name) and a blade/socket made by Halliwax as a favor. Worked pretty well, at least for photographs and light twirling.

I also accidentally figured out how a core was installed into the Vader ROTJ Magic of Myth Lightsaber. I'd like to bring those two projects together.

here are my past projects and plans for an Empire Strikes Back bladed stunt. I have no idea what to use for a blade either, so yea, I'm grumpy about that too.

Would this work?
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thd9791

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
I’m setting up a few pieces of this ahead of time, but this was a fluke today. Halliwax inspired me to go buy a golf club myself. Went through three stacks of them at a local thrift store and there were very few that had smooth shafts and were thick. I found a decent one (they’re all 99¢) and took it home.

I originally measured the clearance in the bulb retaining ring to be 19 mm. After a decent amount of eyeballing and comparing angles I guessed the ESB fencing blades to be around 16-18 mm wide.

This golf club is barely over 16 mm at its thickest point, and made of carbon fiber. I thought it was thicker, but the rubber handle was incredibly heavy duty. So the 16 mm before the handle stayed at 16 beneath it as well.
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I also was not a fan of how quickly it tapered, however it looked a bit different after cutting it down. Through Seth’s guide it looked like the blades were 3 and 1/3 or 1/2 Graflex flashes long., plus the height of the socket area. I casually measured that with something...
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It seems 1-3 mm too skinny, but that’s pretty small. Here in green is my guestimate and in red is the golf shaft.
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It will fit a 3/8 16 threaded rod with some bushing or filler

and that can be threaded down the socket into a core like a tang.
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I’m also amazed at how light this is. Makes me skeptical, but it’s a good option to explore. I can’t say anything about evidence of the OT though. Feels like with the core this will be incredibly bottom heavy.

It does look and feel pretty cool though :)
 

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Halliwax

Legendary Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Tom wicked!! I had to do the same thing, I had to use a razor blade and cut the handle off

You grabbed your clubs for a buck as well?! Crazy!

I know we can’t prove the clubs were used, but for what we need them for I think they are a cheap and easy solution!

Can’t wait to see where this goes!!
 

russellsch

Sr Member
The Thrift Store is a great place to get clubs. They're like $1. I've gone through a few of them over the years. It's a fun way to clear small rocks from the property (or least from the area where I'm at). I also whack bamboo shoots in the spring with them :lol:. I'll go the local driving range as well, once in a while.
I never would've thought of using them as a lightsaber blade though. Brilliant!
 

jts1031

Well-Known Member
The golf shafts are graphite and by the time you get them in a club, they've been trimmed down. The sizes tend to be pretty standard with the butt having a diameter of .600" and a length of 47", then it's cut to length, with the butt being trimmed. There are also three kinds of tips, one being tapered to .335", iron shafts at .355", and then a parallel tip at .370". The cheapest graphite shaft will be around $12. You'll also find different weights on shafts, measured in grams.
 

thd9791

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
The golf shafts are graphite and by the time you get them in a club, they've been trimmed down. The sizes tend to be pretty standard with the butt having a diameter of .600" and a length of 47", then it's cut to length, with the butt being trimmed. There are also three kinds of tips, one being tapered to .335", iron shafts at .355", and then a parallel tip at .370". The cheapest graphite shaft will be around $12. You'll also find different weights on shafts, measured in grams.
interesting! do you know why some of the metal ones look stepped and are much skinnier? It seemed at the thrift store there were metal stepped ones and then the smooth ones, probably graphite. I think were looking for rods around .7" or a bit less at the butt *facepalm
 

jts1031

Well-Known Member
interesting! do you know why some of the metal ones look stepped and are much skinnier? It seemed at the thrift store there were metal stepped ones and then the smooth ones, probably graphite. I think were looking for rods around .7" or a bit less at the butt *facepalm
The traditional style has been to have steps in steel shafts, which was first seen in the 1920s. It allows more control over the flexibility and kickpoint of the shaft doing it this way. That being said, there is a Project X Rifle shaft that has no steps and tapers straight, as well as KBS C-Taper shafts that are similar. In the 1970s, graphite was almost phased out because it wasn't very durable and there were limits to how well they could get it to perform. Once they started to add other materials to improve stability and durability in the 80s they really caught on.

Those of you wanting to remove grips, the easiest is to cut them off. And then the easiest way to get any grip tape off the shaft is to heat it with a propane torch for a bit. It'll remove easily at that point.
 

Halliwax

Legendary Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
The traditional style has been to have steps in steel shafts, which was first seen in the 1920s. It allows more control over the flexibility and kickpoint of the shaft doing it this way. That being said, there is a Project X Rifle shaft that has no steps and tapers straight, as well as KBS C-Taper shafts that are similar. In the 1970s, graphite was almost phased out because it wasn't very durable and there were limits to how well they could get it to perform. Once they started to add other materials to improve stability and durability in the 80s they really caught on.

Those of you wanting to remove grips, the easiest is to cut them off. And then the easiest way to get any grip tape off the shaft is to heat it with a propane torch for a bit. It'll remove easily at that point.
Sounds like you are a golfer? You sure do know a lot about clubs. What is your personal belief on wha though see in these photos and your club experience?
 

jts1031

Well-Known Member
Sounds like you are a golfer? You sure do know a lot about clubs. What is your personal belief on wha though see in these photos and your club experience?
I think they work fine for what you're using them for, but I'd certainly not want to use them for any type of dueling. They don't take well to strikes, and I've seen some of them snap just from the torque of a swing. They can splinter and cause injury that way. For that reason, I can't see them being used for filming. A dow rod would work so much better and be easier to source in my mind. But I know for Episode I they used aluminum painted rods wrapped in cellophane because the paint would chip and fly off during strikes, so I don't know to what lengths they'd go to just use what they had.
 

Halliwax

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I think they work fine for what you're using them for, but I'd certainly not want to use them for any type of dueling. They don't take well to strikes, and I've seen some of them snap just from the torque of a swing. They can splinter and cause injury that way. For that reason, I can't see them being used for filming. A dow rod would work so much better and be easier to source in my mind. But I know for Episode I they used aluminum painted rods wrapped in cellophane because the paint would chip and fly off during strikes, so I don't know to what lengths they'd go to just use what they had.
Thanks for the advice! Really appreciate it
 

thd9791

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
That golf club just didn't seem right for a Graflex. I had to hold it in my hands, cut it and wield it to really start to learn the shape it should be.

I learned about as much as I could from it, so I started playing around with it and sure enough.... it fit into a Kobold socket. Like the detachable internal socket you pop out of the top of a Kobold flash to make a droid caller.

My socket was sitting inside a Leitz flash on a custom saber. Well, the socket isn't very deep, so I drilled into the kobold socket and bakelite of the flash to sink it in deeper. The only drill bits I had were a tad too small, so I stuck a threaded rod down there instead, and jammed the blade over it.

The flash's bits weren't solid. the cylinder inside for the bulb/switches was hollow so I can to cut up some plastic bits as bushings and stick them in there too, so it's not perfectly straight ...but most of the parts are a tight fit. E6000 is holding this together, and will make this a good test or experiment off paper for my final graflex.

By the way, I got my graflex today in a package of blem sabers and Roman's was slightly smaller than a couple of my real flashes. About 1/3 of a mm. That was enough to make a perfectly snug fit for my core.
 

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thd9791

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Guys, Ski poles come in a few standard diameters. The largest one is exactly my guestimation of 18mm. Also, the shape matches much better: not tapering until at least 2/3 of the blade. Also, they come in aluminum, carbon fiber and fiberglass composite. Maybe, just maybe, they kept buying a shit ton of any ski pole they could find. i've contacted a company about raw aluminum poles and 1-2 folks about used ones.
 

thd9791

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
In the meantime, this is where that golf club went. Used some Green tape left over from that Yuma Stunt I did (you can see it lighting up in the background behind a new Romans MPP and Graflex)

This makes me more confident that we're on the right track. My oopsie was glueing the internal rod into the flash but not the blade, which vibrates. so it rattles every time its hit.

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