I bought a lathe to make Vader tusks...and made a lightsaber instead.

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bookface

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
But I almost immediately started making a lightsaber :lol:

I've always liked the Luke stunt saber from ROTJ, rather than the V2 that everyone seems to go nuts over, so I thought I'd have a go at that. I have a resin eFX saber that I used for basic measurements although I imagine when it comes to doing a final version (because obviously first attempt isn't going to acceptable to any kind of SW nerd) I will probably use a combo of the resin saber and reference pics.

Now, I bought a lathe that was described as being 300mm between centres, and quickly found that once you add a live centre to hold longer work or a drill chuck that is reduced appreciably. Never mind, I never intended to do the whole thing in one go. I've had to make some of the tooling myself from high speed steel for the handle grooves, but I'm finding it fun. Here's where I'm at so far. More coming over the holidays!

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eethan

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
that's a very nice start for a first time with a lathe. I want to buy one too and I hope I'll manage too.
Good luck for the discovery and don't hesitate to share more!
 

Bradberry00

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Interested in some super accurate ANH Vader tusks when you are done mucking around with this lightsaber.....:lol::lol::lol:

Just messing around, nice start!
 

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PoopaPapaPalps

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
I wanna make tusks for my Rubies mod but I can't find decent straight knurling tools to fit my mini-lathe. Looking forward to what you come up with.
 

xl97

Master Member
Fun facts..


1.) Buy the biggest lathe you can afford and have space for! The extra you add to do specific tasks will eat up your usable space fast (as noted above)..

tail stock, end rests., follow rests......boring bars..etc.. 1 cut your workable area down considerably.


2.) Plan on spending DOUBLE on tooling and extras/add-ons then what your lathe cost you!...


IMHO..... the HarborFeight 7x lathes are not worth much of anything.. unless you plan on doing very small/short parts..

While it extremely overpriced now (used to be WAAAAAAAY cheaper) their 8x12(14) version is (again IMHO the most entry level lathe anyone should spend their money on)..

Its a lot more rigid/heavier than the 7x's..


I consider the 8x still a hobby/benchtop version..

here is a comparison pic of the two:

figNoggle_hf8x12_massive.jpg
 

bookface

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
^^^^^^

All of that. I suspect that while mine didn't come from Harbor Freight (we don't have them here), it's probably exactly the same lathe manufactured in China and re-badged for whichever store sells them locally. I got the 7x12 as the next size up (8x20) was 2.5 times the price. It does OK. The tusks are absolutely fine, the lightsaber was kind of a bear. I'd never try and produce them for sale on this lathe, it's just not up to it. On the other hand, it's better than no lathe at all, and if you're prepared to take your time then you can produce some good work.
 

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bookface

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
How'd you end up doing your pommel?

Fortunately I already had a mill drill so I lathed the basic shape and used an 8mm end mill bit to cut out the cubes. They're not quite right though, will need some thought on how to accurately get them to taper slightly.
 

Halliwax

Legendary Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Really nice job bookface! I have yet to get a successful part with my mink lathe..

Always regret buying the small one, with all the upgrades I have to it, I could have a real one on my bench.

Lesson learned
 

xl97

Master Member
When I was new/in the market..

I was very much suprised on how smal the 7x lathes really are in real life..


The 7x10 are literally not much bigger than a shoe box (with more height of course)...... in mind all these machines were so big..

I suggest to anyone who has a HarborFreight in their area to do a 'stop-by' and checkout the lathes that have on the show room floor (usually only 1 7x lathe is out.. most of the time [for me] its the 7x10 version).. but it gives you an idea on space you'll need...etc..etc

As far as 'upgrades'.. most ALL lathes get upgrades as soon as they make it home to the bench! LOL

I got an INSANELY great deal on my 8x14 lathe..

back then it was NOT listed for $999.99 it was around $699 or so...

but I was talking an on-line friend.. who was also in the market for a lathe who told me that the 8x14's at HF were on sale for $399.. but not 'advertised' (which I thought was either odd.. or just not true).

Sure enough I stop at my local HF.. and ask on the price.. it was listed for $399... I used an additional 20% coupon as well..

IMHO.. a complete 'steal' compared the $999 price tag it has now.. for the same machine. (not one thing has changed on it)

Also.. the HF 8x14 is the same exact lathe (but red) that Lathemaster has sold for years..
 

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Shoot2Thrill468

Active Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
I wanna make tusks for my Rubies mod but I can't find decent straight knurling tools to fit my mini-lathe. Looking forward to what you come up with.


If you need a knurler for the mini lathe I recommend the scissor type. Much better, especially for the minis, since they don't apply the pressure to the compound. Then just get the set of wheels you need. I'd recommend either of these though the one from LMS was designed by them FOR the mini lathe specifically. And the "deluxe" version comes with multiple sizes of both straight and diamond knurls. I plan on ordering one when they're back in stock.


 

Ridire Firean

Sr Member
Hey bookface ! Your lightsaber turned out GREAT! Congratulations on your first self-turned hilt! Good Luck on all the hilts to follow!



Hey Gang! I just clicked on the Baileigh lathe link in the ad that keeps popping up and found it interesting that their model number in the description is PL-1022VS, yet the model number on the lathe in the photos is BENCH LATHE CQ0625V. Even more interesting is that they want $2395.00 for it PLUS at least $331.32 for shipping! The CQ0625V is on Alibaba for between $500-900 with around $175 shipping direct from China. The markup on these "rebranded" Chinese lathes is ATROCIOUS!
 

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