Obi Wan ANH Lightsaber Build - AFBB

Kevin Gossett

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
I never had an interest in building a saber, until I saw a couple pieces that Orange_Blend had placed in the Pay It Forward thread. For some reason, the OWK ANH started growing on me, and fast! I had to have my own, so in a very short amount of time (two months?) I collected everything I would need.



Roman's emitter, grenade/windvane, Parks clamp w/russrep transistors, russrep booster and scratch-built booster bearing, and a resin pomel (which will be replaced by a proper one at a later date)

I haven't come across a clamp spacer yet, but I may not need it...



I am going for an AFBB, but clearly I still have a lot of work to do! I need to finish the grenade, chrome the pommel, and insert the d-ring.

As far as the grenade goes, what is the best method of getting it black? Paint? Powder coat? Help me out! And for the pommel, I found an electroplating service that will do it for $20... As long as it comes out OK, it should definitely tide me over until I can replace it.

Once it is finished, I of course need to find a display case for it. All the hobby acrylic displays I have found are just a little too small. Outside of the MR display cases, what does everyone use?
 

Kevin Gossett

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
So it seems I'm looking at three options (maybe more?) for finishing the grenade:
- powder coat
- anodize
- paint

Painting would be the most affordable option, but not my first choice. Any feedback on the other two?
 

Tan Djarka

Sr Member
I recommended it in another thread, but a chemical process called "aluminum black" might be the best bet. It's as durable as anodising and can be applied at home, like paint and for a comparable cost (I think).
 

alessandra

Member
I recommend Slothfurnace's work whole-heartedly. He also has complete build logs of his sabers - you can check out his Obi Mark III build here.

Welcome to Slothfurnace.com... Tasty!

He uses Birchwood Casey Super Blue. You can see it and the results on the second page.

Aluminium black is another option, as is anodization.
 

Kevin Gossett

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Serenity! So good of you to stop by :) How's your saber coming?

As far as the grenade goes, I have a friend that is looking into powder coating... Shouldn't be too much for such a small part
 

parfaitelumiere

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Right,Sloth used a steel grenade,and gun blue works on steel,not aluminum.

For a rusty look on aluminum grenade,best way would be painting on a black anodisation to add reddish and brownish areas..

For a brand new look,just make black anodisation or powder coating,even a simple black painting to begin(easy to remove by sanding)
 

Kevin Gossett

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Got several quotes from local powder coating shops and they all have around a $70 minimum, which is a bit much to me (but I completely understand why). Anyone know of any less expensive services? I think I may paint it at this point...
 

Kevin Gossett

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Picked up some Birchwood Casey Aluminum Black today... Anyone have experience with this stuff? What is the best way to apply and get an even color?
 

jazzygeoffery

Well-Known Member
Go with Alessandra's suggestion and read sloth's obi saber build. I believe he used birchwood Casey black too, he also was very thorough when he got to the electronics side, incase you decide to add any. Anyways, good luck with this c:
 

Kevin Gossett

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Sloth's was steel, so it's a different process... Plus, I don't think the aluminum black is quite as noxious as blueing chemicals
 

Kevin Gossett

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Well after some digging, I didn't find much in the way of application other than what was on the bottle: apply to the area with a saturated swab. I tested this method on an inconspicuous area, and the results were less than desirable. Splotchy, uneven...

So I opted for a small container with a lid, big enough to fit the grenade in. I emptied the bottle (3oz or so) into the container, and then gently set the grenade in. Closed the lid, and began swishing it around. I let it sit in there, making sure all sides were being coated evenly, for a couple minutes. I removed it using rubber chemical gloves (and wearing eye protection, in a well-venitlated open garage--safety first!) and dropped it into a tall cup of cold water. Swished it around in there for a minute or so, and then flushed the cup with more cold water until it ran clear. After that, I pulled the grenade out, and blotted it dry with a paper towel. Here is the result:



Pretty good coloring, mostly even coverage... But there were still a couple areas that weren't completely covered. So once it was dry, I placed it back into the solution for another couple of minutes, and repeated the process.

I very lightly dried it, and it is curing in the garage now. I'll give it 24 hours or so, and then polish, and hit it with some clear coat to help protect the finish. I'll post another picture at that point :)
 

Kevin Gossett

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Well, I clearly did something wrong. Not even 5 minutes after that last post, the entire grenade was covered in rust. :lol

Took the wire wheel to it and cleaned it all up, so I'm back to square one. I may just throw some gloss black Rustoleum on it and call it done :lol
 

Mara Jade's Father

Master Member
I never had that problem:

All the black on these are done with AB:





This brass one was completely covered in AB then steel wooled for the proper look.


When I did these, I did it with several light brushings. You may not see result right away but you just have to be patient. I think you over did it by soaking it.
 
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