ESB Bladed Stunt Graflex Lightsaber "The Core!"

Discussion in 'Star Wars Costumes and Props' started by thd9791, Dec 27, 2018.

  1. halliwax

    halliwax Legendary Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Tom, I’m not one to swear... but that looks f’n awesome!!
     
  2. thd9791

    thd9791 Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    thank you!

    The board is a Heald product, and there are quite a few out there. Expensive though. I chose one with literally no components on it and it was like 30-40 bucks. Some are listed over 200. :(
     
  3. thd9791

    thd9791 Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I have a question for the machinists out there

    I found a possible option for blade attachment. The DV6 seems to have a smooth shaft sticking out of the emitter. I could use one of these for blade tang.
    single end stud.png

    It's a single end stud.

    Now, the Ski poles are pretty thin walled. There isn't much meat to tap a set screw.... How can someone mechanically attach a thin walled pipe over a smooth stud? Any ideas?
     
  4. kurtyboy

    kurtyboy Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    JB Weld, and/or press fit?
     
  5. halliwax

    halliwax Legendary Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Your wrapping the pole in scotchlite right?

    I would take 3/8-16 bolt, cut the head off

    Then sand the bolt until it fits inside the ski pole

    If it’s lose, I would drill and tap a 3mm grub screw it in

    Since the pole is covered in scotchlite your not going to see the screw, and this will allow you to screw/unscrew the ski pole into the flash core
     
  6. vadermania

    vadermania Well-Known Member

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    I had a piece of round aluminum stock press fit into my ski pole. No grub screw, but I actually never duelled with that setup, only wallhangin' and mild swinging.
     
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  7. thd9791

    thd9791 Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Here’s some more material for the discussion. Got the new ski poles. They are Series 2 shafts, and called Scott Signature.
    2F754648-314C-4551-B793-5F0DD7849433.jpeg DC1E05F2-ED9C-491C-8F75-E933AD78E757.jpeg 098846A2-E3A7-4F1A-AB9A-35137AE943D1.jpeg
    Scott makes a lot of weirdly named styles, as do other brands. For example the first accurately thick kind I found were called stovepipe or something.

    Here are the dimensions.
    75809D37-0082-4960-99D3-4D61603DEB8E.jpeg D1E524CC-3E18-4F5E-B64E-BA679356ABA3.jpeg 22908B60-1255-44A1-98F4-3B2B5DC20177.jpeg
    I think the 15 or so mm inside translates to near 5/8 which will make it easier finding a spacer. In order to thread this on I need to tighten the pole to the spacer so they both will spin together. Wall thickness is 1.87 mm to tap a set screw in

    Looks decent on a graflex, but I think some blades might have been thicker? I’m mulling this over. I like where it tapers.
    D608FC23-E6FB-487A-8BEF-03B6F1945068.jpeg 70463A41-C5AE-4909-BEC3-27F0F81ED5AB.jpeg
    I also tried my hand at notching grips without a dremel, using a bastard file, saw, and calipers as a guide. I’m cleaning them up with a dremel before I drill them out, the file was rough on them Epoxy? 3m mounting tape? E6000? That last one takes like 24 hours to cure but it’s stronger, what do you use?
    B2854FB5-9169-4C19-9113-7F1DDE3CA182.jpeg FF2007AE-C559-4B10-A674-E711BAD8C2D5.jpeg
     

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  8. ALLEY

    ALLEY Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Not to take things off of the rails on this thread, but I still go back to military antenna, like the following, as the most likely source for the ESB / ROTJ blades:

    F180852A-47C5-4071-A2D1-228FDAD342FA.jpeg

    Once painted with reflective paint, these antennas would have the correct shape of the blades that were used.

    Added to this, these antenna should be far tougher than ski poles. Again, growing up in Colorado, we lightsabered with old ski poles all the time as kids and they typically stood up to about 30 minutes of dueling without deforming. If they used ski poles in ESB / ROTJ, they would have to have had a ton of them on hand each day as Hamill chopped wood with them. None of the behind the scenes photos show the deformed blades that I would expect if ski poles were used.

    Anyway, just my thoughts.
     
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  9. halliwax

    halliwax Legendary Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Can you get us the outside diameter of that antenna?

    And where can we find them eBay?

    Any more information on finding the exact match you have would be awesome
     
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  10. ALLEY

    ALLEY Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I’m on it. I’ll follow-up as soon as I have one in-hand.

    The example, above is 48” in length and approximately a thumb width in diameter at it’s widest point, according to this picture (I did not take this pic and these are not my fingers):

    A5F895F3-3A3F-4E67-A54E-6072EE2E0608.jpeg

    Please also note that the core of the antenna is otherwise solid with a threaded area on the bottom.
     
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  11. halliwax

    halliwax Legendary Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I like it tom. I always cut the track with the same “doll house” knife

    If you look at the ranch saber you can see where the actually dug into the tracks side profile

    Real rush job
     
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  12. halliwax

    halliwax Legendary Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Bless you, I can find them on eBay. But can’t lock in how old they are.. it’s just too random
     
  13. thd9791

    thd9791 Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Yes please more info!

    I’ve never seen an antenna that didn’t taper until the end and that was thick enough (a bit smaller than the bunny ear ring)

    That one you posted seems to taper right off the bat though

    I am downvoting aluminum ski poles for screen accuracy based on the lack of bent blades and the whack noise. Maybe they were composite

    But antenna elements? I’m intrigued:)
     
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  14. ALLEY

    ALLEY Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    The antenna I posted is actually the MIDDLE section of the entire antenna assembly and seems to be just about right.
     
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  15. kurtyboy

    kurtyboy Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I'm going to try a ski pole next. The golf clubs are just too thin.

    It's ANH (non-spinning) I'm doing though, so wood might be okay.
     
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  16. vadermania

    vadermania Well-Known Member

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    I'm completely with you. Military surplus antennas or tank antennas do make sense to me, I've seen images of different examples with screen accurate taper from the base to the tip and also with a threaded rod sticking out of the base end. I just don't buy the WW2 tank antenna Steve Sansweet is referring to in that video from his Vader lightsaber.
    Also, I have never noticed a bent stunt lightsaber blade in behind the scenes footage from ESB and ROTJ, which rules out aluminum stunt blades for me. From the numerous black markings seen on the stunt blades from ESB and ROTJ it is my impression that they can withstand a hell lot of beating.
     
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  17. thd9791

    thd9791 Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    So, I thought I would be slick and CA/superglue track on temporarily, drill them out, and put e6000 on when they popped off. I learned the CA glue trick from a Star Trek Phaser kit Anakin Starkiller encouraged me to build once.

    Everything was working out well. Until the screws I had .. basically these but with a more accurate head..
    screw.jpg

    They wouldn't screw into the flash bottom. I know they're not self-tapping technically, but I thought they were similar to Roy's screws. Maybe I didn't force them hard enough, but what I ended up doing was widening the holes little by little... and then they popped through. I feel like this was a pretty rookie mistake. Roman's bottom looked a tad thicker than the real flashes I've drilled. Maybe I should have tapped a machine screw... but I remember doing the exactra screws with no problem.

    regardless, I swabbed putty in the holes... but the holes were so exact there was no room for putty and it just pushed through. Then I used E6000 in the screw holes and under the track. Should be good for now..

    Also, that superglue I used as prop-makers trick for temporary hold.... dripped onto the clamp. and I superglued the clamp bars to the clamp! What! Anyway, that was yesterday. Today I'm going to check the silicone glue and clean the CA glue off of everything.

    I may have a good idea for blade retention coming soon. I found carriage bolts that were not the standard shiny ones.
     
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  18. halliwax

    halliwax Legendary Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I’ve seen people use heat guns to get super glue off Tom
     
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  19. Hansumgi

    Hansumgi New Member

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    I Understand that acetone unsticks superglue, though I've not tried it. New here looking into stunt blades, Those antenna look good. I'm picking up a one piece fishing rod tomorrow that I was thinking of using. I'll let yous all know what it's like if you want?
     
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  20. thd9791

    thd9791 Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Absolutely! I'd love to hear how fishing rods pan out.

    Acetone and plastic cutlery got the super glue off.
    20190208_220619.jpg
    The E6000 is holding the grips and screws in place, since I had to open up the holes instead of the screws tapping themselves :(
    20190208_220558.jpg
    eh, it's a hell of a glue, so I think were good. I always prefer hardware attachments but Halliqwaxes tip on this glue has changed my mind.
    20190208_220423.jpg
    This is the dull grey skinny cast carriage bolt. I sliced the head off (has a dome and a square shoulder) and coarse thread I think... had to screw it in with pliers, but it IS 3/8 16. I think. I swear lol

    Instead of finding a bushing, my girlfriend and I decided to DRILL OUT a 4.25 inch piece of aluminum. We got a drill press vice just for this, and had to drill from both ends. Jesus christ, the guys at my metal supplier asked if I had access to a lathe... and I said I have a small drill press? They laughed. I did it, nearly centered, and I'm never doing this again without better equipment. I am proud however. I used wd 40 and stopped when it started smoking. My finger shows how long the bushing is.
    20190208_220441.jpg 20190208_220517.jpg
    I will eventually tap 2 or 3 set screws along the shaft, and I took a pair of pliers and hammered this into place. Vadermania is right, ski poles are a hair smaller than 5/8 or whatever, so the spacer can be press fit into place.
    20190208_220359.jpg
    The hilt is pretty hefty and very pleasing to hold. The plastic track is great. My Hero ESB has painted Malaysian track and the paint didn't quite cure so I hate holding it. I may decorate another bottom for it, and figure out my screw problem.. for the life of me I've never had screws refuse to twist into a graflex

    20190208_220309.jpg 20190208_220700.jpg 20190208_220723.jpg
     
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  21. thd9791

    thd9791 Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I also haven a few ski poles that I'm not using if anyone wants to experiment.
     
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  22. halliwax

    halliwax Legendary Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Tom I’m so proud of ya man!! Great work!!

    Hey here’s a screw trick for ya! You can remove the screws. Then find a wooden dowel

    Sand the wooden dowel until it fits inside the bottom tube of the graflex, stand the tube on its end , and the dowel beside it

    Mark the dowel just 1/4” or so higher then where the screws are on the graflex

    Cut the dowel, then put that wooden “disc” now in the bottom of the graflex. The screws will now screw into the wood, locking them in place

    Of course you don’t have to do this because the e6000 works amazing

    But if you want a true mechanical attachment that is a option for you

    The screws roy supply’s with his kit isn’t a machine screw, nor do I have taps for that. Those screws are more for wood or plastic

    So I always drill a very small hole in the graflex and screw his screws into that. I forgot what exact bit I use, but it’s very tiny

    I wouldn’t stress it though man, that stuff will hold car panels together!!
     
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  23. thd9791

    thd9791 Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Thats a great tip! Actually I may do that for the next saber bottom I do. You're right though, thanks for the reassurance on this glue, if it holds car panels together this will be just fine :)

    I may go back to using a threaded rod. it fits in the hole I drilled better than this cast bolt.
     
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  24. halliwax

    halliwax Legendary Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I have faith in ya!
     
  25. Hansumgi

    Hansumgi New Member

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    Glad the acetone did the job. As Halliwax says heat also decomposes superglue (I think it starts about 100 C) but also melts plastic so it's good to know both methods. Got me fishing rod & also managed to get a graphite shafted golfclub for £2 at a charity shop.

    rod1.JPG
    club1.JPG club2.JPG

    The rod is not as one piece as I thought as it is a push fit into the handle. here it is sans foam grip. handle section is 16mm od carbon fiber. rod is 14mm at base, again a woven carbon fiber - 6mm at the tip & about 8mm at 36". It's much more flexible than the club shaft as you might have guessed. feels like it may be more resistant to strikes but I'm not after a combat blade.

    rod2.JPG rod3.JPG

    Club has yielded as 36" blade 15mm at the base 8.8mm at the tip. It's much more like what I was after. Both are very light. From the research I've been doing it's very close dim's wise to ANH stunt graflex or will be once the scotchlite is on it. So close I think it stands a chance of being what was used in the film though I know this is a very controversial subject. It was actually looking for more info on the mythical triangular blade that brought me to RPF.
    If you are still dead set on ski poles I remembered I have a pair of Komerdell carv juniors I bought for a dif project (charity shop again) 1.25m long 18mm od 'aircraft' (aluminium) alloy ? I looked them up on fleabay & they're about £12-15 new the pair. I would think they're available in the USA too.

    ski pole1.JPG skipole2.JPG skipole3.JPG skipole4.JPG skipole5.JPG

    Another thing I remembered that might be of use for combat is fiberglass ramrods (muzzle loading guns). I bought some way back from Dixie gunworks ( Canada if I recall correctly) I have 3/8 & 1/2" diam x 49" long but straight not tapered, can't recall if they did 5/8. These are very flexible & strong but return to straight well. For the mo I think I'll be sticking (pun not intended) to golf clubs as they're cheap & readily available & may well be pukka for ANH. Don't know when I'll get around to making any of this up, it was only at xmas that I decided I'd get myself a LS. I now have 5, the last one a solo's hold v2 which is the one that has really given me the bug bad. I'm looking to build a motorised ANH graflex stunt. (last pic didn't go full size for some reason - thumbnail below)
     

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  26. thd9791

    thd9791 Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Whoa thats an awesome amount of information, thank you!

    I compare diameters to the Graflex bulb ring, and I use those large Black and White photos Scottjua posted of the Bespin, wampa, and other ESB scenes. Golf shafts looked a bit too skinny to me.

    Ski poles are (so far) the only things that have a matching shape. Smooth straight shaft until a taper near the last 1/4 of the rod. Though I will say some rods from Jedi are different shapes and lengths.

    Good eye on those poles - they look like good candidates!

    Again, my doubts on aluminum since there aren't any pictures of bent blades, but they're the best candidates in my opinion
     
  27. thd9791

    thd9791 Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Going to take more beauty shots soon, but I shortened the blade, finished the end and drilled/tapped three set screws along the adapter. I opted to use a threaded rod
    ESBBlade.jpg
     
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  28. halliwax

    halliwax Legendary Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Wicked!!!
     
  29. thd9791

    thd9791 Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Okay here of some beauty shots of the raw piece.

    Here is the spacer I made with a drill press, it’s like 4 inches long. I actually hammered it in deeper and sliced the rod shorter.
    8DEEF038-40B7-4E54-9ED0-0A699B776F99.jpeg DA4C57EA-C02C-4AF8-B433-0B25A27D75B7.jpeg
    Once I metal filed it all smooth, I installed 3 set screws and made dimples in a steel threaded rod. The last set screw drifted a little bit...
    CAAC5E55-B325-47DB-877E-1A248C293638.jpeg E7E01DAD-36EF-43E0-AE6D-BCC1E63FCDE5.jpeg
    E8E67E71-DA9F-4C4B-B33D-E42002BEB0B1.jpeg
    I did a lot of measuring. I used a found part, this weird brass plate that had countersink screws on it, as a washer to protect the plastic socket, just in case. I dusted it black with grill paint.
    E2A3537D-A29B-4984-AF8B-D22A2B2442C2.jpeg D29B32C4-256E-4112-AD20-87619B473DC1.jpeg
    Now the rod is stuck into the ski pole and I can twist it into the Graflex. It’s almost 3.5 Graflexes long which is a bit longer than I had anticipated.

    9AD8D2B9-2112-42D3-8DB8-C59263B4060C.jpeg 0539B5BC-37F1-4490-B5F4-B77B29BC7545.jpeg 25F98A7A-8CB6-4A2A-9B46-CB160EE7FB73.jpeg CAAC5E55-B325-47DB-877E-1A248C293638.jpeg 2CBE16AF-8D26-46CF-9D63-579B67666E62.jpeg
     

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  30. halliwax

    halliwax Legendary Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    This is freak’n awesome! I love how you can remove the blade
     
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  31. thd9791

    thd9791 Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Me too, in my head that would have been the best option for the folks on set, replacing blades all the time. unfortunately, the only two bladed ones out there have the rods hacksawed off.

    I take that back, the mystery (maybe ANH Era) Tube Graflex from that video with Roger C does have the core with bolts that comes out. That's an old core in there too, the loose core/blade they picked up had to be newer.
     
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  32. halliwax

    halliwax Legendary Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Tom question for ya. Your 3 visible Allen screws in your build. I can see the one near the beer table and the one on the Control Box side of the graflex in the dagobah pic, but the one on the opposite side, I can’t see any pics with that Allen bolt

    Was that taken at your own liberty or do you have a photo of that Allen bolt location?
     
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  33. thd9791

    thd9791 Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I actually don't. I used the Core in the Roger C video as a guide, because it had the same diagonal pattern of bolts, and I think they were on both sides.

    I just transferred the logic over, that theyd probably mirror the pattern . Even though, as we found out, one bolt does the trick!
     
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  34. halliwax

    halliwax Legendary Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Dude Tom!! That’s genius thinking!!!
     
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  35. thd9791

    thd9791 Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Thank you!

    If we ever get more documentation about how they secured the blades in the core, I may make a second one or make a tube stunt as a practice one
     
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  36. halliwax

    halliwax Legendary Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Because of you, you’ve made me a stunt nut... never been interested in the stunts until I started hanging with you ;)
     
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  37. thd9791

    thd9791 Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I've had to explain this to people at work. Even though it's not the shiny version you see in toys and magazines.. the stunts are what you're looking at for most of the action. It's what your brain registers, and they're decorated to trick you into believing it's the Hero prop. It's the bread and butter of movie magic and being able to hold the correctly weighted stunt, swing it around and disassemble it, makes me feel like I'm part of creating that magic. A peek behind the curtain.
     
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  38. thd9791

    thd9791 Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I wanted to post these to my thread too.
    James Kenobi 1138 made great scans of the "making of" book and these are what I'm basing my blade research off of.
    ESBstuntduel2.jpg ESBVLbladesjpg.jpg ESBStuntduel.jpg ESBstuntduel1.jpg
     
  39. Hansumgi

    Hansumgi New Member

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    I'm basing my measures on these pic's & I mean measurements & not guestimates (remember I'm on ANH).

    Screenshot_2019-02-04_13-32-44.png Screenshot_2019-02-04_13-30-55.png sabers-vi.jpg
    As we know actual dim's for a graflex tube (or whatever fits in a graflex clamp) as well as the length of same clamp we can use this to calculate the blade dim's. Works like this: measure the tube width (aka diam) in mm with a ruler on the picture, we know the real diam is 38mm so if you divide the picture measurement by 38 this gives a scale factor. Next measure the width of the blade (base) in mm on the pic same way as you did before. If you now divide this new measure by the scale factor you find out what the actual blade width ( diam ) is. Simple... using this method I get blade dims of; 15.7mm for the 1st pic; 16.5mm for the 2nd & 15.7 for the 3rd. The 2nd pic also yields length of 936mm (36.8") & tip diam of 8.8mm (oh yes & is clearly tapered all the way). Given that the reflective material is adding to diam (by app 1mm?) gives cores in the region of 14.7 - 15.5mm. (5/8" is 15.6mm) Remarkably close to the size of my (modern) golf stick...
     
  40. thd9791

    thd9791 Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    That seems to work for the square dowels from ANH..

    I'll do that here for the ESB Blades, rounding for now

    14mm tube in a blown up picture with Luke facing the camera, saber pointed up

    38mm real life tube.

    .368 scale factor

    7.3 mm blade base in same picture, at same % zoom

    divided by the scale factor comes out to 19.83 mm

    Pretty close.

    I'll agree, my ski pole still looks a bit too thin at 18.3 mm. Seems we're closer to understanding the blades.
     
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  41. Hansumgi

    Hansumgi New Member

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    Just done my own measures and agree with you - I'm getting 18.5 - 20mm for your 1st two ref pics, blade length 32" from 1st pic but that's being held at an angle. I disagree 100% on available ref's ANH having square, triangular or anything other than round section. I'm not saying they were never made just there is no pictorial evidence of them. The light/shade on my 1st ref pic in particular shows it is round. I also have to disagree with your ESB blades having ski pole straight to taper profile. Holding a straight edge/rule very close to luke's blade in your 1st ref, if a ski pole type, there should be a distinct 'kink' where the taper starts but all I see is a constant gap full length, which says to me, constant taper. I can see in the colour pic that luke's blade does look very ski polely particularly as there is a highlight from mid blade to tip on the underside but the straight edge test, particularly on the upper side, shows constant taper. Of course these blades may be in motion & or in contact & flexing...
    just straight edge checked again on all your ref pic's & getting full length taper on luke & DV's blades in all of them. :/
     
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  42. vader45

    vader45 Sr Member

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    This is a very unique build thread. I never seen any one else build any stunt sabers from ESB.
     
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  43. halliwax

    halliwax Legendary Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Tom’s the stunt guy, he’s done many stunts. I love all his stunt builds

    He’s totally right when he mentions that the the stunts are what real lightsabers are..
     
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  44. Hansumgi

    Hansumgi New Member

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    I agree, the 1" polycab blades with LED's just weren't cutting it for me. I also have an idea for possibly using a laser for an internally illuminated blade but I want to get the golf cub one finished first so that may be a long time coming.
     
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  45. thd9791

    thd9791 Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I remember fawning over "plasma" blade lightsaber in the 90s. They had a glass tube and were very fragile
     
  46. Hansumgi

    Hansumgi New Member

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    Here's another possible for you. Fishing poles - not rods. I don't know if they're a thing in the US but have been getting more popular in the UK since the 80's (from continental Europe). They can get to 8m+ & come in sections & you can buy replacement sections. I inquired of a UK fleabay seller a couple of days ago who had two Shimano (brand) No 2 sections for sale. They're carbon fiber (not graphite). No 2 section is the next one down from the tip. The dims he sent me are ;
    The PWEVKIT2 is 19 mm at the outside thick end and approx 124.3cm in length.
    The PEVKIT2 is also 19mm and approx 138cm in length.
    I would have bought them but he put the price up directly after my inquiry which irked me & they have since sold.
    Given our calculated measures are around 19mm I'm thinking the original is likely to be commercially made 3/4" stock of some sort (3/4" is 19.05mm). More choice & thicker than ski poles.
     
  47. jorged123

    jorged123 Member

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    I just looked up 3/4" 316 (marine grade) stainless tubing on amazon and it was like 50USD for a single 72" length. You'd need a cap or plug welded, if you wanted a top. I think it'd take some abuse, but would probably dent and possibly bend with strong contact. *edit* It might be cheaper to go with the 304 grade, but it might corrode easier. *end edit*
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2019 at 7:09 AM
  48. thd9791

    thd9791 Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    now, thats interesting! You're right, that would broaden the options immensely. another rabbit hole to go down :D
     
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  49. halliwax

    halliwax Legendary Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Here we go again! Lol
     
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  50. thd9791

    thd9791 Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I'm definitely putting Reflexite on this ski pole. Once we get more accurate blades, I can set another threaded rod inside and use scotchlite fabric

    I'm trying to re-orient the tape. the tip of the ski pole is so skinny the tape peels off
     
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