My ANH Skywalker Saber build - latest pics added!

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pfillery

Active Member
Well I have now gathered all the parts to build my authentic Graflex ANH saber so it is time to begin. I know so many others have made these, but I seem to read comments such as "we never tire of seeing another saber build" or "this was the item that got me into props" so even though its been done before, here goes....

The basis:

My Graflex 3 cell in fantastic condition


It has the wrong button but that can be fixed up later. I have a replica bubble strip which will suffice until (if and when) I can get the real thing. My collection of found parts from various sources.

Vintage metal T track from an antique cupboard


My other found parts, I plan to do internal details putting my own spin on it, and leaving the crystal chamber completely removable so the Graflex could have several different "versions" of the inside, feel free to add any ideas or inspiration as to how they could be used.











Yes the bench is a mess!

The circular hard drive platters are not any good for the saber but maybe something else will come to me in the way of inspiration (helicoptor mini gun maybe?) Now that everything is gathered it's time to start playing. I also came across a couple of nice quartz crystals to use in there, it will be simple only, no electronics, and as long as it fits in there (all must be the size of 3 x D-cell batteries which was originally the contents of the Graflex.

Feel free to give me any pointers of ideas. Just in case you are interested here are some of my other pieces I have done over the years. Nothing to do with movies or scifi but handmade so hope you enjoy. A display of family heirloom badges and buttons:



And this one, my personal favourite, built in steel from scratch for less than $10 in materials (mostly junk from the scrap yard which was free).



and built with no lathe, no other professional power tools apart from a bench and angle grinder, drill press, hand drill, cheap welder and an assortment of hand files and hacksaw with sandpaper etc for finishing. Also some propane soldering used too. And it may be even more surprising that while there is some resemblance to several things, it was my design, pulled out of my head combining many stereotypical designs so doesn't actually resemble anything on the market. It is essentially a toy, however to a degree it is "functional" in that the spring, pull/blow back works, it can be cocked and released and the trigger works, the magazine detaches and everything was made by hand by me except the main spring and the screws and fixings. The barrel is solid and it is heavy. Anyway, I digress.

Hope you enjoy the pics. I guess with little or no effort the same basic design could be used as the basis for an E11 blaster. Hey, if I can do this like that in steel it would be very close to "the real thing" if I made an E11.

Stay tuned for progress pics of the ANH saber build.
 
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rosskow

Well-Known Member
Re: My ANH Skywalker Saber build begins...watch this space.

you've certainly got work cut out for you, good luck sir
 

thd9791

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Re: My ANH Skywalker Saber build begins...watch this space.

What is that blue thing with fins?in the third picture down haha

This looks so cool, can't wait to see that metal T track be put to use!
 

pfillery

Active Member
Re: My ANH Skywalker Saber build begins...watch this space.

What is that blue thing with fins?in the third picture down haha

This looks so cool, can't wait to see that metal T track be put to use!
The t-track will be the first thing I start with since it requires the most work, on the outside at least.

The found objects are, in order, some old telecommunications relays with fantastic copper wire wrapping in several thicknesses, will come in very handy for lots of stuff and $5 well spent, the blue finned item is a secondary cpu heat sink from a computer main board (an older one), it looked quite interesting but not sure if it will be used on this build, the round bits next to that are solid copper and aluminium heat sink centres from computer boards, drifted out of the aluminium fins, assorted pins, collets and screws sourced from computer hard drives, platters, motor spindles and retaining pieces and spacers from hard drives. Some of the spindles and retainers almost look like emitters don't they.
 

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pfillery

Active Member
Some progress finally!

Not much but it's a start.

My graflex was missing the glass eye when I got it. Options - try to find another one, leave the hole blank or fit 2nd button aka ESB, use a thumbscrew replacement copy, or do what any self respecting prop maker would do - start from scratch and make your own! Ground the lens down from a much larger piece of glass.

I'm pretty pleased with the result.


The unfitted pieces before I put them in for a test fitting


And the other piece of progress, the D-ring. I couldn't find one I liked, so decided to use some scrounged parts and knock one up, turned out surprisingly well I think. Still need to drill the hole. Not bad for a first attempt. The one on the left is the one I originally bought and it just didn't look right. Mine is made from a stainless steel saucepan lid for the flat plate and the safety pull ring from a fire extinguisher, exactly the correct size and made from stainless. Been outside for years too so the right amount of weathering, just like the saucepan lid. Found parts are awesome.

More updates soon as I make more progress.

 

Sym-Cha

Master Member
Re: My ANH Skywalker Saber build begins...watch this space.

'I can feel the propmakers-force flowing through you!'

:lol

-Chaim
 

pfillery

Active Member
Re: My ANH Skywalker Saber build begins...watch this space.

:lol:lol:lol

"If you can't find it and can't buy it, make it".....

I think it was your tutorial Chaim that I used as the basis for the d-ring. I just couldn't find one that I liked or that looked right. Just have to find a rivet that looks right. One with a hole? One without a hole? Any word on what is right?

Tried to get that Exactra you sent me the link for on ebay but the seller was set up not to sell to Australia so my bid was blocked. Oh well, theres always another one.
 

Sym-Cha

Master Member
Re: My ANH Skywalker Saber build begins...watch this space.

Most rivets leave a hole if you use a rivetgun ... sometime the part that's left inside will look like there's no hole. Here's mine :



and here's a custom D-ring+clip made by dcarty :



It looks okay but did you check if the D was in the center before you cut the edge?

Also make sure you align the clip with the clamp :



-Chaim
 

thd9791

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Re: My ANH Skywalker Saber build begins...watch this space.

I also found that drilling the bottom of a graflex tube can warp/dent it, it's only brass. If you stand the graflex right-side-up every few seconds between drilling, and put something heavy down the tube (a screwdriver butt down) and rubber mallet smash it down (while standing it on a table) it straightens itself out!
 

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pfillery

Active Member
Re: My ANH Skywalker Saber build begins...watch this space.

Yes the ring part is in the centre. I'm looking at a few options for the rivet. There are screw fittings that are flush both sides that you get for scrapbooking and other craft that are alloy or stainless and have no hole, something like that may work or its back to a rivet. I will be looking through all the documentation I can before fitting to ensure correct placement of the d-ring and grips as well.

Then onto the innards.
 

Jerome

Active Member
Re: My ANH Skywalker Saber build begins...watch this space.

That d-ring you made looks pretty darn good mate! I too got the one on the left (from Blast-tech?) and also thought it was too small. When I start my ANH build (soon) I'll need to source a good d-ring.
 

pfillery

Active Member
Re: My ANH Skywalker Saber build begins...watch this space.

No it didn't come from blastech. They wanted $10 for something that was $1.50 at a leatherwork shop. And still not right. There is a tutorial thread showing dimensions to make one. Trouble is to manufacture in any quantity they would be too expensive. Mine took me about an hour all up. All from found parts too. But I'm a bit of a perfectionist. It could have been done in half the time with less attention to detail. But where would be the fun in that.

That d-ring you made looks pretty darn good mate! I too got the one on the left (from Blast-tech?) and also thought it was too small. When I start my ANH build (soon) I'll need to source a good d-ring.
 

Sym-Cha

Master Member
Re: My ANH Skywalker Saber build begins...watch this space.

Hi Jerome,

Read post#5 for making a very good D-ring yourself :

http://www.therpf.com/f9/luke-anh-lightsaber-d-ring-103270/

The best way to create the hole in the bottom of the graflex would be by making a tiny notch first and then using a smaller dril-bit and thereafter use a small round file until the opening is wide enough to hold a rivet. Just make sure to pinpoint the exact location of the hole by testfitting the D-ring+clip in the center and the proper position in regards to the clamp before drilling can commence.

:)

-Chaim
 
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thd9791

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Re: My ANH Skywalker Saber build begins...watch this space.

And, might I add, I'm very impressed you fashioned your own light test lens.
 

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Jerome

Active Member
Re: My ANH Skywalker Saber build begins...watch this space.

Hi Jerome,

Read post#5 for making a very good D-ring yourself :

http://www.therpf.com/f9/luke-anh-lightsaber-d-ring-103270/

-Chaim
Chaim, I have read your post before and have even bookmarked it. The problem is I have no tools or skills to cut sheet metal! Unless pfillery can let me borrow his workshop, we are in the same town after all. :)

I've been looking at d-rings everywhere I go, to see if I could use "something" with the same shape. Not to worry, I'll see what I want to do when the time comes. Just waiting for my grips before I start. I'll be sure to post a build log.
 

Sym-Cha

Master Member
Re: My ANH Skywalker Saber build begins...watch this space.

The problem is I have no tools or skills to cut sheet metal!
Yeah I know how you feel. Alas I could not persuade my silversmith to keep producing the D-rings+clips eventhough I knew there could be a permanent demand for such a nice D-ring+clip set, hence I decided to share the templates and tutorial with y'all :)

-Chaim
 
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pfillery

Active Member
Re: My ANH Skywalker Saber build begins...watch this space.

Chaim, I have read your post before and have even bookmarked it. The problem is I have no tools or skills to cut sheet metal! Unless pfillery can let me borrow his workshop, we are in the same town after all. :)

I've been looking at d-rings everywhere I go, to see if I could use "something" with the same shape. Not to worry, I'll see what I want to do when the time comes. Just waiting for my grips before I start. I'll be sure to post a build log.
Jerome, I might be persuaded to make one for you when I have some spare time, not planning on any runs as such but as a one off for a fellow Brisbanite shouldn't be a problem. I too have limited tools and mine was simply constructed using a pair of tin snips, a drill and sanding disc, sandpaper, hand file, vice, hammer, hacksaw, primus torch, all pretty basic tools. I shopped around for a while trying to find one not only the right size and style but the right finish, from my pics of the d-ring I made, you can see mine is stainless whereas the other is plated and some are plain steel which, against the graflex doesn't look right. I tried framing shops, boating warehouses, places that do shade sails, all to no avail.
 

Jerome

Active Member
Re: My ANH Skywalker Saber build begins...watch this space.

Hey, thanks for the offer pfillery! There's no rush though, and I'm a few weeks off from starting on my ANH build. You better take your time finishing yours first before doing one for me. I'm not opposed to making one myself, just wondering how to go about it. I might go to Bunnings and see what kind of sheet metal they have. Are tin snips the same as aviation snips? And yeah you're right, been looking all over for the correct d-ring but nothing yet.
 

pfillery

Active Member
Re: My ANH Skywalker Saber build begins...watch this space.

Tin snips and aviation snips are the same, just different names I think. Just make sure that you get the straight ones not the ones for curved work. Either the traditional style that look like large shears or the spring loadedc type which I find better. Don't buy sheet at bunnings, it is dear as poison there, you want stainless not alloy as it looks better, I just used an old saucepan lid which has enough flat bits of stainless steel, cost nothing, as did the fire extinguisher pin, just keep an eye out at op shops, junkyards, garage sales etc. I'm always amazed at where I find inspiration.

I cut and sized my t-track today, as it is dead flat underneath it sits all wrong so I'm painstakingly filing the backs a little curved so they will look better, I guess plastic would be easier but the metal track is a bit special. Worth the pain I hope.
 

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