Mugatu Begins the Visual Dictionary YODA SABER

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mugatu

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
- NOW WITH CORRECTED PHOTOS! -

Hello.

Thanks for checking this out.

I'd like to start off by saying thanks again to Ed Maggiani (ed-209) and Steve Dimszo for constructing this saber initially.

The first time I saw the Yoda Saber (YS), I felt that it was right at home amongst the OT sabers, probably because it was "cobbled together" in the same manner and same spirit as those first SW sabers and so the YS became a saber I needed to have. ed-209 has also been very helpful in furnishing photos, measurements, and insight into the making of the original YS and I am grateful for his willingness and involvement.

I'd also like to thank scottjua, sjanish, and spoudastis for most of these pieces that I am using/destroying to bring this saber to completion.

Finally, I'd can never forget to thank my rotary tool.
FC0D14F1-F8B5-4E83-9794-A9AF444A5EE1.jpeg

I love you, rotary tool.

To begin, I have two full flahsguns: an incorrect Praco and a Bolsey 2.
These two flashes are very similar with only a few minor yet unacceptable differences:

1. The Bolsey has a small side nut (sounds dangerous) which the Praco does not have
2. The Bolsey has a sliding thumb knob in its black sheath (that becomes the center band on the YS)

Noticeable issues and features of the native Praco I am using are:

1. Although having a correctly knurled end cap, it is black whereas the YS has a raw silver metal coloring.
2. The black sheath that becomes the center band has more holes in it which are located in the correct areas than those already in the Bolsey.
3. The Praco also appears to be made of a higher quality material (the tube part...I think it may be stainless steel), or at the very least, the machining done to the tube or the forming of the tube makes the finish of the Praco appear more smooth and soft (if that makes any sense at all) than the finish of the Bolsey 2, so I am using the Praco tube as the base for the entire YS.

In any case, neither of these two flashes are perfectly accurate for recreating the YS, so I am having to make a Praco/Bolsey mashup with them.

The first thing is to remove the black sheath from the Praco that becomes the midband for the YS.
As I am using a slightly incorrect variant of the Praco, it has two holes that need to be filled (as well as a small square section on its edge that must also be cut out and removed later). I begin by filling these two small holes with my trusty Elmer's woodfiller (I will explain my choice of using woodfiller in a minute):
2F563315-73FF-4C64-AEA6-53D4071AFC32.jpeg


I use just the tiniest bit to fill the two small screw holes in the midband that originally held a clunky head piece on the Praco flash:
C56094C6-5028-44E9-8B15-909B06572CB3.jpeg


To do this, I wrap the midband in masking tape to cover the holes from the outside. I then squirt the woodfiller into the holes from inside the midband. After 24 hours, I remove the masking tape and then sand the inside and the outside of the midband to remove any excess woodfiller. Being that these two holes are so small, it is difficult to ensure the holes are well-filled with woodfiller without having air bubbles trapped in it that could essentially occupy the entire cavity. In fact, during my first attempt, a small air pocket was in fact visible in one of the filled holes. To overcome this, I dabbed woodfiller into the hole from the outside:
57FA77D9-E64E-4F8A-94B5-36F182EBAAE8.jpeg


Once the woodfiller had dried, I sanded the outside of the midband again. You may notice that I filled the hole at the bottom as well... disregard this as this hole will be gone once I cut out the square section from the midband.

In prepping this piece for adding the oil pan and for priming/painting, I noticed that some of the edges where holes were cut (from the factory by the manufacturer) have stray bits of fibrous material hanging off as you can see in the square hole here:
A4DE0C0E-6B70-4E6E-8192-489FCEDF1016.jpeg


To remove these edge fibers, I used one of my very small files. It is this fibrous makeup of the midband, which may not have been apparent in most of these earlier photos but now made evident by these edge imperfections which led me to choose woodfiller as opposed to epoxy or something else:
600FD369-38D9-4A6B-9AED-C079E6326FF7.jpeg


Next, I need to remove the inner black assembly that the emitter shroud is attached to:
CC7B6122-7376-47CC-85F1-010606AC5B6E.jpeg


You can see in this photo the assembly has a piece of folded metal attached to its center by a domed brass flat head screw. This is where the Lamborghini model wheel goes so this metal piece needs to be removed:
146D309F-2A19-4352-98D3-0274540FFCEC.jpeg


To remove the entire black interior assembly (and the emitter shroud that is attached to it) the tiny screw at the bottom of the previous photo must be removed.
Also notice the black assembly sits fairly flush with the tube’s rim/edge on my Praco. When comparing this characteristic to this photo of the real YS, the black assembly on the real YS actually sticks out a bit beyond the rim/edge of the flash tube:
91278F76-37E0-4C70-A820-419F21DDFA06.jpeg

(image courtesy of ed-209)

To correct this on my YS, it is important to understand how that inner black assembly is comprised. It is actually made of three parts:

1. The lower section which looks like it would accept a typical 2-pronged US electrical plug
2. A flat black disc that sits on top of Part 1
3. A brass threaded tube the goes from below part 1 and up through it. This piece is what the domed flathead screw (that secured the Lambo wheel) threads into.

The black assemblies of both the Praco I'm using and the Bolsey 2 are put together in exactly the same way. My solution for getting the black assembly on my YS to be extended just past the lip of the flashtube is to take the black discs (Part 2 mentioned above) from both my Praco and my Bolsey 2 and stack them on top of each other and then set them together on top of Part 1 from the Praco:
AC4C2A01-C286-484F-9533-82ECF71E1C08.jpeg


Luckily, the domed screw has a long threaded section for being such a small screw overall.

This solution presents a new issue: the long vertical cutout sections of Part 1 is now capped by the Part 2 disc that is twice as thick as normal.

To remedy this, I glued the Bolsey 2 disc to the top of Part 1 of the Praco. Once dried, I cut notches out of the Bolsey Part 2 disc where the vertical cutouts of Part 1 are located. This gives the appearance that the extended upper portion of these Part 1 holes are actually just the original holes of the Part 1 once the Praco Part 2 disc is laid on top of it all. Here are some photos of the process:

330313AA-1C75-4653-83E5-17B9F5135F2A.jpeg

Here is the gluing and the clamping to make it all seem like one Praco Part 1 and Bolsey Part 2 are all the same piece once the glue cures.

F95D501A-CA13-4429-9634-1E72D28BA1DA.jpeg

Here are the parts glued together with the notches cut out. At this time, I cut a tiny section from the hole on the left to match a small cut/rut in the original YS (as it is currently).

88D082F6-F750-4667-B9FB-ECE69E60F4DA.jpeg

Here is the entire assembly with the Praco Part 2 disc sitting back on top, and with the brass domed screw going through it. At the bottom of this image, you can also see the bottom of Part 3 of the assembly.

Once the glue cured I sanded the entire outer circumference of the assembly and gave it a test fitting back in the Praco flashtube:

37A21473-77D2-41C1-AC15-4AF553283A47.jpeg

FULL DISCLOSURE: I inserted the wrong photo here. This photo is from the test fitting before any gluing or cutting had taken place as it appears the correct photo has been lost. You should still be able to get the same general idea of how the elevation caused by the second top disc matches the extended black assembly of the real YS however.

While that whole last step was going on (waiting for the glue to dry), I took sjanish's oilpan and cut the pour spout off of it, sanded the underside by wrapping a very fine grit sandpaper around the black midband and then I slid the oil pan side to side on the sandpaper. This was a surprisingly issueless exercise and left a very smooth finish while removing any flashing from the oilpan's edges.

I decided that the best approach to complete the oilpan portion of the midband is to attach the oilpan before priming/painting.
In order to decide exactly where on the midband the oilpan is supposed to go I consulted this photo of the real YS:
8FD2A3BC-A51F-47FF-8D2C-EA5C50577D97.jpeg

(photo courtesy of ed-209)

I glue the oilpan onto my midband:
B3DAB2BD-A592-47E8-A837-4364D8A9366F.jpeg


There. I think it is pretty close.

Finally, I decide to cut up that Bolsey 2 in order to get the weird metal side nut "button" off it in order to place it on my Praco. I need that nut/button in place on the Praco to be able to understand where to cut the square out of the midband:
627ED11B-29A1-4323-BBCD-8474EF362F0B.jpeg


Having removed a couple of beer tab rivets from Graflexes before, I thought the best way to remove this "button" would be from the inside.
Of course, both the Praco and the Bolsey 2 are small flashguns thus my rotary tool will not fit all the way up inside the tube of the Bolsey 2. To release the metal nut/button, I improvise access:
5B7942C4-1E46-48C0-BAF7-E7C2A515E37B.jpeg


And I now have the button ready to go onto the Praco.

Next step is cutting the grips, and then priming and painting.

EDIT: The next piece mentioned (I call it the Mikuni Main Air Jet) is actually a part that is included on a correct Praco flash, and even on some incorrect Praco variants. I believe I even heard of someone having a Bolsey once that had this correct part. The part I mention (the Mikuni) is a piece similar in shape, size, and color to the correct native Praco part.

I believe I have located the correctly sized and shaped Mikuni Jets. I had previously purchased a set of 6 Mikuni 135 Main Jets. These turned out to be incorrect as the circumference of the Mikuni Jet is way too large compared to photos supplied by ed-209. Also, the thickness of the head of the Mikuni Jets I found are twice as deep (or more) as the correct piece found on the real YS. I searched and searched for a smaller circumferenced Mikuni Main Jet with a head of the right thickness but to no avail. I could find smaller circumferences, but all of the Main Jets still had the wrong head thickness. Finally, I stumbled upon an exploded view diagram of a carburetor, and believe it or not, there are different kinds of Mikuni Jets: Pilot Jets, Main Jets, and Main Air Jets.
The one we need is called a Main Air Jet. I believe the size needed is 130 (as I believe perhaps Sym-Cha had mentioned in the main YS thread).

Before you go looking one up on eBay, there is also another difference. All of the ones that I could find for sale in the US had a bevelled edge around the surface of the head. The piece on the real YS does not have a bevelled edge.
I was able to locate a supplier in Italy that has non-bevelled 130 size Mikuni Main Air Jets.

Anyway, back on topic... I will hopefully begin cutting the grips this weekend and maybe even get to priming/painting. If you see any glaring issues, please tell me before I go any further. Thanks for checking this out.
 
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Usagi Pilgrim

Sr Member
Very well explained WIP.

I'd like to say that I'll be following this thread, but this is the type of thing that makes me want one, & I don't need that type of heat at home right now.:cool


Seriously though, looking great.:thumbsup
 

Sym-Cha

Master Member
Great WIP ... Did your Praco not come with the what you call 'Mikuni' brass screw already attached? My wrong Praco did so I don't have to search for another :wacko


(Picture of Original VD lighsaber)

Chaim
 

ChameleonOne

Active Member
This is awesome, now I will have to track down a Bolsey and a Praco and ad this to my collection. Thanks for the inspiration.
 

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Panaflex

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Well done bro. Great details and pics. Don't see this one done that often so it's a treat.
 

mugatu

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Very well explained WIP.

I'd like to say that I'll be following this thread, but this is the type of thing that makes me want one, & I don't need that type of heat at home right now.:cool


Seriously though, looking great.:thumbsup
Thanks, Darrell. Hopefully I can finish it off well. I have a habit of short-cutting in the final lap.

The Yoda VD is one of my faves--looking good!
Thanks, man. I appreciate it. Yeah, the VD was given to me as a gift, and ever since then, I haven't been able to shake this...that sounds really bad:/

Great WIP ... Did your Praco not come with the what you call 'Mikuni' brass screw already attached? My wrong Praco did so I don't have to search for another :wacko

http://i833.photobucket.com/albums/zz258/Sym-Cha/yodasab9.jpg
(Picture of Original VD lighsaber)

Chaim
Chaim, no mine came with the exact same screw and washer that was one that Bolsey 2 that I annihilated. I'm leaning towards the idea that the emitter shroud on this is really from a Bolsey 2. We need to have halliwax check his shroud screw and see what he has.

This is awesome, now I will have to track down a Bolsey and a Praco and ad this to my collection. Thanks for the inspiration.
Thanks, man. I see all you guys in other threads and giving tips and showing your own builds, so I'm glad if I can bounce any positive energy back towards your builds.
Hopefully my rotary tool doesn't get the best of me and turn this into a butcher project. Haha. It does that in my hands.
 
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NeoRutty

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
What the hell man! ha.

The flea markets near my place are just filled with things stolen from myself and my friends!
 

mugatu

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Well done bro. Great details and pics. Don't see this one done that often so it's a treat.
Thanks, Ben. Adjusting the height of that black section to match ed-209's real saber was really laborious for me. I'm honestly not very experienced with these builds so it's always an adventure when I have to overcome some obstacle like that.

I just picked these up at a flea market, and I already had one. I've got to get cracking on this saber myself. Great job so far !

http://media.fotki.com/1_p,rrtwbfkwsfrrksfxddtrdkkktbgr,vi/rtrdgrtdwxfwqtkwgdbxsqwfqqbdq/9/976173/4001324/10455157610065-vi.jpg
Thanks, James Kenobi 1138. That's a great score! I've been through your collection at your link (and watched one of your videos). Your collection is most impressive. I'll take any advice you can offer with this...and hopefully see your build thread soon?
 
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cayman shen

Master Member
I got a Praco for 5 bucks at a junk store two blocks from my house way back like fifteen years ago. I recognized it for what it was and it became my very first prop replica. I've told that story a million times, but...the Yoda VD has a very special place in my heart :D
 

James Kenobi 1138

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
I got a Praco for 5 bucks at a junk store two blocks from my house way back like fifteen years ago. I recognized it for what it was and it became my very first prop replica. I've told that story a million times, but...the Yoda VD has a very special place in my heart :D
Those 2 Bosleys I got were less then $5 for both of them. I wish Graflexs were that cheap.
 

mugatu

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Looks great! Cool build.
QCWolf, thanks man. I love your HIC! It is on my list...as is your avatar.

Looking good!

I need to find my PEM nuts to finish mine. I put them in a safe place...
Scott, thanks man. Let me know if you find them and if there are any spares. The closer I look at the one I have, the more I think it may also be too thick in comparison to the one used on Ed & Steve's YS.
 

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mugatu

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
VERY nice build and clear and concise explanation. Looking great!!!! --Ed
Ed, thanks so much for your feedback and for all of your generous help with this project. Oh, and also for creating this beauty to begin with!
 

Halliwax

Legendary Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Andy what a excellent job you have done with this thread! boy aren't we in the same exact boat, i have the exact same setup. a incorrect praco and your bolsey 2. though i have not started construction of my YS yet. i have been toying around with both the praco and bolsey. i too have to remove the "slide nut" and after examining and thinking i figured i would use a long half moon shaped file to get inside the bosley and file away the end of the slide nut holding it to the bolsey tube.



i imagine it would take quite some time filing the inside of that slide nut out, but for those who don't want to cut the bolsey in half to get to the slide nut this is also a option. i might just say the hell with it and cut it in half anyway! LOL

again, i love the attention to detail and description you are doing in this thread. thanks to you i also learned about the extra black disc we need to stack onto the praco to make it appear above the stainless tube.

really loving the build! hey! i would have never thought about using wood filer, i use that all the time on the job and never would have though of using that as filling for those holes, great thinking!!

what glue did you use for the oilpan? do we need to stay away from any glue in particular? all i need to do is use a glue that eats the oil pan, or worse the dang praco sheath! lol

great work andy, really enjoyed the read!

danny
 

mugatu

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Danny,

Thanks a lot, man.
The glue I used on the oilpan is just some craft glue, regular white glue, from Michaels. It says "tacky glue" on it and it really does look to be pretty generic.
I think your idea with the long file is a good one. It's actually a rivet kind of connection holding the side nut onto the Bolsey, so maybe you can push the rolled lip of the rivet with the end of the file enough where no actual filing will need to happen.
Using the rotary tool to remove the side nut rivet from the inside may not be the best choice unless you are working in a contained area. For fun, I tried to cut off the long threaded part of the Bolsey (that comes out of the black midband-part of the Bolsey, since it isn't used) and my rotary tool flung it up at 100MPH and hit me square in the forehead! Just a warning that it could toss the side nut in the same manner and cause a loss or a long search time if you are working in an open area.

Oh yeah, it could hurt too. Safety glasses always!

Have you checked the brass screw on your Praco yet? You might have the right one already like Chaim does.
 

Halliwax

Legendary Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Danny,


Have you checked the brass screw on your Praco yet? You might have the right one already like Chaim does.
i honestly think i do, BUT there is like a stud that is thread into the center of it, and i need to get my extra small pliers i use for my metal earth models from my girlfriends house. i bought a few things there so i can thinker when i have free time, i think i may have the correct one. when i get home tonight ill snap a few pics and post them.

i was thinking last night in bed, and i wanted to ask you. to remove the black anodize off the knurled cap. some have used oven cleaner, which worked great on youtube. but i remember my friend using oven cleaner on his aluminum rims to his 4x4 truck, boy it they come out clean. then 2-3 days later the aluminum turned orange and we couldn't bring it back, so we sand blasted them and then hand polished them all over and it took a long time to polish them back after sand blasting

I'm wondering if out caps will be ok if we use oven clean
 

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